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Please give me your best slow cooker recipes and tips

(41 Posts)
Beewhisperer Thu 29-Dec-16 16:57:50

I got a slow cooker for Christmas (yes I did ask for it) fgrin
This morning I shoved some casserole veg, stewing beef and some stock in it and am hoping for the best.

Could you lovely people please share your favourite recipes or tips with me. Preferably recipes that don't need me to brown the meat first as I am lazy!
I would love to have a bank of different ideas.
Thank you

SlatternIsTrying Thu 29-Dec-16 17:20:06

Oohs, watching with interest. I too am now the proud possessor of a slow cooker and haven't a clue where to start.

Mrsmadcatlady Thu 29-Dec-16 17:32:21

Oh gosh, where can I start? I LOVE my slow Cooker! I make all sorts in it, and google is your best friend!

I make things like bolognaise and chilli, stronganoff, curry, soups, even roast chicken! I make stock from bones too. Any tomato based recipes I will add a grated sweet potato to offset the tartness, my fussy dc prefer slow cooked food now. I batch cook and use disposable foil trays (like you'd get your takeouts in) to stack in the freezer easier.

I never prebrown my meat, but I will skim the fat that renders off when it's finished.

I made my Christmas gammon by cooking in apple juice and cinnamon for 6 hours then roasting in the oven for 20-30 mins adding honey for the last 3 mins or so.

There are many groups on FB to help get info from (slowcooker saddos is one well known one) but pretty much any recipe will adapt. If you need to add cream, you would only add once it's finished, and not if you are freezing it!

Have fun trying new things!

Beewhisperer Thu 29-Dec-16 17:35:50

Ooh thank you catlady I am suddenly quite excited about it.
Lots of the recipes I've found say to brown the meat or soften the veg but surely the point of the slow cooker is to cut down on all of that faff.

Mrsmadcatlady Thu 29-Dec-16 17:45:55

I agree beewhisperer, I don't like having to faff, and I will quickly whip up a soup at the end of the week with the veg that needs eating. Takes 5 mins to roughly chop and bung it in whilst I'm giving dcs their breakfast, it's lush when I get home from work! Last week I made a pea and ham soup (something I hated when I was little) and it was lovely! I've know people cook baked potatoes in them (they wrap in foil first) but I've never done it myself. There are recipes for fudge and cakes too!

I'm sure someone will tell me I should be browning my meat first but I never do cos I'm a rebel


Beewhisperer Thu 29-Dec-16 20:32:23

Fudge and cakes you say? Hmmmm??

The stew wasn't bad but I think I might have put a bit too much liquid into it.
Not sure what to try next.

PinkFluffiUnicorn Thu 29-Dec-16 20:47:19

My favourite easy recipe is 12 sausages, 1/2onion,tin tomatoes, tin baked beans, some salt, pepper and whatever spice or herbs you fancy, I like Mexican, cumin,smoked paprika, and hot chilli, this also works with children and bell Peppers left on low all day

PinkFluffiUnicorn Thu 29-Dec-16 20:48:37

Chicken!!! Not children, I don't put my kids in the slow cooker!

Beewhisperer Thu 29-Dec-16 20:59:26

harsh punisment

Mrsmadcatlady Thu 29-Dec-16 21:06:19

Yes don't be tempted to put too much liquid in, it's easier to add than take away as most of the steam is trapped. I have a 6 pint slow cooker and for a typical chilli type thingy I put about 1/2 litre of stock. As soon as you get in make sure you give it a stir as it can catch a little on the inside of the pot.

Chilli con carne
(All approx quanities, can change depending on what I've got at the time)

1/2 litre beef stock (I use knorr stock cubes
600g lean 5% mince beef

4-5 medium carrots
1 large sweet potato. (I grate all the veg in food processor superquick)
2 onions
1 stick of celery

2 tins peeled plum tomatoes

2tbsp chilli spice medium
1tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp paprika (Spices are too your taste so you may need to fiddle with it a bit) I have been known to bung a small amount of cayenne pepper in too.

Add either 1 tin mixed beans or kidney beans during the last hour (sometimes I put a tin of sweetcorn in too to bulk it out).

Makes about 8 portions in foil trays
If I have peppers etc to use up I'll bung them in too! I make this about once every 4-6 weeks and it's never really had exactly the same things in twice!

If you substitute chilli spices for curry and add things like garam masala, ground coriander etc etc and add a tin of reduced fat coconut milk towards the end, it makes a very tasty tomato coconut curry. I usually use chicken for that (or no meat and will use with leftover roast) and you can freeze it with the milk in.

The chilli takes about 8 mins to prepare if I've got everything out ready!

Obviously make sure everything is thoroughly cooked before eating especially when using meat.

Enjoy experimenting!

Mrsmadcatlady Thu 29-Dec-16 21:10:49

grin pinkfluffi just spat my tea out!

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Thu 29-Dec-16 21:11:00

DSS made a lovely beef and ale casserole in the slow cooker for Christmas Eve and I'm going to try replicating it tomorrow:

700g diced beef
1 tin chopped tomatoes
250ml dark ale or stout
1 beef stock pot
2 carrots, sliced into chunks
1 onion, sliced finely
Sprinkle of flour

Bung everything in the slow cooker, cook for 6 hours on medium, then serve with dumplings or rice.

WeeM Thu 29-Dec-16 21:15:04

this is amazing if you like pulled pork:
And one of my go to easy meals is gammon with a can of coke-literally that's all it is, on low for 6-8hrs.
The Schwartz slow cooker sachets are also good and handy to have in cupboard.

Mrsmadcatlady Thu 29-Dec-16 21:15:43

weiners that sounds very tasty (now making a mental note for next shopping trip ) smile

PinkFluffiUnicorn Thu 29-Dec-16 21:21:17

I spat my own tea out!

Beewhisperer Fri 30-Dec-16 11:18:13

The pulled pork looks amazing thanks WeeM
Chilli in for tonight. Thanks catlady

frauleinsallybowles Fri 30-Dec-16 11:20:10


Theonlyweighisdown Fri 30-Dec-16 15:41:48

Watching with interest. I hit one for xmas after thinking about getting one for ages. I think dh just got sick of hearing me go on about the pros and cons and being generally indecisive grin. Made bolognese (I did brown the meat etc although might try it without doing all that next time). It was gorgeous. I was very surprised. Not sure what to try next.

Mrsmadcatlady Fri 30-Dec-16 17:34:56

I hope it turns out great beewhisperer!

I have got your beef and ale casserole wiener all prepared and in the pot in the fridge - ready to start in the morning when I go to work. Yummy, looking forward to it grin

OhHolyJesus Fri 30-Dec-16 18:11:50

Following smile

borntobequiet Fri 30-Dec-16 18:20:06

Only 2 of us for Xmas so I got a mallard duck - quite small and potentially easy to dry out if roasted straight off. I put it in the slow cooker for 3 hours on low on a bed of sliced orange, onion and celery. Then I finished it in a hot oven for 15 min to crisp. Took the fruit and veg out of the juices, thickened with a very little butter and flour. Served with carrots, sprouts and roast new potatoes, lovely.

Beewhisperer Fri 30-Dec-16 18:50:10

It smells good but is still a bit liquidy even though I haven't put any water or stick in it. Any ways to get the sauce to thicken up?

WanttoFindWorkLifeBalance Fri 30-Dec-16 18:59:08

You could put it on high with lid off so

WanttoFindWorkLifeBalance Fri 30-Dec-16 19:00:08

So it evaporates. Failing that mix a little cornflour and water and then whisk in to thicken.

Cookingongas Sat 31-Dec-16 10:07:15

It's a faff, but I do a steamed beef and veg suet pudding in mine.i do the meat and gravy on day 1 (700g stew beef, 2 carrots, a celery stick, and onion, and 200g mushrooms. I season and coat the chopped veg and meat in about 50g flour, chuck into slow cooker with 100ml red wine and 300ml stock, a teaspoon of English mustard and a bay leaf. Leave for 7 +hours on low. Remove from Cooker and store overnight)

The next day grease a pudding bowl, mix a pastry (500g flour, 250g suet, enough cold water to form a dough) and line the bowl with 2/3rd of your rolled pastry, fill with your meat and gravy, top with your last 1/3 of pastry, wrap with greaseproof paper, wrap again, tie it on and consider a third wrap to stop water getting in. Put in slow cooker surrounded with a mug of boiling water, lid on and leave to steam on high for 6 hours.

It's my go to party piece dinner recipe, and not as hard as it sounds.

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