Any good slow cooker recipes for cheap meals which don't need browning?

(44 Posts)
MrsKoala Fri 15-Nov-13 18:13:45

i don't see the point of slow cooker recipes which require browning - i'd rather use a le crueset casserole dish in that case as i don't want to make more washing up for myself. But all the recipes i see have quite a lot of faff beforehand/preparation. What i need are recipes where you can bung it all in and leave it to get on with it. Do all meat recipes require browning?

mrspremise Fri 15-Nov-13 21:45:39

No. I never brown anything. I'm too lazy.

HumpdayPlus Fri 15-Nov-13 21:46:11

I've found this too and so mostly only make chilli/bolognaise because I can quickly brown the mince whilst assembling other ingredients. But I'll admit it - this is really a place marking post just in case anyone has anything useful to add.

I bought a veggie slow cooker book too thinking they wouldn't need browning but haven't really had a chance to look through it yet. Maybe next week...

BrawToken Fri 15-Nov-13 21:47:38

Only sausages need browned to stop them looking like penises.

JamNan Sat 16-Nov-13 08:50:08

Tarka dhal but I do roast the spices quickly before chucking everything else in the SC and cooking on low for about 4-5 hours.

Boston baked beans is yummy.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos is cheap and filling.

sashh Sat 16-Nov-13 10:30:03

You need your sc recipe book and a black marker.

Take the marker and delete anything that tells you to brown anything before putting in the slow cooker.

Pretending to be a WWII censor is optional.

munchkinmaster Sat 16-Nov-13 10:35:51

I was going to say Dahl too. I think you'll be fine. Slow Cooker can struggle to take stuff from cold to hot (rather than keeping hot iyswim) so you'll needs to add on more cooking time.

I love my slow cooker - its saved family from scurvy since we had kids

Catsmamma Sat 16-Nov-13 10:44:05

chicken soup?

I sit the chicken on onions/celery carrots, cover with water and let that fester all day.

That gives you a gorgeous chicken stock (strain out the veg) and lovely moist chicken meat once you have picked it all off the carcass

From there, you can make chicken noodle soup or bulk it up with veg and pearly barley for a more brothy soup.

Or make some sort of casseroley affair, add more chiunky veg/tatties

Or keep some of the meat back and make a pie with it..obv not in the SC.

Or use the stock for a risotto.

ZooTimeIsSheAndYouTime Sat 16-Nov-13 10:55:22

I only brown mince these days and that's just because I think it improves the flavour and appearance.

For casseroles, curries etc there's no point in browning chunks of meat. It adds to the washing up and time to prepare the dish. In fact I think the meat is more succulent and nicer if not browned first so I just skip that stage even if a recipe says to do it.

Jamie Oliver says not to as well, so it's officialwink

nkf Sat 16-Nov-13 11:01:06

I brown the mince but I have stopped browning most other things unless I have time. Some slow cooker recipes are ridiculous and involve you adding things at different times. No point in that. I think of it as a casserole maker and the only adaptations I made are adding more seasoning.

WannabeFayeMouse Sat 16-Nov-13 11:04:41

love it sashh smile

Pot roast - I do the putting salt and pepper/herbs/spices on the meat (like you would before browning), but I don't brown the meat - just sit it on top of the veg, put in the stock, press go. Tastes gorgeous, no browning necessary.

MuffCakes Sat 16-Nov-13 11:06:18

I don't brown and I use frozen cooked slices to. If I don't have time to cook I don't have time to be faffing about with raw meat either.

ananikifo Sat 16-Nov-13 11:14:34

Join a slow cooker group on Facebook. Search for slow cooker saddo's (sic) and slow cooked wonders. They have tons of recipes. I prefer drier slow cooked meats but i do the occasional stew or chilli in there, too. Just don't brown things if you don't want to. I only brown minced meat, only because I want to get some fat off it.

Roast chicken: put a chicken in the sc and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Turkey drumstick: do the same thing as the chicken, with a turkey drumstick. It's amazing how much meat you get and it's so cheap! This week I put the drumstick on top of a big pile of carrots, onions, bacon, and potatoes, chopped. Season as desired. I used dried sage. Close to the end of cooking time, when the turkey is cooked and falling apart, take the meat out, break it up, and add back to the veg, so it's like a stew Thicken with flour.

Gammon: do the same thing as chicken. A lot of people glaze it or cook with a can of coke but I've never done that.

Anja1Cam Sat 16-Nov-13 11:19:01

I rarely brown anything regardless of the recipe. Meat just gets seasoned and bunged in on top of the veg. Last week I softened some onions but that was because they were a pretty firm variety that had hardly softened in the stew I made the day before. Mince you might need to fry off first to pour off the fat and also to stop it from coming out in huge shapeless lumps. Or shape into meatballs and gently sit on the sauce still raw, that usually works well to.

dashoflime Sat 16-Nov-13 11:19:54

Potato Gratin- Its juts layers of potato and onion slices with milk poured over it and some cheese on top. You can throw in anything else you like so its also good for using up odds and ends

freerangeeggs Sat 16-Nov-13 20:42:00

I don't brown stuff very often. Just chuck it all in! My favourite is some pig cheeks, potatoes, frozen veg, stock, white wine, onion. Yum

worley Sun 17-Nov-13 13:40:26

I just brought some turkey drumsticks after reading Ananikifo suggestion, it's quite big and was only £2!! will try that tomorrow. I've got three different meals planned via week with my slow cooker..
The turkey drumstick concoction tomorrow, and also a beef and ale stew and sausage and bean casserole.
Working full time means the slow cooker gets lots of use from me!

MrsKoala Sun 17-Nov-13 16:51:00

Wow! Thanks all. These are great tips - especially loving the turkey drumstick recipe. DS naps 10-11.30am so i want to be able to bung dinner in the sc (as well as get on with MNing other chores) then and have it nice and ready for 7pm when he goes to bed.

Blankiefan Sun 17-Nov-13 18:38:07

I made this for the first time last week

It was lovely with the soured cream and erode with rice. No browning required (just some translation from the American measurements!)

ananikifo Mon 18-Nov-13 03:58:46

The fb groups introduced me to turkey drumsticks. It's great because it's so cheap but turkey tastes like a treat to us. I hope everyone enjoys it.

I only brown things because I have a sc where you can put the internal dish directly on the hob and then transfer it straight into the slow cooker. This means no extra washing up and no lost flavour

MrsKoala Mon 18-Nov-13 09:15:22

oh Willie, that's a good idea. I didn't know they existed. I'll have a look for one smile

Ananikifo - i don't really 'get' facebook. I just get really confused whenever i try to use it. I know i sound about a hundred, but i have no idea how i would join a facebook group confused

i have the morphy richards sear and stew. it's a bit more expensive than others (about £30) but worth it for the non-stick dish that can go on the hob and then directly into the slow cooker. it's very easy to clean, and if you end up with too much liquid you can just put it back on the hob and reduce

MrsKoala Mon 18-Nov-13 09:33:23

i was just looking at this one at john lewis . i have some vouchers to use up so may invest.

worley Mon 18-Nov-13 18:34:52

ananikifo dinner was delicious tonight with the turkey drumstick.. Both DS ate the lot and there is just enough left for me to take to work for lunch tomorrow. Dinner cost less
Than £3 today!!
And have saved the juices for stock to freeze (as I added to much liquid obv so at least it will carry though it's flavours for the next time I make this.)

didireallysaythat Mon 18-Nov-13 18:42:09

Google lasagne in a slow cooker. Ok maybe not authentic but no browning. If you have a jar of white sauce (ala aldi) it's the work of minutes.

MuffCakes Mon 18-Nov-13 18:48:48

I have only just found out you can do jacket potatoes in the s/c. OMG I am doing this this week, some recipes say put it in foil and some say just to oil them.

Oh imagine walking in and having a hot jacket potato already cooked.

derektheladyhamster Mon 18-Nov-13 19:29:54

searing slow cooker I think this is on my xmas list, my old slow cooker is on it's last legs!

Bubbles1066 Mon 18-Nov-13 19:34:52

Veggie recipes with tinned beans/lentils need no preparation at all. You can frying the onions/veg for 2 mins before adding if you want to but if you use fresh you don't have to. Put any drained tinned pulse, a tin of tomatoes, half an onion, a tablespoon of tomato purée, whatever veg you fancy and half a pint of veggie stock with some mixed herbs in and cook on high for 3 hours. Really easy and yummy.

ananikifo Mon 18-Nov-13 22:04:07

MrsKoala: if you have fb there should be a search field or magnifying glass. Type in the name of the group you want (or just "slow cooker") and choose from the list that comes up. Choose a group from the list. The group page should have somewhere really obvious to click to join the group.

Worley I'm so glad it worked for you!

SoonToBeSix Mon 18-Nov-13 22:10:23

Just don't brown even if the recipe tells you to it is totally unnecessary.

Suttonmum1 Mon 18-Nov-13 22:19:19

I have a book called Convenience foods for the slow cooker by Carolyn Humphries (£6.47 on Amazon) in which all of the recipes need no pre cooking. Even ones that use frozen ingredients.
Haven't used it for a while but the Chinese Chicken curry we particularly liked.

HumpdayPlus Mon 18-Nov-13 23:04:19

Does the 'no browning' rule also apply to the softening of onions?

ananikifo Mon 18-Nov-13 23:09:35

I don't soften onions for the slow cooker.

NeveroddoreveN Mon 18-Nov-13 23:22:47

A really popular and simple slow cooker recipe I do is great for cheaper cuts of lamb and leaving for as long as possible; 4-7 hours gives really tender melt in the mouth meat. Get your lamb and bung it in the cooker (don't even bother cutting up as will fall apart later), Use a very very generous amount of tom purée (at least half a tube),a tin or two of tomatoes depending on how much meat (again doesn't really matter if chopped as will all dissolve) and maybe half a can or so of water (I use tomato can to rinse before recycling) if you need to cover the bottom of the pot. About and hour before serving add as much garlic as you can bear (I use puréed and love it really strong so add it later but you can do it at the start if no time and it will be a mellower flavour). That is it! Serve with loads of cheese, a bit of salt and spaghetti or whichever carb you see fit. Really simple and will keep well in the freezer for emergencies too smile

iklboo Mon 18-Nov-13 23:27:24

Leftover chicken, a 'sheet' of dried noodles, small tin of sweetcorn, a few chopped spring onions, chicken stock & a pinch of chilli flakes - makes a lovely chicken noodle soup.

MrsKoala Tue 19-Nov-13 07:55:45

I'm going to sound really lazy now, but can you put frozen veg in the sc? I'm thinking of bulk chopping and freezing onions/carrots etc and want to be able to just shove a handful of things in from the freezer then let it get on with it. blush I can cook properly really, honest!

goodtimesinbontemps Tue 19-Nov-13 08:00:12

Yes you can, I often add in handfuls of frozen green beans for example and they cook beautifully.

SoupDragon Tue 19-Nov-13 08:07:18

Only sausages need browned to stop them looking like penises.

This. I don't brown anything else.

SoupDragon Tue 19-Nov-13 08:08:26

I don't soften onions either.


I use frozen veg, but reduce the amount of water you would normally add.
Agree about sausages being browned, They get chucked on the George foreman grill for 2 mins to avoid the boiled penis look.

trinitybleu Tue 19-Nov-13 08:25:23

I don't even brown sausages! Am always seeking a "No Browning SC Recipe Book" wink

With the turkey drumstick recipe, do you add any stock??

ZooTimeIsSheAndYouTime Tue 19-Nov-13 09:07:26

I think sausages need browning. And annoyingly I think onions do too because I think it makes them sweeter and seems to change them for the better.

ananikifo Tue 19-Nov-13 14:59:39

I don't add any liquid to the turkey drumstick.

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