Well, winter is drawing in and I'm back with the stews. Generally I just chop up loads of veggies and throw them in a pot with either beef or chicken and some Oxo or Bouillion and either Italian Seasoning or Herbs de Provence. It's getting a bit boring now. Can anyone advise on nice things to add to give a bit of oomph? On a slightly different note, if I shove all this in a huge saucepan and simmer slowly for about 8 hours, the meat is delish. However, I invested in a slow cooker but it has been disastrous. The first time it was burnt and nasty and the second time it was just nasty - it tasted weird. What am I doing wrong?