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🥘 Slow cooker casserole - How to thicken up sauce - Advice please!

(15 Posts)
BorisSortYourHairOutAndBrexit Sun 13-Dec-20 20:14:46

Hi everyone,

I’m not much of a cook but I thought I’d get our slow cooker out of the cupboard and try it again after a few not so successful attempts at producing something edible.

It’s quite a large capacity slow cooker so I tend to double up on the amount of stock I put in it but I think this is my first mistake. So after it had been cooking on high for a couple of hours I scooped out a cup and a half of liquid and added 2 teaspoons of thickening granules. It didn’t really do much so I the thought I’d try some vegetable gravy granules and that has helped thicken it up and it’s seems to taste okay too.

Are there any other tips I could use for next time to avoid the constant faffing about with it! How does everyone else manage to put all the ingredients in and then end up with the perfect casserole for tea without constantly faffing!

Thank you for reading!

OP’s posts: |
nocoolnamesleft Sun 13-Dec-20 20:17:22

Some recipes I add something that naturally soaks up liquid (barley, split peas, dried mung beans etc). Some I add something that disintegrates to thicken the liquid (tomatoes, butternut squash etc). If I get desperate I add cornflour near the end.

Darcy86 Sun 13-Dec-20 20:17:24

If you have plain flour, stick a bit of that in a bowl and add a bit of water to it, mix it up quickly with a fork so it forms a sort of smooth mixture - not too thick, not too thin. Then add that to the slow cooker and give it all a good stir, leave to cook for another 20-30 mins or so. I find this works quite well to thicken sauces.

Costa200 Sun 13-Dec-20 20:18:54

Definitely don’t double up the stock. Slow cookers tend to create additional water from the steam they produce. Are you using a packet mix? Coleman’s do a really great chicken casserole packet mix, use two packets to serve four people but only use 600ml water instead of the 850ml they tell you to use. Add some raw veg or frozen veg and chicken breast, cook on high for 5 hours and you will have a really tasty and good consistency casserole. Serve with mash potato and Yorkshire pudding!! Delicious and exactly what we had for tea today!!

dementedpixie Sun 13-Dec-20 20:20:17

I'd use less stock, not more

Costa200 Sun 13-Dec-20 20:22:57

Potatoes on a casserole also help to thicken as they release starch while cooking but you still need to be careful as to how much stock you put in. Don’t cover all ingredients with stock or you will have too much water when it starts to cook down. Like some other posters have said, corn flour or regular plain mixed and smoothed with water to a thick consistency prior to adding to the casserole will help thicken it. Remember to stir it in well and leave it a good half an hour or more so that the flour “cooks out” or you will taste it.

BorisSortYourHairOutAndBrexit Sun 13-Dec-20 22:08:23

Thanks everyone so much for your tips.
I didn’t use a packet mix this time, I mainly followed a recipe for paprika pork but stupidly doubled up the stock. I can see this was wrong now as I always forget that all the vegetables soften down and loads of steam is produced too.
Thanks again, I’m going to try a different casserole later this week and see what happens!

OP’s posts: |
VeryNaughtyAuntyLesley Mon 14-Dec-20 07:21:02

I lived in Portugal for a while and a handy tip I picked up from there was to use a couple of tablespoons of instant mash (Smash). It works a dream and is great for any soupy casserole type meal. I have a relative who is gluten free so am comfortable using this method.

SpaceOp Mon 14-Dec-20 10:11:38

Yes, you only need enough stock to JUST cover the contents, at most.

When making lamb/beef casseroles I usually dredge them in flour before frying or just sprinkle a table spoon of flour and stir into the browned meat before adding stock etc.

Agree that tinned tomatoes or passata to replace some stock can help (depending on what you're cooking).

I also add a couple of tablespoons of lentils quite often.

But the flour is the main one and reducing stock.

SpamIAm Mon 14-Dec-20 11:29:28

Definitely add less liquid, but if you still end up with it too watery you can take the lid off and cook on high for the last hour or two (once everything is cooked) or add some cornflour (mix with water first).

BorisSortYourHairOutAndBrexit Mon 14-Dec-20 14:51:56

The instant potato idea sounds good I would never have thought of that thank you @VeryNaughtyAuntyLesley. And thank you everyone for taking the time to post your advice.

In terms of having enough stock to cover the contents does the whole of the meat joint need to be submerged in the liquid? Or is it okay to be sort of half in half out?! Otherwise I think there would be far too much liquid. I then have tended to turn the meat over part way but I’m really not sure whether it matters!
Does it matter if the meat joint is lying directly on the base of the slow cooker? I’ve tended to sort of rest it on a bed of carrots/other vegetables but I’m not sure if that’s necessary!

OP’s posts: |
Titsywoo Mon 14-Dec-20 15:00:13

Less stock definitely. When I cook a stew I saute a soffrito then add a couple of tablespoons of flour and stir it in before adding the meat, stock and ale. It is always lovely and thick (although I use the oven not a slow cooker but since it is in a cassrole dish with a lid it is the same thing).

SpamIAm Mon 14-Dec-20 15:01:30

You definitely don't need to cover the whole piece of meat, your can even cook some things without adding any liquid as the juices they release are sufficient. Anything not submerged will just steam rather than boil.

bellagogosdead Mon 14-Dec-20 15:04:04

Weirdly the thread above this is about homepride slow cooker sauces here

BorisSortYourHairOutAndBrexit Mon 14-Dec-20 15:09:32

Thank you both. I’m definitely going to learn my lesson and start with much less liquid. That’s good to know you don’t need to completely submerge the meat, I think that’s partly where I was going wrong assuming the meat needed to be mostly covered.

OP’s posts: |

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