Introduction

I saw the Wonderbag in a Guardian article a few weeks ago (there is also a Daily Mail article too) and it was exactly what I had been looking for. I enjoy slow cooking but couldn't bring myself to buy an actual electric slow cooker. I also wanted something like this to take camping, so this is exactly what I wanted. So, I ordered one of the regular Wonderbags from their website.

The regular one was 30 pounds, and 8 pounds postage, rather than 70 for a fancy 'designer' one. As you can see above, it looked great when it arrived in my office. The cat liked it too.....

First recipe

So the first opportunity to use the Wonderbag was to take it to my friends cottage in Corris, Mid Wales. I got home from work and quickly sorted out the veggie stew and dumplings from the recipes website Link. You can visit the link to take a look, however here it is in a nutshell..

  • For the Stew

  • 1 large leek
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 300g butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
  • 15g butter
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed
  • 1 large courgette
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • For the dumplings:

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 100g vegetarian suet
  • 1/2 tbsp each of chopped fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 25g extra mature vegetarian cheddar, grated

Basically, chop up the veg, add the wine with 100ml of water and bung it in the pan and cook it for about 30 mins. I then made the dumplings and put them on top with a nice covering of cheese. It was all done for 6PM, just 45mins after getting home from work.

I sealed the pan and hold with tape and put it in the Wonderbag ready for the journey. Since it's an hour journey along some fun welsh roads, it needed strapping in so that I could have a fun drive :-).

So we arrived at 8PM, two hours after I put the stew in the bag. It was a welcome sight and smell after a long week at work. It tasted great too. My only criticism was that the carrots weren't quite done, I should have either left it longer, or cut them smaller.