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Favourite Slow Cooker Recipes Please

(22 Posts)
Lastminutelizzie Wed 26-Mar-14 21:32:40

I desperately need some good family evening meal recipes for my slow cooker - a much wanted Christmas gift but little used as yet. (I thought it would transform my life!) I've bought several "Slow Cooker Recipe books" but they all seem such a faff, is it really nesessary to fry the meat off first? I thought the whole idea was to chuck everything in and come home a few hours later to a delicious meal ready to serve?
The recipes I've tried so far have been OK but very usually have a watery sauce. Most recipes seem to be a variation on - meat, a tin of chopped tomatoes, various chopped vegetables and herbs.
I'm very short of time, 3 x hungry children, including one disabled, they are not fussy and will eat most things, except curry. Ideas and inspiration needed.

Feenie Wed 26-Mar-14 21:45:14

Two of our favourites (one I got from MN):

Chicken curry

Frozen chicken thighs
Jar of Patak's paste (we use madras)
Carton of passata
Frozen peppers
Frozen Spinach
Chopped onion

I put that on low at 8 o'clock and we eat it between 5 and 6 o'clock.

Chicken Stew

2 tins chicken broth
Frozen chicken thighs
3 carrots chopped
3 sticks of celery chopped
1 cup frozen sweetcorn
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon thyme
black pepper
large onion chopped

Stays on low for same time as above and I whack Aunt Bessie's frozen dumplings in the microwave to go on top. Ds loves them smile

I also love Jool's Favourite Beef Stew

Feenie Wed 26-Mar-14 21:45:57

Oops, sorry, just seen your dc don't like curry.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 26-Mar-14 21:48:33

Sweet potato and chick pea curry

Sauté onion garlic and chilli add a sweet potato (cubed). Add 1-2 tbsp of korma paste and stir. Chuck in a carton of pasatta, a can of coconut milk and a can of chick peas. Season and cook fir 6 hrs (ish) on low.

Lastminutelizzie Wed 26-Mar-14 21:48:41

They sound good Feenie, many thanks, although I would have to do the curry one very mild. When you say frozen chicken thighs, do you defrost them first or put them in frozen ?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 26-Mar-14 21:48:57

Oops blush

Effjay Wed 26-Mar-14 21:51:05

This is very helpful ... I've meaning to ask the same question, so here to lurk for a bit smile

Feenie Wed 26-Mar-14 22:30:39

I put them in frozen - sometimes I put it altogether the night before and put it in the fridge overnight. Any frozen veg I add in the morning though.

Feenie Wed 26-Mar-14 22:31:24

Sounds lovely, Gileswithachainsaw!

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 26-Mar-14 22:32:18

It is smile

Mrswellyboot Wed 26-Mar-14 22:35:06

Mainly do braising steak- fry off steak add to slow cooker with lots of parsnips (they make for a tasty meal) onions, carrots and whatever veg

Add seasoning - pinch of mustard, garlic etc
Add stock to the level of the food - about five hours

Sometimes I make a type of goulash (not authentic) with chunks of beef, stock, garlic, paprika, tin of tomatoes

JollyGolightly Wed 26-Mar-14 22:37:52

Im a bit out of love with mine, but my failsafe recipes are sausage casserole (it's a River Cottage one, google it), and bean chilli; kidney beans, chick peas, a n other type of beans, tomatoes.(all tinned) with garlic, onion if I can be arsed, various spices, cooked for a few hours. Red lentil dal too. I've given up trying to do anything new as it so often disappoints, but I do cook dried beans in it and also make stock.

Dancingdreamer Wed 26-Mar-14 22:54:44

Two of our favourites:

Chicken madeira - chicken thighs, carrots, onions, couple of glugs of any sweet fortified wine eg sweet sherry, chicken stock mixed with some cornflower and tarragon. Add some cream at end if want to make it really rich. I don't fry chicken first as think it is softer if you don't. Serve with rice which you can add at end for an hour.

It doesn't matter if too liquidy as the rice absorbs everything.

Chicken with chorizo - chicken, chorizo, onions, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, red peppers, chicken stock, small glass of orange juice, basil and paprika to taste. Can add glass of red wine as well if you want. Again add rice at end.

FairyPenguin Thu 27-Mar-14 06:57:59

Add something to soak up some of the liquid such as a handful of lentils. Works a treat. Or try putting less liquid in at the beginning - I was putting way too much when I started as I thought everything had to be covered. Now I usually crumble a stock cube and add a splash of water, and don't bother making stock.

Chilli and bolognese are big hits here. Then just need to cook rice/pasta afterwards and I freeze the rest for quick meals another time.

We often do a whole chicken in ours, no prep needed, literally put chicken in slow cooker and switch it on. No liquid as it all comes out of the chicken.

Same thing can be done with a gammon.

I know this isn't strictly a whole meal but it doesn't take long to do the veg with that. I make mash in bulk and freeze so often just had to microwave some of that and cook some veg quickly.

With the chicken I put the bones back into the liquid, add any veg trimmings and some boiling water then put on low for rest of evening/overnight. Drain off the bits and you have a nice stock. I then use that to make chicken noodle soup (with leftover chicken) or risotto (not in slow cooker).

You can do ribs too - not tried that one yet but want to. Also porridge and puddings and cakes apparently!

Shimmyshimmy Thu 27-Mar-14 08:38:12

I sympathise. Everything I made was disappointing, much prefer stove and oven cooking - the flavour is so much better, but then I'm not short of time. I'd stick to cheap cuts of meat that need long slow cooking, I think that's its strength. Veg curries, chicken etc are not improved with slow cooking, they just don't need it.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 27-Mar-14 08:44:58

Double chick casserole

Chicken thighs or breast fillets
Tinned toms/passata
Tom puree
Chick peas
Teeny bit stock and splash of red wine.

Making it in a min for this evening.


Shimmyshimmy Thu 27-Mar-14 10:17:56

I make a similar dish to piste in the morning for the kid's packed lunch - it really takes minutes, it doesn't need to be slow cooked, unless you really want to.

Germgirl Thu 27-Mar-14 10:34:05

Meatballs are brilliant in a slow cooker. The fresh ones that are near the mince in the supermarket, or homemade ones. Just put a jar of pasta sauce (I use Loyd Grossman), half a jar of red wine & a pack of meatballs (500g or so) in the slow cooker in the morning. Cook all day on low & serve with pasta or rice in the evening.
I also make chilli in mine, and curry. I find you don't have to brown the meat (although I often do) but you do have to brown the onions, otherwise they stay 'raw' tasting even after 8 hours cooking.
Porridge can be made overnight ready for morning, and rice pudding is lovely made in the slow cooker too.

Mrdarcyswife Thu 27-Mar-14 18:03:48

I find that stews etc benefit from browsing but joints can be very quick. Plus you can cook the veg at the same time and you get left with lovely stock you make into gravy, or save for soup

Pork shoulder- rub with mix of oil, salt and thyme, sit on bed of leeks/ onion and apple. Pour over a little cider. Cook on high 3-5h for a small joint. Serve with stuffing and apple sauce in rolls

Lamb- carrot & leeks/ onion in bottom, joint on top, bit of stock powder and tin of tomatoes poured over

Turkey drumstick - veg in bottom, drumstick with a little bit of stock powder, bit of boiling water. About 3 hours on high.

Giles, will be trying your curry, sounds yum

aoife24 Thu 27-Mar-14 20:08:35

I agree that things can be very watery. I now use about a third of the liquid most recipes call for. You can always add more later if needed.

Lattetogo Thu 27-Mar-14 20:58:30

You could always simmer the stew on the cooker afterwards for a bit to reduce and add something like potatoes to thicken it up.

JamNan Fri 28-Mar-14 10:26:54

West Indian chicken casserole in coconut

chicken drumsticks
chopped celery
2 onions chopped
coconut milk (about 400ml/a tin)
sliced red peppers
pinch of chilli flakes, saffron or paprika, allspice and a stock cube
curry powder to your taste

bung it in for 6 hours.

serve with sweet potatoes, or black beans and rice

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