Forget the blech and the slow-cooker, all you need is this Wonderbag:
Squashy, shapeless and stuffed with recycled polystyrene beads, it's an unlikely contender for the year's must-have accessory. The Wonderbag, you see, is no mere style accessory. It might look like a Seventies beanbag, but it's actually a non-electric slow cooker. Tuck a pan of hot ingredients into its cosy folds, and it will keep them stewing slowly for hours.
Its inventor, Sarah Collins, 42, admits: 'It's the oldest technology in the world. I don't understand how someone else hasn't made it already.' Our ancestors buried hot stew pots in the ground to keep them cooking without fuel.
The principle is simple: heat your food to boiling point for a few minutes on the stove in a normal saucepan, pop on its lid, then transfer it to the bag. It doesn't even matter how long you leave it there, because, says Sarah, it's all but impossible to overcook anything. 'I'm not a good cook,' she says. 'I don't want to worry about timings. I'm one of those people who just chucks everything in and goes away. But the Wonderbag has turned me into a good cook, because everything comes out so tasty.'
You can even leave rice in to cook overnight without it turning into sludge, she claims. It sounds too good to be true. I'm feeling sceptical as, after breakfast, I brown onions and beef in a pan with a tin of tomatoes and a bag of mixed veg. Normally, I'd simmer such a stew in the oven for hours. This time, I heat it for just 30 minutes before transferring the lidded pot to the bag.
A South African eco-entrepreneur, she came up with the idea four years ago during a power cut, when she managed to keep her dinner cooking by surrounding the pan with cushions. The comical-looking prototype she later developed with a friend is already having a significant impact on the developing world.
Read more: Daily Mail