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How do I make casserole liquid?!

(21 Posts)
Tinkjon Sun 21-Sep-08 18:17:31

If you're not using a packet mix, how do you make the liquid part of a casserole? Is it just stock? A mixture of tinned tomatoes and stock? And how do I thicken it - do you just mix some flour with cold water and then add that to the liquid, or will it thicken by itself as it reduces? I'm blush that I don't know this!

I'm planning to make it in a slow cooker if that makes a difference. Thanks!

CantSleepWontSleep Sun 21-Sep-08 18:23:59

Depends what you've got in the casserole as to exactly how I'd do it, but if you're putting meat in then try coating it in flour first, and then adding some stock (you don't need much in a slow cooker).

Imnotok Sun 21-Sep-08 18:24:34

I always use stock cubes .

MarsLady Sun 21-Sep-08 18:25:14

What kind of casserole are you making?

eg: when I make a beef casserole (even in my slow cooker) I use guinness or red wine for the liquid. If chicken red or white wine, if pork cider. I use tinned tomatoes and I mix some flour with the alcohol. I chuck in loads of veg.

Yes... I use a lot of alcohol in my cooking lol!

Kbear Sun 21-Sep-08 18:25:18

I would coat the meat in flour, brown it off in a pan then add to the casserole dish with the tomatoes/passata/stock whatever you're using, chuck everything else in and shut the lid! The flour will help thicken all the liquid but no lumps!

CantSleepWontSleep Sun 21-Sep-08 18:25:51

Reducing is a method of thickening btw, but it doesn't happen in a slow cooker.

Other ways I sometimes thicken are by adding lentils or pearl barley to absorb the liquid.

CantSleepWontSleep Sun 21-Sep-08 18:27:38

<shock horror that Marsy uses alcohol>

WendyWeber Sun 21-Sep-08 18:28:35

A tin of good veg soup (not condensed, like cod's thread today grin) makes a fine casserole liquid.

chunkychips Sun 21-Sep-08 18:30:03

you just put more stock or wine in at the beginning and you can thicken it with flour at the end, but don't just chuck it in otherwise you will get lumps. Put some flour in another bowl, add some hot liquid (water) and whisk until it's smooth then pour into casserole and heat, it will thicken it.

Overmydeadbody Sun 21-Sep-08 18:31:34

depends on what type of caserrole you are making.

Water and stock cubes work fine.

Flour thickens it if you want that.

Overmydeadbody Sun 21-Sep-08 18:32:41

What Kbear said re the flour, it's best to add it to the meat and fat first, same principles as makinga roux, then add the hot liquid. Stops you getting lumps.

WendyWeber Sun 21-Sep-08 18:44:17

I make a pork casserole, in a cast-iron dish in the oven: brown onions & celery, then meat, in frying pan, put both in dish; pour veg soup plus some water into frying pan, season, add some Worcs sauce, scrape bits off pan as liquid heats, then pour over meat & veg in dish & cook for 2-3 hours (pretty low, c 150) - add chopped mushrooms 30-60 mins before end. Amount of liquid remaining at end of cooking time varies from lots to none, never understand why grin

Anyway that method would work fine in slow cooker & it thickens itself as it cooks.

Tinkjon Sun 21-Sep-08 19:01:58

MarsLady, I'm liking your idea of alcohol in cooking Sadly, it's for the kids too, boo hiss (I know some of it burns off, but not nearly as much as you think, especially in a slow cooker). I've not got one particular casserole in mind, I just want to start doing them. I'm finding it really hard to get meals for everybody - I want to get everyone eating one meal but DH often gets home too late for us to eat together. Also cooking when DS is having his whiny time is nigh on impossible. So I thought that a complete meal like a casserole in the slow cooker would be perfect, then I can just dish up portions at any time, without having to reheat.

That's a great tip about coating meat in flour, thanks. Also the soup idea - I'd never thought of that!

Do you have to brown meat in a slow cooker? I was hoping for more of a 'throw everything in and switch on' kind of thing

ranting Sun 21-Sep-08 19:07:28

If you heat any alcohol for a long period of time (even at a low heat) the alcohol will burn off, honest guv. Either that or my kids are constantly pissed!

ranting Sun 21-Sep-08 19:08:33

And I always brown the flour coated meat first for the slow cooker otherwise it doesn't taste as good.

Tinkjon Sun 21-Sep-08 19:10:38

ranting, it really doesn't according to the research I did when I was pregnant! There is a table somewhere of what percentage alcohol burns off in different types of foods and measure cooking methods and time of cooking - it was quite shocking how much alcohol stays in with some methods!

Pushpinia Sun 21-Sep-08 19:13:34

you need recipe tips here

grin

Combustiblelemon Sun 21-Sep-08 19:23:12

If it needs thickening at the end, melt some butter in a pan, add some flour and cook for a minute. Then add a casserole liquid to the mix, stirring it until it's very runny, then add it to the casserole dish. It thickens it and gives it a nice good glossy look.

Bumperlicious Sun 21-Sep-08 19:40:42

Just as an aside, I made a chow mein the other day and coated the chicken in flour (thank you Chinese Cooking Made Easy grin) and it was soooo succulent compared to normal, really recommend it, even for a stir fry.

MarsLady Sun 21-Sep-08 22:33:44

Well doesn't seem to have done my kids any harm <hic>. If it worries you why not boil the alcohol for a couple of mins before popping it in the slow cooker? grin

Tinkjon Sun 21-Sep-08 22:42:43

I wouldn't bother about DD as she's older but wouldn't want to give it to DS as he's only just 1.

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