Now these Winter nights are drawing in there's nothing better than coming home to the cooking smells of heartwarming Winter recipes. Imagine this; you've been out all day, your hands are cold, your trousers are soggy from yet even more rain! Your nose is sniffly and you're starving. You walk in your front door and smell beautiful aroma's, knowing that you don't have to cook your dinner.........its already done! All you have to do is get changed into warm dry clothes and serve up!!
I use my slow cooker a ridiculous amount......I love the thing. Its economical, it costs 1p per hour to run mine.....as opposed to the 35p per hour it costs to run my oven! And more than that, its easy!!! Bung it in in the morning and hours later you have meat that is so tender it falls apart and melts on your tongue. Heaven.
In ode to my slow cooker I am dedicating this post to all things slow cooked! I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to add your own recipes, I love collecting new ones!!
Mixed Bean and Chorizo Stew
Mixed Beans - butterbean, kidney etc etc (use whatever you like....thats the fun of cooking!)
1tbsp olive oil
200g bacon lardons (or just cut up streaky bacon into small pieces)
2 packs of mini cooking chorizo sausages
1 onion diced
3 tins of tomatoes
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 carrot diced
1 celery stick finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 chicken stock cubes
1tbsp mixed herbs
- cook bacon and chorizo in the olive oil for around 8mins until golden brown, add the onion, tomatoes,
garlic, sugar, carrot, celery, bayleaf and herbs and cook for a few mins then crumble in the chicken stock cubes. At this point bung the entire mixture into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6hours. I would serve this with crusty bread, just dunk it in to soak up all those lovely juices!!
Morocan Lamb Tagine
1 x 500g pack of lean beef mince......use a bigger pack if you have more mouths to feed.
6-8 sausages skinned
1 grated apple
1 onion chopped finely
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tins of tomatoes
1tbsp mixed herbs
2 pots of cottage cheese
1 small pot of ricotta
one ball of mozzarella grated
3 tbsp grated parmasan (I use the tub stuff…not fresh …I am thrifty after all!!)
- Spray fry light inside your slow cooker, or rub oil all over the bottom and sides
- Put a layer of dried lasagne sheets inside the slow cooker
- Break up sausages with a spoon and add grated apple and beef mince. Mix together so its one big pork/beef mush! J
- Fry off onion with a tsp of sugar until they caramelise beautifully and then add the meat mixture. Stir until brown.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, mixed herbs, cumin and coriander and cook for a few mins. Take off heat.
- Mix together the eggs, cottage cheese, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan.
- Alternate layers of lasagna sheets and cheese and meat sauce until all used. Top the last lasagna layer with the rest of the cheese mixture and sprinkle over extra parmesan.
- Cook on low for 6 hours
- Serve with garlic bread and a nice crisp salad with a balsamic dressing. My favourite balsamic dressing is:1 part olive oil to two parts balsamic vinegar. 1tsp of sugar, 1tsp of salt and pepper. Mix until combined and spoon over your salad. Delicious!
Pork (whatever you have! Whether it be chops, fillet or belly)
One onion sliced into rings
One apple; peeled, cored and sliced into rings
One can or bottle of cider. Two if you have a lot of pork
One chicken stock cube and a dessert spoon of chicken gravy granules
Put the apples and onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, put pork on top, warm up the cider and add the stock cube and gravy granules then add to the slow cooker pouring over the pork and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with Mash and greens! If the sauce needs thickening when the pork is ready then pour the liquid into a saucepan and stir in either some cornflour mixed with water or some more gravy granules and simmer for a few minutes. This is lovely served with buttery mustard mash!
Nigella's Gammon in Coke (this is my favourite slow cooker recipe ever!)
One joint of gamon (I use unsmoked)
One 2 litre bottle of Coca Cola (Since I like to be thrifty I have tried this
with cheaper brands and unfortunately it doesn't taste the same, so Coca Cola it is!)
-Put Gammon in slow cooker, pour over Coke. Don't worry if it doesn't cover the gammon completely, you could always turn it halfway.
Cook on low for at least 6hours. More if its a big piece of meat.
-When its cooked turn off slow cooker and preheat oven to 180degrees.
- Take out gammon (be careful as it may fall apart. I use two big spatulas to take mine out. Then put into a foil lined tray (make sure you put foil in as the sugar and treacle burn on the tin otherwise) If Gammon doesn't want to stand up on its side, I scrunch up two big balls of foil and place either side as you need the fat to be on top.
- Slice off the rind so you're just left with the fat underneath and score diamonds into it.
- Put 1tbsp of Black treacle over the fat. Use your spoon to cover all the fat and even the rest of the gammon if you like.
Dont worry if it drips all down the sides, the gammon is warm so it will do that.
- Sprinkle over 1tbsp of mustard powder and 1tbsp of brown sugar.
- place into oven until fat is crispy. (usually about half an hour)
You will have the most succulent gammon with a beautiful salty, caramely taste that is just stunning.
Its very difficult to slice the gammon as its so tender. Your end result will more resemble pulled pork.
Its even better the next day as leftovers. Gorgeous in sandwiches with relish, pickle or chutney. Yummy in a ham pie too! Or even Ham and Pea Soup!
I have lots more recipes but I will share these with you on a cooking basis so you can see the end result! Plus I will be experimenting and making my own recipes in the coming weeks. Enjoy!!