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Slow cooker: what are your best recipes?

(46 Posts)
MyCatShopsAtAldi Mon 28-Dec-20 15:42:26

We have just acquired a slow cooker and I’m not sure where to start with it. Keep wimping out and sticking to usual recipes in the Le Creuset. The only point I seem to have taken on board is that you need a lot less liquid, and that stuff may turn out better if you brown/sweat it first.

If you have a slow cooker, what’s your favourite recipe or thing to cook in it?

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
Brendajeanharrison Mon 28-Dec-20 15:54:18

My favourite recipe is Porcupine meatballs in tomato sauce found on Pinterest

Todayisgood2 Mon 28-Dec-20 16:16:56

I cook lots - spaghetti bol, stew, chilli, mac n cheese, pesto pasta, cottage pie, roast gammon / beef. Lots more. Google recipes, Facebook groups too.

Preparedtobetoldimwrong Mon 28-Dec-20 16:19:32

I use mine all the time. Basic stews or casseroles, joints of beef, chilli etc. Family’s favourite is ham in cola.

Itmaybeus Mon 28-Dec-20 16:26:54

Use mine all the time - have a chicken casserole in at the moment.
Also great for chilli, spag bol, curry, stews, gammon, chicken.
Definitely use less water (I usually use half the fluids I'd normally use. If it's still has too much fluid cook with lid off on high for 30 minutes before serving.
I only brown the more fatty meats.

Ohdoleavemealone Mon 28-Dec-20 16:30:26

Stews, shredded chicken, pulled pork, brisket.

sashh Mon 28-Dec-20 16:32:06

Put a joint of meat in it.

Lamb works really well, the fat melts and bastes the meat so you have pink but fat free meat when you carve it.

A whole chicken works as well.

Just switch on, put the meat in, put the lid on and leave for 6 hours.

I also use it to steam things so steak and mushroom pudding.

Brendajeanharrison Mon 28-Dec-20 16:47:48

Lasagne is a good cook ahead and freeze meal

Tricerapops Mon 28-Dec-20 19:29:45

I'd like to use ours more. I tend to only use it for pulled pork and jambalaya.

SweetPeaPods Tue 29-Dec-20 11:06:03

Would anyone be able to share actual recipes?
So if I was to make a chicken casserole or a chilli how much of each ingredient do you add? Thanks

SilenceIsNoLongerSuspicious Tue 29-Dec-20 11:10:57

I like this Tesco lamb curry one - but I don’t bother with the fiddlier bits like cutting the coriander stalks off any more and just add about a tspn of dried coriander. I also replace carrots with parsnips sometimes, use chilli powder instead of chillis, and add a lot more spinach than it says.

realfood.tesco.com/recipes/slow-cooker-lamb-curry.html

sashh Wed 30-Dec-20 09:03:32

@SweetPeaPods

I have 2 slow cookers, this is for the small one, but you could double up for a bigger one.

2 Chicken breasts
sliced leeks, mushroom and onions - enough for 2 people, yo can actually leave the veg out or change it to sweetcorn or peppers
1 tin condensed mushroom soup
1 tub crème fraiche

Put everything in the SC and switch on, the sauce will thin out as it cooks.

Serve with rice or potatoes, or add a pastry lid for a pie.

I live alone so usually have half and then let the other half cool, put in a foil container and add a puff pastry top then freeze for another meal.

Steak and mushroom pudding (or kidney)

about 400g of stewing steak or steak and kidney, remove the membrane and chop the kidneys
mushrooms if using
1 pack suet
flour
oxo cube
seasoning - I just use salt and pepper
boiling water

1 pyex dish - a small mixing bowl is perfect

1 tea towel

Make suet pastry as per the instructions on the suet pack.

Grease the pyrex bowl with lard, oil or spray - if you don't do this your pudding will stick

roll out the pastry into a circle, cut about 1/4 out for the lid and use the rest to line the pyrex - this is your pudding

Flour the meat if you like a thick gravy

fill the pudding with meat, mushrooms, seasoning, sprinkle the oxo cube - everything should be dry at this point

roll out the lid and use water to seal it to the pudding, make a hole in the centre of the lid.

Put a fold teatowel in the centre of the sc - you don't want the pyrex touching the base, it will overcook the bottom if you do.

Put the pyrex + pudding on the tea towel

Get the kettle of boiling water, pour into the hole in the lid until it is full, pour the rest of the water around the pyrex - you need about 3in deep of water, add the lid and switch on.

MyCatShopsAtAldi Thu 31-Dec-20 22:19:55

Thank you - some good ideas here! Do you all brown stuff before it goes in, or do any of you just chuck it all in and switch it on? If the latter, have you ever had a complete disaster?!

OP’s posts: |
taxiformum Thu 31-Dec-20 22:28:30

I get a pork shoulder and smother in a dry rub (full bottle of swartz Cajun mix) or a random combination of what's in my cupboards. Stick it in the slow cooker (no liquid) for 6-10 hours. Remove the fat (put in oven to make crackling) and shred all the pork in the juices. Pulled pork at its best!

Cheesypea Thu 31-Dec-20 22:29:05

I'd brown meat first otherwise its basically boiled meat! I tend to use my slow cooker on Sunday morning then I dont have to cook later on. Risotto and rice pudding come out nicely.

sashh Fri 01-Jan-21 07:45:03

I don't brown the meat.

There seems to be a 50/50 split with MN about browning meat. Although I agree that if you don't brown sausages they look like willies, I just don't care.

MissSueFlay Fri 01-Jan-21 08:47:57

Slow cookers work really well with the tough, cheaper cuts of meat - so a simple stew of beef shin (not browned but tossed in flour), carrots, new potatoes, onions and a good slug of red wine will be delicious after 8+ hours on low.
Also lamb or pork shoulder, just seasoned and left on low for most of the day will come out really tender.
BBC Good Food has a collection of good slow cooker recipes

HelebethH Fri 01-Jan-21 09:34:52

We love this Casserole (From American Friends) . Just dump everything in the pot, and walk away. Half a day on high or fulll day on low.
Large piece of Brisket or Pork
Pkt of onion soup made up with one can of full fat coke
Small bottle of chilli or BBQ sauce (ones that llook like ketcup vatations)
Great with corn on cob and jackets
Pulled meat in buns
Base for pies and toppings
Brill in wraps or tacos
Nice with mash and veg (sometimes put veg and spuds in when cooking for a stew)
Add beans etc for a chilli
Its just so tasty and versatile and if you get a big piece of meat enough for several meals. Freezes well in portions

Wolfcub Fri 01-Jan-21 09:50:47

One I use a lot is Hawaiian pulled chicken, pack of chicken thighs, thin of pineapple, bottle of bbq sauce/marinade. 4 hours high or 6-8 low. Shred the chicken and serve in baps or baked potatoes

Cowboy stew is also good - pretty sure that's in pinch of nom/on Google

Also ham in coke. Ham joint, bottle of full fat coke to cover, long slow cook. Shred or slice as desired

HelebethH Fri 01-Jan-21 16:34:29

Ooo Wolfcub. Love the sound of your chicken recipe. Will try that this week

MyCatShopsAtAldi Fri 01-Jan-21 23:00:10

Thank you all - some great ideas here. Good to know that browning the meat is not always obligatory. I’m returning to work soon from mat leave and don’t really fancy trying to brown meat at 0700. hmm Although I suppose I could do all the prep the night before, stick it in the fridge and then turn it on first thing? I suspect it might be more of a weekend thing in this house...

OP’s posts: |
sashh Sun 03-Jan-21 06:53:33

@MyCatShopsAtAldi

There are super organised people who prep for a number of meals and then freeze the 'prep' so the night before you get a bag of prep out of the freezer, defrost it on the worktop (you need 24 hours to defrost n the fridge) and in the morning empty the bag into the SC and switch on (you might need to add a bit of boiling water).

Then there are super super organised people who do this but freeze the prep in a SC liner so literally take a bag out of the freezer, put it in the slow cooker to defrost and then just switch on in the morning.

I have no idea why a company like Birdseye don't sell SC bags.

Weenurse Sun 03-Jan-21 07:00:34

I always brown meat and cook onions, then add the rest

dreamingofsun Sun 03-Jan-21 09:37:31

i often defrost stuff overnight in the SC (switched off) and then its just a case of turning it on in the morning.....i am super lazy/busy

Elouera Sun 03-Jan-21 09:54:46

I've just bought a large crockpot brand slow cooker. My previous one would literally take 8-10hrs on high to cook anything, whereas this newer one cooks things within 4hrs!

I havent compared the browning/not browning meat, but I have browned it all so far. Heat some oil in a frypan, lightly coat the meat in plain flour and fry till just sealed and a little brown and caramelised. I can only think this would add extra flavour, and the flour helps to thicken the sauce/stew.

You can buy powder packets for various casseroles at tesco, sainsburys, asda, lidl etc. Those packets often give you ideas such as sausage casserole which I'm yet to try.

Some things I've made in it so far:

-Pea and ham soup. I used those dried, bigga peas that come with a soaking tablet. Soak a few hours, wash and drain, then throw in the SC with gammon or ham hock if you can get one. I also add some veg- carrots, celery, onion, potatoes. I've also added left over Sunday roast veg which works well too.

-lasagne. Prep is mainly on the stove top still. Tasted the same, but not crispy on the top or edges like it would be in the oven.

-Ox tail and/or beef cheeks. Again, I add in a mix of root vegetables, maybe some washed pearl barley and a packet of beef casserole mix. Adding a decent splash of red wine made a richer sauce.

-Beef massaman curry. Cubed beef, onions and potatoes and used a jar of massaman curry paste and coconut cream/milk and threw in extra peanuts. Delicious with rice.

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