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Slo-cooker recipes


The Liberal Elite
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I made a buritto casserole in mine this weekend. It was like a lasagne with layers of tortilla, beans in a tomato sauce and cheese. It was pretty good.

I'm going to do either pork belly or a beef curry today.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After having about 8 months of success with my slow cooker, it's starting to catch and burn a little on one side of the pot.

I'll put it on low at 8am and come home to it about 6.30-7pm, on one side of the pot (near the bottom) there will always be a burnt patch about the surface area size a beermat.

Obviously I can just avoid the food around that bit, but it can get stirred into the rest of the pot, plus it makes cleaning more difficult.

Anyone else had this problem? Am I cooking for too long (11 hours on low)?

It sounds like a problem with the slow cooker to me, I've had mine on for similar amounts of time and even longer and never encountered this. It might still be under warranty if you've only had it 8 months so it should be worth getting in touch with the manufacturer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made pork carnitas the other day after loving the ones I had in a restaurant recently. Don't have a slow cooker so I just did it on the hob but they worked out great.

I used the first recipe here as a rough guide but added a few other things (juice of an orange, halved chillis, half an onion, cumin etc) and grilled the meat instead of roasting it. Served with the usual fajita condiments it was a taste sensation - definitely doing it again soon.

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  • 1 month later...

My local tesco has had a big pile of slow cookers sitting for weeks now. £7 i think. Only 2 settings (low/high) no auto.

Thinking of getting it after this thread. We find it touch some days to get a dinner made by the time we get home from work and get the baby fed etc. My wife is going back to work in Jan so might be good to get some recipies sorted in advance!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whole chicken cooked for just over 4 hours was superb! Added a few veggies, thyme, garlic to it and also some water.

Loads of water ended up coming out of the chicken so I had to remove a fair bit, nearly a pint!

What was left was still fine for the broth and it was delicious :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Right, we got a monstrous 6.5L Morphy Richards Oval Stainless Steel Slow Cooker for Christmas. I hate people buying me stuff as I prefer to do meticulous research for a couple of years prior to purchase, but here we are. First up, is it any good or can't you go wrong really? Then after that, it's about the size of the thing. We'd usually only be cooking for two and a book we got with it says you should probably 1/2 to 2/3 fill one of these things to get the best from it, which isn't going to happen unless we invite everybody we know round for something to eat, or do a massive joint of meat in it or something. Is putting a fair bit less than that to cook in it more often than not going to work, or do we need to try get a smaller one? Ta.

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  • 1 month later...

Tomorrow is going to be the first use of the (new, smaller) slow cooker! Got a kilo-ish of brisket, and I bought a bottle of black sheep ale. Do I just kind season & sear, then put them both in the pot with some thyme and garlic, turn it on and leave it for 8-10 hours on low and that's it? Put any veg in with it as well (onion, carrot)? Parsnip I'll probably roast, or throw that in too? Any stock as well?

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Well that was a semi-disaster. Put the brisket in the cooker after browning with some briefly fried onions and garlic, some par-boiled chunky cut carrotts, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf, half a bottle of beer and a bit of water and an oxo so it was about 2/3 covered, left it on low for 8 1/2 hours. Seemed disappointingly tough when it came out, and the first couple of slices revealed a load of accordian-esque fat throughout the meat. That's supposed to be gone, leaving tender goodness, surely? Fortunately it was in two halves and the bottom half seemed a bit better quality and was certainly better cooked but nowhere near as good as the 4 hour oven-cooked one we usually do, good job there was only the two of us eating. Afterwards I read the manual and I should've put it on medium for most normal cooking of around 8 hours :facepalm: Read? The manual?! Heresy. Anyway, the really crap bit is back in on medium for a few more hours, we'll see how it fares.

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Brisket is difficult. If you get a good cut, it'll have plenty of fat in which will help keep it moist. A lot of brisket is painfully lean on the interior of the meat. It's also got a lot of two types of connective tissue in it, collagen and elastin. Breaking down the collagen in a slow cooker is easy. Breaking down the elastin (which is the accordian-shaped lines you're thinking is fat) is much trickier. It requires a higher temperature and a longish time. If your slow-cooker was on low, it's probably about 72C, which isn't high enough to break down elastin.

Generally you're after one of two choices. Cook for a looooong time at a low temp (I've seen varying temperatures between 57C and 64C). By a long time I mean 24hrs plus, so sous-vide territory. The other option is a shorter time at a higher temperature, ideally around 80C. That's what you're achieving in the oven, and you should be able to get a similar effect using the medium or high setting on your slow cooker - 8 hours might be a bit long though.

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Brisket is difficult. If you get a good cut, it'll have plenty of fat in which will help keep it moist. A lot of brisket is painfully lean on the interior of the meat. It's also got a lot of two types of connective tissue in it, collagen and elastin. Breaking down the collagen in a slow cooker is easy. Breaking down the elastin (which is the accordian-shaped lines you're thinking is fat) is much trickier. It requires a higher temperature and a longish time. If your slow-cooker was on low, it's probably about 72C, which isn't high enough to break down elastin.

Generally you're after one of two choices. Cook for a looooong time at a low temp (I've seen varying temperatures between 57C and 64C). By a long time I mean 24hrs plus, so sous-vide territory. The other option is a shorter time at a higher temperature, ideally around 80C. That's what you're achieving in the oven, and you should be able to get a similar effect using the medium or high setting on your slow cooker - 8 hours might be a bit long though.

Doesn't have to be so time consuming; use a pressure cooker. 1 hour with natural release should do it a treat.

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Brisket is difficult. If you get a good cut, it'll have plenty of fat in which will help keep it moist. A lot of brisket is painfully lean on the interior of the meat. It's also got a lot of two types of connective tissue in it, collagen and elastin. Breaking down the collagen in a slow cooker is easy. Breaking down the elastin (which is the accordian-shaped lines you're thinking is fat) is much trickier. It requires a higher temperature and a longish time. If your slow-cooker was on low, it's probably about 72C, which isn't high enough to break down elastin.

Generally you're after one of two choices. Cook for a looooong time at a low temp (I've seen varying temperatures between 57C and 64C). By a long time I mean 24hrs plus, so sous-vide territory. The other option is a shorter time at a higher temperature, ideally around 80C. That's what you're achieving in the oven, and you should be able to get a similar effect using the medium or high setting on your slow cooker - 8 hours might be a bit long though.

I've always found brisket to be a piece of piss in the oven, and when people said "ooh it's so much easier in a slow cooker, just put it on in the morning and forget about it" I fell for it! Good info on the elastin, I was thinking about putting that half back on overnight on low to see what happens but I guess that won't help much by the sounds of it. The two hours I threw it on medium to try it out did make a noticeable difference, but if I leave it on that any longer (bedtime!) I assume it'll burn after a few hours. I can see there's going to need to be a fair bit of experimentation here, the problems being everyone's machine is different so it's hard to gauge things from other's experience and the timescales are a lot longer, so I don't know if I can be arsed.

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Well, very true. Have to say I don't know anyone with a pressure cooker though - they're not terribly en vogue these days. And that's coming from me - I have a lot of odd kitchen equipment.

This is true, it isn't fashionable to use a pressure cooker. I guess they still have a stigma of being complicated to use and potentially dangerous!

But a modern day pressure cooker is reliable and safe and pretty easy to use. It has many advantages too -

  • cook in 1/3 third of the usual time (saving on gas/electricity but possibly more importantly time!)
  • make use of cheaper cuts of meat as the higher temperature will do wonders for the tougher cuts, beef shin, lamb neck etc..
  • pretty much sealed cooking environment locks in the taste. Pressure cooked meals will often require less seasoning. (something you will know about from your sous-vide setup).

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Got it! Very excited :D

So, say I was adapting something like this recipe for beef and guinness stew - layer the bottom of the slow cooker with the potatoes, celery and carrots, brown my beef in batches, then cook the onions in the beefy pan, deglaze that and lob the lot into the slow cooker for 8 hours on low? The only thing that worries me is that people earlier in the thread were saying the veggies might not cook - so whack it on high for an hour first?

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