Solid Stove tops can be used on board narrow boats for a fine array of dishes, but are esp. useful for slow cooking. Tomorrow's dinner can be slow-cooked over-night at zero cost on the stove, once you've bedded the fire down so it lasts all night (and keeps the boat warm while you sleep). Trivets can be used to lift pots off the surface if the stove has a hottish plate. Hawkins make a 2-litre pressure cooker which is only 160mm wide and Pentargon has one on board. Pressure cookers can be used very successfully either as very slow cookers or conventionally as very fast cookers
Either way minimises steam aka condensation and frees up crew for actual sailing.Whole fish cook nicely in a cleaned out ashtray of a conventional canalboat solid fire, depending on size [of fish and/or pan]. Thick al. foil is the biz. with t'ashtray methodology. (Rib-eye steak done this way and parcelled with finely chopped onions'n'garlic maybe some chopped chillis and/or peppers is to die for.)
I hope to expand on solid-stove techniques later.,
At the time of writing I'm experimenting with a Hampshire charcoal stove.
top class beef-burgers ideally 'homemade' one per person
half a packet of stir-fry veg per person
large onion finely or roughly chopped
large clove of garlic if it takes your fancy.
Some olive oil to gently fry or sear the burgers, tomato puree,
Prepare the garlic and onion. Sear or gently fry the burgers til 'brown' in the olive oil in a suitable fry-pan which has a fitting lid, adding the onion-garlic mix as you go. When the alliums are softened dump the veg on top turn theheat right down and cover. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the heat has softened the veg and cooked the burgers through. The pan may be left on a very low heat if necessary for a considerable time which is useful on a boat.
Where and when I grew up, a Stanley Range was the standard just above an open fire. We used to make drop scones directly on cast-iron tops in past times. Nowadays, I use an Icelandic griddle pan to achieve similar results.
Drop Scone Recipe?
This was learned from Mama Murray 1876-1962 who used a 'bastible' on an open fire of red cinders hyped up by a 'fire machine' which would nowadays be termed a muscle-powered air-turbine. Her measuring was as traditional as found in the boatman's kitchen's of the old working boats. Her 'measure' might be a cup or a mug or a jug or a bowl, depending on the required size of the batch.
Drop scone Method:
Mix a 'measure' of lightly beaten farmyard eggs with exactly the same 'measure' of full-cream milk (goat's is perfick if you can get it) using a hand-held beater or a large Sheffield dinner fork. Gradually fork in a 'measure' of flour, stir and stir and stir to a consistency that pours but only just. Spices, seasonings, sweetenings, flavourings and colouring may be added as desired.
Use a well-seasoned cast-iron griddlepan which never ever been washed in detergent and preferably never washed at all. Pour the mix in dollops from a jug onto the hot surface. Turn when the wet shine on top has gone to dull. Lift when you see a wisp of steam coming from the scones and serve with honey, marmite, jam, cheese, salsa (but not all together). Bon appetit. Or. Go dtéi tú slán. Or. Don't poison yourself. innit