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Slow is the way to go - recipes

Published Apr 30, 2015

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Getting a warm, hearty meal on the table for a family after a hard day’s work can be quite a challenge.

Slow cookers are the ideal way to solve this problem.

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Put the food on before you go to work in the morning, and when you get home you will have a tasty hot meal ready and waiting for your starving family. Although some dishes require a bit of preparation, the end result is worth the effort.

 

TIPS FOR USING A SLOW COOKER

* For richer colour and flavour it is advisable to brown meat or chicken before adding to the slow cooker

* Never overfill the cooker. It should not be more than three-quarters full.

* As hardly any evaporation takes place in the slow cooker, you may need to cut down on the amount of liquid used if converting a non-slow-cooker recipe.

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* Try not to lift the lid too much. Every time you lift the lid add an extra 20 minutes.

* The best cuts of meats to use in a slow cooker are cheaper, tougher cuts. The long, slow cooking turns the meat meltingly tender.

* It is not advisable to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker as it takes too long to get a safe cooking temperature. Rather use portions.

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* Do not cook frozen meat in a slow cooker, it will take too long to reach a safe temperature to thaw and cook.

* A slow cooker uses very little electricity, so it is a very economical cooking method.

* Add herbs towards the end of the cooking time as they tend to lose their flavour during long cooking.

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PERSIAN STYLE LAMB

Serves 4-6

1kg stewing lamb, cubed

2 onions, peeled, halved and cut into wedges

30ml olive oil

10ml ground cumin

10ml ground coriander

5ml ground cinnamon

10ml chopped garlic

salt and pepper

the rind of 1 lemon

30ml flour

30-40ml pomegranate molasses (optional)

45ml tomato paste

250ml chicken stock

45ml chopped coriander

Combine the lamb, onions, olive oil, spices, garlic, seasoning, lemon rind and flour in a bowl and toss well to coat with the spices.

Place into the slow cooker.

Add the pomegranate molasses, tomato paste and stock.

Cover and cook on high for 8 hours.

If the sauce is too thin, drain the meat from the sauce and place the sauce in a pot and boil until thickened and reduced.

Return the meat and serve sprinkled with coriander on a bed of couscous if desired.

 

PORK SHOULDER WITH PEARS

Serves 6

2kg boned shoulder of pork with rind on

10ml fennel seeds

10ml black pepper

5ml salt

10ml chopped garlic

2 large onions, sliced

250ml chicken stock

250ml white wine

3-4 pears peeled and cut into wedges

Score the rind of the meat with a sharp knife or get your butcher to do it. Combine the fennel, pepper, salt and garlic in a pestle and mortar, and crush to make a paste.

Rub this into the underside of the pork and set aside for an hour or more if possible.

Place the onions in the slow cooker and then the pork on top.

Pour in the stock and wine, and add extra water to cover the meat. The rind can be exposed.

Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a roasting tray. Add the pears and roast at 220°C for 20-30 minutes until the crackling is crisp and the pears are soft.

Remove and serve sliced with some of the cooking liquid for gravy.

 

CHICKEN AND PASTA SOUP

Serves 6-8

6 boneless chicken thigh fillets, sliced

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

10ml chopped garlic

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

250ml small penne

60ml chopped parsley

1.5 litres of chicken stock

In your slow cooker container place all the ingredients except the pasta and the parsley.

Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the pasta.

When the pasta is cooked, add the parsley and serve.

 

OXTAIL

Serves 4-6

1 kg oxtail, cleaned

45ml seasoned flour

45ml olive oil

2 onions, peeled, halved and cut into wedges

3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

3 celery stalks, chopped

10ml chopped garlic

500ml red wine

45ml tomato paste

2 bay leaves

a few sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper

Put the oxtail in a plastic bag and add the flour.

Shake well to coat.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the oxtail in batches.

Place in the slow cooker.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the pan and fry for a few minutes.

Add to the slow cooker.

Add the wine and tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme and seasoning.

Cover and cook on high for 8 hours.

Delicious served with mashed potato.

 

PULLED BRISKET WRAPS

Serves 6

2kg pieces of bone-in brisket

125g chopped bacon

3 red onions, sliced

15ml chopped garlic

250ml pomegranate juice

250ml beef stock

15ml tomato paste

45ml honey

salt and pepper

wraps to serve

Trim the excess fat off the brisket.

Place the bacon, onions and garlic in the slow cooker.

Put the brisket on top. Pour over the pomegranate juice, stock, tomato paste and honey.

Season well.

Cover and cook on high for 8-10 hours.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker and remove the bones.

Shred the meat using two forks.

Add enough of the gravy from the slow cooker to make the meat moist.

If you serve the meat in wraps it should not be too saucy, as this will make the wraps wet.

If you serve the meat with mash, rice or couscous, it should have more sauce.

Angela Day, The Star

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