Monday, June 6, 2016
we have f.i.n.a.l.l.y. joined the Slow Cooker Club
The Slow Cooker.
We wrestled with this purchase for a few winters. Many friends (my fellow Alphabet Souper, Sarah, among them) embraced the slower cooker many years before us. All sang it's praises and spoke of how it made work day dinner times go smoothly.
Well - last winter, we embraced the Slow Cooker. We went with a basic model, the thinking being that if the general style of meal worked for us, we could always upgrade, but if not...we had only spent $60 (or there abouts). And to be honest, last winter, apart from curries (which work really - really! - well in a slow cooker) we kind of didn't crack the slow-cooking-mojo. We just didn't seem to have any luck with the liquid balance, or found ourselves doing so much "pre" cooking/braising etc that it just didn't feel worth it. So, as the days got longer, and the temperatures warmer, the faithful Kambrook when back into the cupboard, without necessary cementing its place in our hearts.
Flash forward to four weeks ago, and as the (at times) brutal winter sports/school/work schedule kicked in...out came the Slow Coooker, and you know what....coming at it with fresh eyes, we seem to have cracked the nut (so to speak) - people, we have found our Slow Cooker groove!!
The key is trusting that the minimal liquid level are OK - this style of cooking retains alot of the cooking liquids, creating flavour, so you really have to trust not adding the liquid levels in that you might be used to (when letting recipes "reduce" to concentrate the flavour). We have found the greatest successes have been with Curries, Pumpkin Soup, Chicken Stew and Spag Bol. But something that really (really!) works in the slow cooker is Shredded Beef. Total Winner!
In fact - I now declare this week at Alphabet Soup - Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Week.
This week, we will have recipes that use this all round winning recipe.