Thursday, 15 March 2012

Slow cooker for idiots guide Part 1!

Okay, I almost threw my slow cooker out the other week. I've been so disappointed by soggy vegetables, lack of taste, dry meat, blah blah. I searched everywhere for recipes, but nobody was answering the idiot questions I had. All I got was 'oh, just chuck it all in and turn it on'. When people are confident about something, they tend to forget that it's never that easy when you've never done it before. You need hand holding the whole way.

Well, I've finally, and oh-so-slowly (as I hate to be beaten), found I am maybe having a change of heart. So, thinking that I can't be the only one of the 7 billion or so people on the planet who is confused by a slow cooker, I thought I'd occasionally let you know what success I've had and what stupid questions I had that I've stumbled through.

We enjoyed a fab roast beef meal this week. I was given one cracking piece of advice - always brown your meat first. This gem (probably obvious to everyone else but a complete godsend to me) came from the wonderful Tamsyn at She is fab - taking the time a while back to email a recipe that got me feeling I could maybe possibly learn to slightly like my slow cooker. Her site is well worth a browse, so do take a peek... she offers lovely craft workshops in Somerset. But, back to the point... So I browned the joint.

Meanwhile, I chopped up one onion (small chunks), five carrots (large chunks) and half a swede (small chunks) and popped it as a mix into the bottom of the slow cooker (which I'd put on to low. I peeled and added quite a few potatoes, having halved them first. I then sprinkled over salt and pepper and gave it a stir.

I popped the meat on top (leaving the string around the joint in the hopes it might get tender enough to fall apart), added a glass of water - that's all - and put the lid on. I left it for 8 hours.

It was delicious. I have to say, I think this was too long - six hours next time. But the meat was tender, the vegetables crumbly, but tasty. And everyone loved it. Success!

I'll post another idiot's guide next time I succeed in making something in it.


Madison said...

That looks yummy! I've never got on with my slow cooker either. I just don't get it. Will be watching out for part 2 to see what you come up with. You may persuade me to give it another go.

Madison xxx

xx Nicki (home bird)xx said...

Really glad you posted this because I bought a slow cooker recently and have only used it once! I thought I'd use it more but you're right, when you ask people what to do they just say 'oh! chuck it all in!' grrr! Thanks, I'll give your recipe a try!

Nicki x

Bee said...

I am so glad you tried again, I LOVE MY SLOW COOKER!!! I use it at least twice a week, I tried a new recipe recently called Lamb Daub, look on, I use neck of lamb as it's cheaper, I don't like prunes so was unsure about doing it but it's a fav in our house hold.


aline said...

Thank you, I am a bit dense with the slow cooker too and the step by step guide is good.