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Basic recipes for a slowcooker novice please????

(31 Posts)
Becaroooo Fri 02-Sep-11 11:26:39

I have got a slowcooker!!

However, since we moved house 3 weeks ago all my cookbooks and the new slowcooker one I bought specially are somewhere in the garage/storage facility of our rented house!

I would like to know if
a) I have to brown all meat/poulty - seems a total faff!
b) you can cook whole chickens and
c) your best (i.e. easiest!) recipes for your slowcooker


pregnantpause Fri 02-Sep-11 11:44:07

A- only if you are fussy and eat with your eyes. chicken does look pale and slimy and ssausages- well they are very, er, phallic and without browning they tend to resemble floppy penises after slow cooking. but they tatse great!

B- whole chicken in slowcooker will be the best you've ever eaten. it is so juicy and tender its hard to believe. but you dont get crispy skin which can put people off.

C- other than a whole chicken ( stuff with half a lemon some thyme and season) I'd have to plump for lamb shanks. whole lamb shank, with garlic and rosemary, a splah o red or white wine, is beautiful. put in some fancy little carrots with it if trying to impress guests smile

pregnantpause Fri 02-Sep-11 11:46:37

Oooo- if you like vegetarian meals, a lentil dhal is sooo eay in the slow cooker- tin o toms, chopped onion, and lentils, 100ml veg stock, spoon or two of crushed cumin seeds, tumeric and ground corriander and your done. (add more spice if it to your taste) simple lunch time affair to have with pittas/naans.

pregnantpause Fri 02-Sep-11 11:48:58

brilliant blog for slow cooking inspiration.

blush sorry, didnt mean to bombard you. i love my slow cooker almost more than i love my dhshock

Becaroooo Fri 02-Sep-11 12:12:37

wow, thanks!!!

How on earth would you brown a whole chicken?????

<<becaroo realises she sounds v dense!>>

iskra Fri 02-Sep-11 14:12:06

Becaroo - same situation! Have unpacked our slower cooker but no idea when I will unpack my slowcooker recipe books!

MarkStretch Fri 02-Sep-11 14:23:30

I LOVE my slow cooker too. I am making everything in it at the moment. Yes you can do a whole chicken and I didn't bother browning it first as I take all the skin off once it's cooked anyway. You get so much more meat off it, I did Chicken for one meal and had enough left over for a risotto and sandwiches afterwards.

I have done a really easy one today:

Frankfurter sausages (had some hiding in the back of the cupboard)- chuck them in the slow cooker
Brown some onions in a pan, add a little paprika, 2 tablespoons of woscester (I can never spell that) sauce, 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard, couple of chopped tomatoes, 6 tablespoons of hot water, 2 tins of baked beans, and a veg stock cube.

Bring to the boil in the pan, chuck over the sausages in the slow cooker.

We are having it with baked potatoes and peas tonight but you could just eat it with crusty bread.

This website is good too:

MarkStretch Fri 02-Sep-11 14:24:34

Floppy penis sausages grin

deemented Fri 02-Sep-11 14:25:51

You don't need to brown it, it will go darker, it just won't crisp up like an oven roasted one would.

What i do is roll three balls of tinfoil and put into SC. Put chicken onto balls so it's off the floor. season with salt and pepper, add any other flavours - i add a bit of sage, dried is fine. Pop lid on, cook on high for an hour, then low for six to seven hours. Meat will be succulent and moist and will literally fall off the bone so better to pull it then try to carve it - and you can use up every bit of the chicken that way.

Take a look around MN for recipes - there have been a few good threads recently. I tend not to use cookery book, but the blog previously linked to is fabulous.

I have three SC's and love mine. I use them at least 3-4 times a week, and do everything from stews and roasts to cakes and puddings.

A couple of cheap and easy recipes for you...

Beany Sausages

2 tins of beans, a tin of mixed beans, a chopped onion, chopped pancetta or smokey bacon and several bratwurst sausages (any sausages will do, but we like these as they are good and chunky) halved. Brown sausages in a pan first, don't have to cook them right through, just get some colour on them otherwise you get the flacid penis look. Bung all ingridients into SC, and cook on low for about 8 hours. Serve with mash.

Easy Pork Curry

A couple of pork chops or steaks per person, a tin or two (depending on how many of you there is) of both beans and tomatoes, a chopped up onion and 2 tablespoons of curry powder mixed with half a cup of water. Bung everything in as is - no need to brown anything - and cook on low for approx 8 hours. Great with mash or rice or crusty bread.

Oh another thing - never put as much liquid in as you think you'll need, and if you do find it's a little watery, cornflour is your friend wink

wildfig Fri 02-Sep-11 18:26:49

Slight thread hijack - sorry! blush - but I've been really inspired by the MN slow cooker threads and am thinking about getting one and enjoying budget store cupboard frugality all autumn. Is there one particular make that's good, or are all slow cookers much of a muchness? I don't need a big one, as it's mainly just for me and the dog.

wildfig Fri 02-Sep-11 19:47:41

Doh! Ignore. Have found the whole page devoted to MN slow cooker wisdom...

TheArmadillo Fri 02-Sep-11 20:37:36

wildfig robert dyas were selling slow cookers that were around 1litre (maybe 1.5l) that looked perfect for 1-2 people.

Or I do batches and freeze in portions. Make really quick and easy dinners.

I like doing spicy ratouille (sp?) type veg in mine with
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2-3 grated courgettes (or chunky if you prefer them that way)
1-2 diced and fried off onions
2-3 peppers diced (I use frozen straight from the freezer)
garlic (I can use an entire bulb but we really like garlic - 1-2 cloves would be minimum)
1tsp paprika (I prefer sweet smoked paprika but bog standard will do)
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp oregano
sometimes I add 1tsp cumin as well
black pepper
(you can play around with herbs and spices)
leave on high for 2-3 hours or low for up to 8 hours

You can also add:
tomatoes that are going squishy
or any other veg you fancy/have lurking around.
You can also do it with pork chops or steaks (just chuck them in)

With hard veg (carrots, potatoes, parsnips etc) I usually chop and then microwave in a bowl of water for 3-5 minutes as I found otherwise my slowcooker wasn't always softening them enough.

I also prefer the texture of onions if I've fried them off first or they don't soften enough for me (dh prefers that I don't soften them first)

UrsulaBuffayHere2Help Fri 02-Sep-11 21:28:10

I always end up with really watery not very tasty food, am I putting too much water/ tinned tomatoes in? I don't follow recipes I suppose that's the problem hmm & I know that cos the lid's on the water doesn't evaporate.

deemented Fri 02-Sep-11 21:32:38

Always use less water then you think you'll need. And if it is too runny, then cornflour is your friend.

DuelingFanjo Fri 02-Sep-11 21:37:49

oooh, marking my place as I return to work after maternity leave in weeks and have just rescued my slow cooker from under the stairs.

TheArmadillo Fri 02-Sep-11 21:44:51

I never add water to a recipe that already has something wet in (e.g. tin of tomatoes). Unless you were for example cooking rice in the dish it is unnecessary.

If adapting a recipe for slow cooker halve the amount of liquid recommended.

UrsulaBuffayHere2Help Fri 02-Sep-11 22:10:27

thanks, the only problemo with cornflour is when I'm doing slimming world. I could use lentils I guess but I end up fart arsing about when the slow cooker's suuposed to have saved me time. I think I'll dig it back out and experiment.

So you could cook stuff with no liquid at all, eg the chicken? <thick emoticon>

TheArmadillo Fri 02-Sep-11 22:13:23

If I'm doing a joint of meat (e.g. a chicken) I don't add any liquid - though beware you will end up with a considerable amount.

deemented Fri 02-Sep-11 22:15:42

I think you can use smash granules to thicken as well, but i've never tried it, and iirc, they are free on SW?

UrsulaBuffayHere2Help Fri 02-Sep-11 22:26:33

Ooh yes they are Dee, people doing it strictly would say it was syn abuse <huge rolly eyes emoticon> good idea!

I liked the tin foil tip too for draining the oil from meat. I suppose not putting excess liquid in will help strengthen the taste too. Def gonna try again, sick of spending hours of an evening cooking.

UrsulaBuffayHere2Help Fri 02-Sep-11 22:30:09

*free food abuse, sorry.

wildfig Fri 02-Sep-11 23:03:41

Thanks, armadillo! I just need the weather to hurry up and get a bit more autumnal now. I can feel a slow-cooked lamb shank coming on.

wildfig Sun 04-Sep-11 18:56:40

Bought a cheapie slow cooker in sainsburys yesterday, and - wow - the whole chicken! It's delicious. Cooked it on three balls of foil as directed for five hours, then replaced the foil with some potatoes, carrots and swede for the last two or so. Moist, falling apart chicken, and flavourful veg.

Can you make stock with the chicken carcass, if you leave the lid off?

deemented Sun 04-Sep-11 19:35:41

Ohhh glad you enjoyed!!

I would think you could make a stock with the carcass, but i haven't tried it as i found that cooked this way, the bones come out very soft, and i wasn't keen.

wildfig Sun 04-Sep-11 19:44:43

Think you might be right, there, actually. And so much meat's going to come off this that I don't feel bad about chucking away what's left.

Am v interested in the Crock Pot Diet too...

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