Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Toys: Slow Cooker

Combining the week-long reading of slow cooker recipes on and browsing online for holiday gifts, I decided to treat myself to a slow cooker on sale at Target. All the recipes filling my subconscious made it seem like the perfect tool for hearty meals on those cold nights.  An easy recipe that caught my eye right away was the Peppered Beef Shank in Red Wine.  I followed the recipe for the most part, but I didn't get the actual beef crosscut shank and replaced it with a beef brisket cut-- which was probably a bad idea since I felt my final product was a bit tough despite the 8 hours of cooking time.  But overall, the flavor was great and it was a satisfying meal -- it also made my apartment smell fantastic and it was nice coming home to a hot meal without worrying about a fire hazard.

The only gripe about the slow cooker was that I was expecting a one step cooking tool but in actuality you'll need another pot to sear the meat and reduce the red wine sauce, at least for recipes that require searing meat or sauteing veggies.  I was annoyed by how many dishes I ended up washing.  But after realizing this, I decided to cook a similar stew with my left over prime rib from my Christmas dinner feast.  I took out a large pot and sauteed a large yellow onion with a few chopped carrots.  After sweating the onions, I added some chopped garlic, a bay leaf, some left over red wine and 1 qrt of beef stock.  I turned on my slow cooker and added my (already cooked) prime rib left overs, then poured the reduced stock over it.  I popped in two sprigs of rosemary and 8 hours later, voila!

I only used ingredients that I had in my fridge, so adding celery and potatoes would be a great addition.  The beef was so tender and melted off the bone.  I also toasted some sourdough bread to soak up the rich broth.

I also got a dutch oven as a gift and can't wait to use it and see how it differs from a slow cooker.  But until I take it out of its box, here's a list of other slow-cooker recipes I'll be trying very soon!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE my slow cooker.

    A slow cooker is great for Chana Masala and a couple other Indian Dishes. Now that I am back on the (occasional meat) omnivore wagon, we'll have to compare recipes.

    Apparently chicken is easy in a slow cooker. It's really tender and doesn't require pre-cooking. Which is awesome, because cooking chicken has for some reason always given me pause.