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Slow Cooker recipes

Posted by IngridO 
Slow Cooker recipes
May 08, 2017 04:50AM
I've bought my Slow Cooker
I'm ready with some Beef Cheek, Ham hock and pork shoulder

Anyone got any Slow Cooker recipes or suggestions to share?
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 08, 2017 03:59PM
Hi Ingrid, This recipe is my own interpretation of Himalayan Beef Cheek I had in a little restaurant in Glebe, Sydney, about three years ago. It was so delicious and melt-in-the-mouth tender that I played around with my version and I think it's almost an exact replica in flavour and texture as the restaurant's version. I can easily be done in a crockpot. Read the instructions through first, and it's important to remove the crockpot from the fridge an hour before beginning to cook it. It's best to start it the night before to allow the meat a good long time to marinate. The instructions are for cooking in a casserole in the oven, so you would need to cook it on low for at least 6 hours in your slow cooker.

What brand did you buy. Alison & Simon Holst have a very good book 100 Great Ways to use Slow Cookers & Crockpots. I've got it and swear by it. You can buy it direct from their website for around $25. It's a softcover book.
[www.holst.co.nz]

Himalayan Beef Cheek

4 tomatoes, chopped, OR
a can of tomatoes, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper
400g beef cheek
2 Caramelised Onions
1 whole garlic bulb, cloves separated and
peeled, uncut
1 stick of celery, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
4 sage leaves
150ml dry white or red wine
150ml lamb, beef or chicken stock*
fresh oregano leaves to serve

*Use the appropriate stock and wine for the kind of meat being used. Equally good made with lamb, pork or chicken.

Combine tomatoes, oil, oregano, paprika, chilli powder, cinnamon and cinnamon stick and pepper in a casserole, and add meat. Coat well and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours (overnight is better still).

Caramelise the onions and reserve till ready to continue with the recipe.

Remove casserole from the fridge an hour before starting to cook to bring to room temperature. This step is vital as a sudden change in temperture might cause the pot to crack.

Add caramelised onions, bay, sage, vegetables, wine and stock and the garlic cloves. Cover and simmer for 3 hours or till meat is ''melt-in-your-mouth tender".

Skim off any excess fat, check and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve with a scatter of fresh oregano leaves.

Serve with rice or roti.

Optional extra:  If using lamb, add 200g cubed feta for the last 10 minutes of cooking .
Or add a vine or two of cherry tomatoes for the last 20 minutes.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 09, 2017 06:26AM
I just don't use my slow cooker as often as I could. Working from home is probably a main part of that as I can use my le creuset and slow cook in the oven.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 09, 2017 04:14PM
I work from home and love my slow cooker - especially with the cooking smells permeating through the house as I work. And I find recipes don't have to be complicted.

Last week I put a very large pork hock (not smoked) in the crockpot. Added water to cover and Vegeta (stock powder). I let that cook all day. George took over cooking in the evening as I was working. He discarded the skin, and shredded the meat. In a separate pan he sauteed onions and garlic, added tinned beans and the pulled pork, plus pepper and smoked paprika. It was a beautiful and easy dinner.

I also often buy lamb drumsticks and put them in the pot, on top of carrots and onions. And pour a can of chopped and diced tomatoes over. Sometimes I will use the packet flavouring - if I have it in the house - for lamb shanks.

On Pinterest there are pages and pages dedicated to crockpot cooking - but a lot of an American focus of course.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 10, 2017 09:04PM
Helen, I use my Crockpot in preference to the oven because of cost. The oven is expensive to keep going for 3 or 4 hours compared to the Crockpot which can be left going for hours for just the cost of a light bulb or two. The wattage on my old Crockpot is 220w on high and 110w on low. Most of the slow cooking is on low once the correct temperature is reached. Compare that to the wattage of an oven that operates at an average 1900 watts. Let's do the math for a beef casserole using this calculator: [www.alterenergy.co.nz]

The cost of my power is 32.465 KWh so

Crockpot: 32.465 x 110kw x 6 hours = 21.43c
Oven: 32.465 x 1900kw x 3 hours = 185.05c

Look at it another way: I could have 7 crockpots going for a little less than the same cost as 1 oven! Something to think about.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 11, 2017 04:47PM
I use my crockpot quite a bit. However I dont like the lingering smell of food throughout the house, often the smell is there the next day. So I always put the crockpot in the garage and cook there. Quite often I have it going at night, especially soup as I then freeze it the next day. Allyson Gofton has a nice crockpot recipe book which I use but also go on internet
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 12, 2017 12:49AM
I don't have a crockpot but I think I read something from quite a well known foodwriter (can't remember who) who said that some vegetables don't cook as quickly in the slow cooker as the meat. I have been wondering if this is true. I usually just put in the oven on about 100 degrees but this probably uses more power.
I suppose there a a few little tips and tricks worth sharing??
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 12, 2017 03:27AM
hi Danube, I will sometimes saute onion, celery, garlic etc beforehand (if I have the time & organisation allowing smiling smiley) before adding to a slow cooker as I too have read somewhere that onion will take much longer to soften & cook fully. I guess all hard veges to a point - but sometimes it is just a toss in & turn on the cooker before I head out the door. Will be interesting to hear other ideas though.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 12, 2017 04:55AM
Some vegetables do take longer than meat, particular root vegetables. I've never really had a problem with that. If I am making a stew the vegetables go in first and then the meat and anything else.

I have a "crockpot", which I believe is a registered trademark. I don't know the temperature differences between the "crockpot" settings and those of a slow cooker. Hopefully, someone here will know.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 12, 2017 04:21PM
Marnie, here are the wattages for the Ralta Crockpot: High 220w; Low 110w

My Breville Avance slow cooker wattages are: High 235w; Low 215w

I don't know about other brands. You would have to check the bottom of the outer to find the label that gives this information. Compare those wattages to the average wattage of ovens which is 1900w.

If you're asking about temperature ranges for the settings, each brand is different. Neither my Ralta Crockpot instruction book nor my Breville Avance instruction book have those specifications listed. I've googled slow cooker temperatures without much success, but I haven't really spent much time looking right now as I have an appointment quite soon this morning. I might continue the search later.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 12, 2017 05:20PM
Lorna, thanks for that information. I can't help but notice the difference between the lows for the Crockpot and the slow cooker. If ever my Crockpot decides it is time to "retire" and I buy a slow cooker then I'd really have to be very aware of those differences.
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 12, 2017 05:24PM
With my Sunbeam, I have had absolutely no problems with root vegetables. I throw in carrots and onions and they are cooked beautifully?
According to the machine specs, it is 220 to 240W. Not only has the Low and High cooking functions, but also keep warm
Re: Slow Cooker recipes
May 12, 2017 06:40PM
Yes, Marnie, it's a big difference. When I use the breville, if I leave it on low, it is still simmering hard and the liquid bubbles up, lifting the lid minutely which allows splashes all around the bench where it's sitting. I don't like using it for other than steamed puddings, which I make in a dish covered with baking paper and cooked on low. The water only needs to come halfway up the dish so never gets to splash everywhere. For cooking whole chicken or corned beef, or anything else requiring a lot of liquid, I use the Ralta which, although I can see tiny bubbles, it's not what I would call boiling.
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