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Slow Cooker Corner - Spag bol

(19 Posts)
HelloCanYouHearMe Sun 28-Aug-16 11:50:04

I have purchased a slow cooker and was debating doing tonights dinner in it (see title)

Having never owned/used a dlow cooker before, is there anything i need to know? Should i brown my mince? Do i need more liquid than usual? Should i just not bother and leave it on a low hob for a bit longer than usual?

GenghisCalm Sun 28-Aug-16 12:07:40

Hi, depending on time I sometimes brown the mince, if I am in a rush I don't bother (as long as the mince does not have a high fat content otherwise you will need to brown the mince and drain that fat off). I only use 2/3 of the liquid that I would use if I was hob cooking.

dreamingofsun Sun 28-Aug-16 12:59:00

i only brown sausages. it may take you a little while to get used to a slow cooker so don't dispare if it goes wrong on first attempt. i dont normally use any liquid - just the stock pot - it looks very dry but thats fine.

use old tough joints and herbs/spices. using a tin of toms or baked beans as a base and adding flavours/meat works well.

HelloCanYouHearMe Sun 28-Aug-16 15:17:52

Thanks both....i thoroughly expect to balls this up, given its thenfirst time of using it grin

carrotcakecupcake Sun 28-Aug-16 15:28:35

I would recommend the Schwartz slow cooker spice packets that you can get at most super markets. They usually involve some meat, a veg or two and a tin of tomatoes, I've found them to be pretty fail safe. They will help you build up confidence with knowing what to chuck in, and how it'll turn out!
I've also found some good recipes on Pinterest; Americans call slow cookers "crock pots" and aren't afraid to make anything in theirs.

carrotcakecupcake Sun 28-Aug-16 15:31:06

Also realised I didn't answer any of you're questions...I've never bothered browning things before putting them in - I figure the slow cooker should be helping me do less cooking! Don't add more liquid, if anything use less. Spag Bol is a great one to start with, dump it all in and leave it until tea time!

Onedaftmonkey Sun 28-Aug-16 15:32:54

I brown mine. It goes a bit mushy otherwise. No extra liquid. Brown lentils to thicken it up a bit.

HelloCanYouHearMe Sun 28-Aug-16 15:42:07

I had no idea schwartz did slow cooker spice packets... im off to the shops on Tuesday so will add them to my list.

Thanks for the tip carrot

Nogravyforyou Sun 28-Aug-16 20:35:53

Brown your mince first. Noting to do with fat, but I find the mince turns to mush and tastes like shit if you don't.

Rinceoir Sun 28-Aug-16 22:56:41

I've never managed a good Bolognese in mine so am watching for tips!

I find it best for pieces of meat like brisket, pork shoulder, occasionally a full chicken. I have also used it for a rather delicious duck cassoulet.

dreamingofsun Mon 29-Aug-16 10:00:52

rinceoir - bolognese - just use the normal recipe but when i add the stock i don't add the water just the cube. make sure you bash the mince up so its not all one lump. i don't bother frying mine first now and it makes no difference.

dreamingofsun Mon 29-Aug-16 10:01:35

rinceoir - it does have a slightly different taste to the one on the hob, but not so that anyone notices if i make it into lasagne

HelloCanYouHearMe Mon 29-Aug-16 11:23:18

I have some Ox cheeks in the freezer that i was thinking of whacking in the SC at some point.... that will work, wont it?

dreamingofsun Mon 29-Aug-16 12:42:10

sorry have no idea as never cooked ox cheeks. i'm thinking they may be tough and fatty? in which case they should do fine. if things are fatty i tend not to do a sauce (eg curry) as that gets too fatty. instead i would cook it maybe with some herbs and onion and tiny bit of stock/or water (which i then disgard). and then might finish in oven or under grill if i want a crispy finish

AmbientSausageRoll Mon 29-Aug-16 12:46:13

When I do a bolognese in the slow cooker, I do brown the mince first, along with lightly frying the onion and grated carrot that I also put in!

midsomermurderess Mon 29-Aug-16 15:04:45

I have cooked ox cheeks in the slow cooker and it is perfect, long and slow. I marinade them in red wine and herbs and garlic for a few hours first.

PepsiPenguin Mon 29-Aug-16 15:13:30

Spag Bol is lovely done in the slow cooker, although I always end up having to reduce the sauce as I put lots of wine in grin

Mine has a sear setting, so I brown mince and drain the excess fat (find the slight caramelisation adds a little extra) then cook my onions, garlic cubed/grated carrots (sneak vegetables in) and pancetta, then return the mince, add any herbs, bottle of wine, tomatoes and Puree and then I leave it for the long setting and reduce it at the end.

Hasn't failed me yet smile love my SC.

The Maggie sachets with a bit of water also are good for a chicken - I've done pouison this way and they have come out lovely and moist.

SC will be perfect for Ox cheeks

siblingrevelryagain Fri 02-Sep-16 09:07:02

Google 'Giorgio Locatelli slow cooker ragu' for the only Spag Bol-type sauce you'll ever need. My kids loved it as babies & toddlers, I've served it to fussy foodie friends who loved it, and it stretches as it's such a rich flavour.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 02-Sep-16 09:16:01

i always cook the onions/celery properly, brown the meat, cook out the spices, bring the stock to a boil in a real pan, basically do everything as you would normally for whatever it is you are making and then into the slowpot with it to carry on

otherwise you get that slightly warm sweaty not cooked oniony, powdery and raw back taste to everything which is why so many folks dislike slow cooker meals.

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