Country of origin: Yorkshire, England.

Meat and vegetables cooked in simmering water is possibly one of the most common means of preparing food for the family. However, in these days of instant food the concept of a long slow cook seems to be waning. This recipe has as many variations as there are countries, and it can be a soup or a stew. It can feed a big family for a feast or a smaller family for a week, and you can vary the ingredients according to taste and availabilty. What more could you want? So I have called this "housepot". Click World Wide Stews for a list of stews known to the Fairtrade Cookbook webmaster.


Basically two things:

A large cooking pot. No, you definitely need a LARGE cooking pot.

And a gentle source of heat.

That's it. Oh and time. And a bottle of FAIRTRADE cooking wine. (Cooking wine = wine to drink whilst the food is cooking).

The following instructions are for a basic stew or housepot.

Variations in ingredients and cooking techniques are given in the individual recipes.

This recipe contains the following types of ingredient: meat and poultry; plants and fungi.


500 g to 1 kg
beef or lamb
500 g
500 g
medium onions
to taste
to taste
FAIRTRADE freshly ground black pepper
sticks celery



Top and tail, remove skins and slice the onions.

Peel and cube the potatoes.

Peel and chop large the carrots

Top and tail the celery, and chop.


Warm the pot and add a little cooking oil.

Fry the meat briefly to seal.

Whist the meat is in add the onions.

Once the meat is browned, add 1 litre of water or vegetable stock. (e.g. liquid from cooking chick peas.

Adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover.

Simmer for between two and three hours on a very low heat.

Add the carrots and cubed potatoes and chopped celery.

Simmer for 25 minutes.

To serve

Serve with curried quinoa, or rice, or pasta, as the mood takes you. Or with a hunk of bread.

Open a bottle of FAIRTRADE white wine as well (or a red).

Relax. Put some nice music on the hi-fi.

Be grateful for small mercies and the luxury of a western lifestyle.


The above recipe can be varied dramatically with what ever is to hand.

Add a little FAIRTRADE wine to the juices to add flavour to the gravy.

Add a little dried fruit for an eastern touch.