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Cook it long and slow - recipes

SLOW COOKED BOLOGNAISE

Serves 6-8

Slow cooked bolognaise. Picture: Chris Collingridge, Independent NewspapersOxtail with chocolate and prunes. Picture: Chris Collingridge, Independent NewspapersPork belly with lentils. Picture: Chris Collingridge, Independent NewspapersSlow cooker baked potatoes. Picture: Chris Collingridge, Independent NewspapersSlow cooker roly poly. Picture: Chris Collingridge, Independent NewspapersLamb shanks with quince and feta. Picture: Chris Collingridge, Independent Newspapers

30ml olive oil

1 onion, chopped

5ml chopped garlic

2 carrots, peeled, diced

3 sticks of celery, diced

4 rashers of bacon, chopped

500g beef mince

500g pork mince

250ml red wine

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

15ml tomato paste

125ml beef stock

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Fry the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and bacon until softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the mince and brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.

Add the wine and cook for 5 minutes, until evaporated.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour the sauce into the slow cooker, cover with lid and cook on the high setting for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Check the seasoning and serve with spaghetti and shavings of Parmesan.

OXTAIL WITH CHOCOLATE AND PRUNES

Serves 4

1.5kg trimmed oxtail

seasoned flour

30-40ml olive oil

10ml chopped garlic

2-3 carrots, chopped

2-3 stalks of celery, chopped

200g baby onions, skinned

100g slab of dark chocolate, chopped

500ml red wine

500ml beef stock

30ml tomato paste

125g pitted prunes

125g bacon or pancetta, chopped and fried until crisp

Coat the meat with the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the meat in batches. Place into a slow cooker.

Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Add to the oxtail.

Add the baby onions, chocolate, wine, stock, tomato paste and seasoning. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Add the prunes and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve the oxtail with mashed potato and sprinkled with bacon.

PORK BELLY WITH LENTILS

Serves 4-6

1.5kg pork belly

salt flakes

15ml fennel seeds

2-3 red onions cut into wedges

2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced

250ml puy lentils, well rinsed

250ml white wine

375ml chicken stock

chopped parsley for serving

Score the skin of the pork with a sharp knife. Rub it with salt and fennel seeds.

Place the onions, carrots, garlic and lentils into the slow cooker.

Pour over the wine and stock and season.

Place the pork on top of the lentils. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Remove the pork.

Place it on a baking tray and put under a heated grill for about 10 minutes until the skin is golden and crackling.

Served sliced on the lentil mixture sprinkled with parsley.

If not available, they can be replaced with brown lentils.

SLOW COOKER BAKED POTATOES

6-8 potatoes

olive oil

Rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the slow cooker and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until a knife inserted into the potatoes indicates they are soft.

Remove and serve with a pat of butter or as desired.

LAMB SHANKS WITH QUINCE AND FETA

4 lamb shanks

1 lemon, thinly sliced

45ml chopped dill

1 quince, quartered and cored

125ml crumbled feta

extra dill for serving

Dust the shanks with the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the meat all over in batches. Place the meat into a slow cooker.

Add the onion, garlic, lemon and dill and season well. Pour over the stock and add the quince slices. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Serve the shanks sprinkled with feta and extra dill.

ROLY POLY WITH CUSTARD

500ml flour

15ml baking powder

60ml castor sugar

80g butter

1egg

150ml buttermilk

125ml apricot jam

Sift the flour, baking powder and castor sugar into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Combine the egg and buttermilk and add to the flour to form a dough that is soft but not sticky.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead gently. Roll out the dough to form a rectangle. Spread with the apricot jam. Roll up.

Place the roll seam-side down in the centre of a large piece of buttered non-stick baking paper. Fold the paper over and make a pleat along the edge of the roll. Tuck in the ends.

Place this on a large piece of foil and enclose the roll in the foil, sealing the edges to make it watertight.

Place on a rack in the slow cooker and pour in about 1 litre of hot water. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours until the roll is cooked through or a skewer inserted into the roll comes out clean.

If you want the roll to have a brown outer crust place it in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Serve sliced with custard.

Angela Day, The Star

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