Hay Box Cooking - a forgotten gem

One of the things I want to do on the Food Challenge stand at the New Forest Show is a demonstration of low energy cooking.  So I've been experimenting with using a hay box.

I have an old recipe book that refers to this very economical way of preparing deliciously slow cooked food.  Having 'googled' it I know know a lot more.  And it's very simple!

All you need is a box with a lid and some hay.....

I found an old polystyrene box in the garage left over from a frozen food delivery and added a layer of hay.  You need around 3 inches of hay all round the pot that you are cooking in.  I then stuffed an old cotton shopping bag with hay to make a sort of pillow for the top (most of the heat leaves from the top).

I made a Moroccan Soup which is basically a chunky veg in a spicy tomato sauce (which I am demonstrating at the Milford Food Week on 16 April).  Brought it to the boil and simmered it for 3 minutes then transferred the pot into its 'nest' of hay covered it up and left it for 3 hours.

The soup was done to perfection and still piping hot after 4 hours.  I reckon it saved around 80% of the gas I would have normally used.  There was no danger of it drying out or burning and after the initial waiting period there was no pressure on when it was ready.

Definitely great for camping trips and more generally whenever you might use a conventional slow cooker.

Views: 300

Tags: hay box, low energy cooking, slow cooking

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