18 articles Articles posted in Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Pork Stacks

One of the things which has surprised me the most about using a slow cooker is that it isn’t all stews, soups and casseroles. Of course, I have made stews, soups and casseroles, but I’ve also made meatballs, cake, melt-in-the-mouth meat and even a ‘fakeaway‘ (which, to you and I, is basically a replica of a doner kebab!). Today, I’m doing something which is even more of a departure from what you’d expect of slow cooked fayre – pork stacks.

Here’s how you make slow cooker pork stacks:

Slow Cooker Pork Stacks
 
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Slow cooked pork stack with stuffing, apple, cheese and onion.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Pork steaks or chops (2 per person)
  • Stuffing, made up as per the instructions
  • 1 cooking apple, sliced into rounds
  • One onion, sliced
  • Cheddar cheese, 1 or 2 slices per stack
  • Tin foil for wrapping and making foil balls
Instructions
  1. (Before you begin, unless you have the type of slow cooker which can cook dry ingredients, it's wise to ball up some tin foil and place a cup of water in the bottom of your slow cooker, to prevent the pot from cracking which can sometimes happen with recipes with no moisture)
  2. Tear a square of tin foil off of the roll and place one pork steak in the centre
  3. Place a slice of apple on top of your steak
  4. Place a few rings of onion on top of the apple
  5. Place a couple of spoonfuls of stuffing mixture on top of the onions
  6. Top with a slice of cheese
  7. Place another pork steak on top and wrap the edges of the tin foil over to create a sealed parcel
  8. Repeat with the remaining ingredients
  9. Place the parcels in the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low
  10. Serve with mashed potato and veg of your choice

Because of the slow cooking, the meat is incredibly tender and the flavours of everything almost melt together. One pork stack is more than enough for one person and the girls shared one, which makes this a pretty cheap meal – even from Waitrose, the meat (which is the most expensive part of the recipe) was only £4 for a pack of six, which was enough to feed us four. It takes only a little bit of effort to make a really tasty meal, which is something I seem to find every time I try something new in the slow cooker.

To me, this is the perfect family meal – tasty, pretty well balanced and something that all of us really enjoy. What’s not to love about that?!

Slow Cooker Pork Stacks

Slow Cooker Lamb Shank (Agnello Brasato)

About three years ago, before BB was even a person, Husband, Sausage and I went to Strada for dinner after a shopping trip. Strada is a chain of restaurants which serves modern Italian cuisine and on this particular trip, I had something called Agnello Brasato, which was basically a lamb shank which had been slow cooked in a tomato and red wine sauce and served with creamy mash and broccoli. For ages, I’ve been craving the meal again, so I decided to try to recreate it myself, with lovely results (although, as usual, my food presentation and photography leaves a lot to be desired!).

Slow Cooker Lamb Shank in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce (Agnello Brasato)

Here’s how I made Slow Cooker Lamb Shank in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce (Agnello Brasato):

Slow Cooker Lamb Shank in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce (Agnello Brasato)
 
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Slow cooked lamb shank, stewed slowly in tomatoes, red wine and herbs.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 4 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 glass red wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • A pinch salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • About 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 150ml chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Brown each of your lamb shanks before placing in your slow cooker (this step is optional)
  2. In a pan, add the onions and garlic and fry until translucent
  3. Add the red wine, rosemary, thyme and stock and bring to the boil
  4. Add the salt and pepper and allow to simmer for 2 minutes and then pour over the lamb shanks in the slow cooker
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours or until lamb is falling off of the bone
  6. Serve with mashed potatoes and greens of your choice (we went for broccoli, but asparagus would also work well) and a few spoonfuls of the tomato stew

 

I can honestly say that this was just as nice (if not nicer!) than the one that I had a Strada all those years ago and definitely satisfied my cravings. The lamb came out so incredibly tender and the sauce was wonderfully rich and flavoursome. There was a load of sauce left in the pot after cooking and I froze it to use at a later date as a ragu to have with pasta. Let me know if you give this a go, I’d love to hear how yours turns out.

Slow Cooker Hunters Chicken and Ultimate Baked Potatoes

Slow Cooker Hunters Chicken and Ultimate Baked PotatoesAnother week, another slow cooker experiment! Today, we’re having slow cooker Hunters Chicken and I kinda devised the idea myself from a few other things I’ve seen on slow cooker forums and the like. Husband is still being really disciplined with what he eats and sugar is one of the main things that he’s trying to avoid, so instead of using a barbecue sauce from a bottle which is absolutely LADEN with sugar, I’m using the same recipe that Kate at WitWitWoo uses for her slow cooker pulled pork, but slightly modified for our tastes. As a sweetener, we use erythritol, which is granular like sugar and about 40% less sweet.

In terms of baked potatoes, I’m pretty fussy. The insides need to be super fluffy and soft, while the skins should be firm and crunchy so this method of cooking has been tried and tested over the last few years. I’m serving ours with sour cream and chives as it goes beautifully with both the chicken and the barbecue sauce.

Anyway, here’s the recipe and method for Slow Cooker Hunters Chicken and Ultimate Baked Potatoes:

5.0 from 3 reviews
Slow Cooker Hunters Chicken and Ultimate Baked Potatoes
 
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A slow-cooker, low-sugar version of Hunters Chicken.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the chicken:
  • 5 Chicken Breasts (or one per person)
  • 100g Cheddar Cheese
  • 14 rashers of streaky bacon
  • ___________________________________________________________
  • For the sauce:
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (I subbed this with 10 teaspoons of Soy Sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ___________________________________________________________
  • For the potatoes:
  • One baking potato per person
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Slice the cheese, allowing one large slice per chicken breast
  2. Slice each chicken breast lengthways, almost all the way through, creating a flap
  3. Place the cheese inside the flap and close
  4. Wrap 3 rashers of streaky bacon around each chicken breast, fairly firmly
  5. Place in the bottom of the slow cooker
  6. In a saucepan, add all of the sauce ingredients and stir whilst bringing to a simmer
  7. Once the sauce has started to simmer, give it a good stir and pour over the chicken breasts
  8. Cook on low for 2-3 hours
  9. Place your baking potatoes in a mixing bowl
  10. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes
  11. Give the oily potatoes a healthy sprinkle of salt
  12. Get your hands in the bolw and rub the oil and salt all over the skin of the potatoes
  13. Place in an oven at around 120°C (about gas mark 1 or 2)
  14. Cook for about 2-3 hours or until you're ready to serve

 

Here’s the finished result, although I took the photo before I put the sour cream and corn on the cob on the plate, hence it looking a little plain!

Slow Cooked Hunters Chicken and Ultimate Baked Potatoq

Slow Cooker Creamy Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms & Bacon

 photo 20160213_131317_HDR_zps6y4d4xt3.jpg

We’re off out to a party for my friend’s 40th birthday this evening and we had a whole bunch of stuff in the fridge, including some chicken breasts, which needed eating by today, so I decided to try this little concoction of the various different things! I don’t know about you, but I hate going on a night out feeling bloated and full, so on the rare occasion that I go, we tend to eat our main meal at lunch time, so I’ve chucked all of this in the slow cooker at 9am, to be ready for around 1pm.

Here’s how I did it:

Slow Cooker Creamy Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Bacon
 
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Slow cooked chicken in a creamy garlic sauce with mushrooms and bacon, perfect served with pasta or potatoes.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500g chicken breast
  • Mushrooms (around half a punnet)
  • One pack of unsmoked bacon lardons
  • One tub of Philadelphia (or other cream cheese)
  • Garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker
  2. Chop the mushrooms into quarters and layer on top of the chicken
  3. Brown the lardons in a pan until lightly golden then place in the slow cooker
  4. Sprinkle garlic powder over the chicken, bacon and mushrooms, a little or a lot depending on your taste (we like a lot!)
  5. Gently spread the cream cheese across the top of the rest of the ingredients
  6. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours
  7. Serve with pasta or potatoes of your choice

 photo Slow Cooker Creamy Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Bacon_zps7ezg4sgm.png

Given the fact that this was basically just a “chuck it all in and hope for the best” recipe, it actually came out really well and was stupidly easy to make. The girls absolutely loved it (Sausage said “Mum, is this your secret sauce because it is DELICIOUS!”) and it’s definitely one that will make it into our regular rotation. We had ours with pasta as it was the quickest option for today, but it would also go really nicely with new potatoes or even mash and possbily some broccoli or asparagus on the side.

Slow Cooker Lava Cake

I have to say it: I am becoming a slow-cooker obsessive. Since Husband bought a Crock Potfor me about a month ago, I’ve cooked about a dozen meals in it, getting slightly more adventurous each time. Last night, I tried making dessert in it for the first time and I was so impressed with how easy it was and how well it turned out that I thought I’d share it with you. Behold, the LAVA CAKE!

slow cooker lava cake

What this picture is not showing you is that although it looks like a humble sponge cake, there is actually molten goodness inside (hence lava cake…), like a low-effort chocolate fondant, if you will. But, I cannot stress how easy this is to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 package of chocolate sponge mix (we used Betty Crocker as it was all they had in the Co-Op at 4pm on a Saturday) plus the wet ingredients stated on the box (I think it’s eggs, oil and water)

1 package of Angel Delight (we used butterscotch and it worked SO well!) plus 300ml milk

Chocolate chips or chunks (I used a bag of milk and a bag of white chocolate chunks)

  • Grease your slow cooker with a little oil spray or butter
  • Mix up your cake batter and pour it into the slow cooker
  • Mix up your Angel Delight, leave to thicken for 5 minutes and then pour directly on top of your cake batter in the slow cooker
  • Sprinkle you chocolate chips evenly over the top of the mixtures
  • Cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Serve with custard or ice cream and try not to make inappropriately lustful noises whilst eating.

It really is as simple as “chuck it all in and wait”, which is my favourite type of dessert. We got 6 massive portions out of ours, or 8 reasonable portions, and although it may not be the best looking dish once it’s served up, I’d be more than happy serving it to guests as it’s so damn tasty! I’m going to experiment with different flavours too; I’m thinking vanilla sponge and strawberry Angel Delight next time!

Have you made this before? What flavours did you use? Leave me a comment below!

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Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs (recipe)

Just after Christmas, Husband bought me a slow cooker. I’ve been wanting one for absolutely ages, so I was super thrilled, especially as be bought me one which is 6.5l, meaning I can cook large meals and freeze some or feed a lot of people at once. I’ve been perusing various slow cooker groups on Facebook and found lots of recipes that I wanted to try, with slow cooker meatballs being one of the main ones, but a lot of the recipes I found have been American ones with ingredients that aren’t that common here in the UK, so I thought I’d modify the recipes and come up with my own! Bear in mind that this recipe makes 32-33 pretty large meatballs (I managed 5 and I have a HUGE appetite!) so you could easily halve the recipe if you’re cooking for few people or make the full batch and freeze what you don’t use.

Slow Cooker Meatballs

Slow Cooker Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs
 
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These slow-cooked meatballs are full of flavour and oozy, melted mozzarella!
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 32 meatballs
Ingredients
  • 750g beef mince
  • 300g pork sausage meat
  • 2 balls of mozzarella
  • 2 slices of bread, blended to make breadcrumbs (I used the knobbies from a loaf)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • basil
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • pepper
  • 2 jars of your favourite 800g tomato-based pasta sauce (or your own home-made sauce, whichever you have time for)
  • Pasta of your choice to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the mince and sausage meat into a large bowl and start to combine using your hands (you might want to remove your rings at this point!)
  2. Add in the breadcrumbs and eggs and continue to mash it all together with your hands, adding in about a teaspoon of each herb as you go (more or less, depending on your tastes)
  3. Squeeze your mozzarella inside a clean tea towel to remove any excess moisture and chop into cubes around half an inch square
  4. Take a dollop of your well-combined mixture and make a patty about the size of your palm and 1cm deep
  5. Place a square of mozzarella in the middle of the patty and bring the edges in, squashing the meat together to form the ball.
  6. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to help the balls retain their shape
  7. If you want to eat at around 6pm, I'd recommend starting to cook them at 2pm
  8. Place a layer of meatballs in the bottom of your slow cooker and cover in the first jar of sauce.
  9. Add another layer of meatballs and add the next jar of sauce. I dont recommend stirring at this point because you risk damaging the meatballs, but gently using a spoon you can distribute the sauce evenly to make sure everything is covered. There's no need to brown them first.
  10. Cook on LOW for 4 hours
  11. Once you're ready to serve, you may find a layer of fat which has come from the cooking meat and cheese and I just skimmed this off with a spoon before serving.

Without withing to sound SUPER arrogant, these meatballs were AMAZING! Husband declared it the best thing I’ve cooked in the slow cooker to date and the kids absolutely wolfed it down. Husband and I even had a midnight snack of meatball subs made from the leftovers (DON’T JUDGE US!!), and I’d totally recommend that as an alternative serving suggestion to pasta. If you shop around and find good deals, this is a relatively cheap meal given the yield and you can season the meatballs exactly to your tastes, which is handy if you’ve got fussy eaters – Husband has requested jalapenos in his ones next time I make them!

Let me know if you use my recipe to give these a go and how they turn out, I’d love to hear about it and see your pictures.

Lori’s Authentic Southern Chili

chiliOne of the good things about following a low GI diet is that, much to my delight, unprocessed meat is all zero on the Glycemic Index, which means that I can pretty much fill my boots up without worrying about my blood sugar. Obviously, there are two caveats to that – firstly, I still have to be careful about what I eat the meat with, and secondly I like to ensure that the meat I’m eating is of a high quality. Husband and I don’t buy our meat from the supermarket, where it’s usually from questionable sources and pumped full of water, opting instead for Country Valley Online Butchers, which sources its’ products from high-quality British farms.

One of my favourite dinners of all time is the chili recipe that my mother-in-law Lori gave me; Lori’s from Arkansas, so her chili is not like any other I’ve ever eaten and is probably the most authentic chili that I’ve ever had. She’s kindly given me permission to share the recipe with you here, so that more people can enjoy her fabulous creation!

Lori's Authentic Southern Chili
 
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This chili is one of my favourite dinners of all time.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2lb lean beef mince
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 2 tbsps chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chopped jalapenos
  • tomato paste, to thicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place the olive oil in a saucepan and heat
  2. Add the mince and chopped onion to the pan and cook until browned
  3. Add the peppers and cook until softened
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and pinto beans and mix well
  5. Add the chili powder, garlic powder and jalapenos and mix well
  6. Allow everything to simmer on a very low heat for at least an hour
  7. Add the tomato paste to thicken until desired consistency is achieved
  8. Serve with brown rice or side dish of choice
Nutrition Information
Calories: 237 Fat: 12g Carbohydrates: 10g Sugar: 3g Protein: 22g

I checked the Glycemic Index of everything in the recipe and it all comes in under 45, which is considered to be low GI, which means this is the perfect low GI meal. Obviously, the fat content of minced beef can be on the high side, but if you choose the leanest beef mince, it should bring down the fat content. We’d usually eat this with cornbread, but as cornmeal has a GI of 68, we’ve replaced it with brown rice, which comes it at 55.

If you do happen to use this recipe, come back and let me know; I’d love to know what you thought of my fave dinner!

Mum’s the Word Does Cookery – Lamb Stew Recipe

Yesterday, after a series of tweets from @welshmumwales, who blogs over at Welsh Mum, talking about her disappointment with her first attempt at using her slow cooker, I found myself sharing a recipe with her, that I’m sure loads of you would love. This recipe was taught to me by my Mother-in-Law, who was in turn taught by her Mum, and I’m sure she probably learned to cook it from her own mother, so this recipe goes back many generations and is a real favourite in our family.

Do bear in mind that the quantities I’m giving are for a stew pot that holds SIX litres, so you’ll need to adjust the amounts depending on the size of your pot or slow cooker. When using either a slow cooker or a pot on the hob, I’d advise letting this cook on low for at least 6-7 hours, though the longer you cook it the better.

Ingredients:

  • Neck of Lamb (fillet) ( I usually buy £10 worth), ask the butcher to dice it for you
  • One large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veg (avoid mixes with broccoli in, as it turns to floating green mush. Also, mixes with red pepper and sweetcorn in dont work so well either)
  • 1kg white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Matthesons Smoked Sausage
  • 2 x stock cubes
  • 2 x oxo cubes
  • 2 x cans of vegetable or lentil soup
  • water
  • flour, margarine and water for dumplings, or a dumpling mix
  1. Start by browning your lamb in your stew pot or pan. Once all of the meat is browned, fill the pot about 2/3 full with cold water. Return to the hob and  add the stock cubes and oxo.
  2. Add the diced potatoes, sliced carrots, frozen veg, smoked sausage and cans of soup. Mix well and put a lid on the pot.
  3. Cook for 6-8 hours, stirring intermittently. If you’re using a slow cooker, you may need to add more liquid so that it doesn’t dry out.
  4. If you want to add dumplings, wait until 30 minutes before you want to eat, bring the stew to a fast simmer and add the dumplings. Cook for at least 30 minutes.

Dumpling method:

  1. Add equal measures of flour and margarine to a bowl and, using your fingers, bring together to a crumb texture.
  2. Add a little water at a time, until the mixture comes together and will form solid balls. You don’t want it to be too sticky.
  3. Using floured hands, make equal sized balls from the mixture and lower into the stew with a ladle.
  4. Cook for around 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

And that’s it, it’s as simple at that. It’s a super tasty stew and will make 10 generous portions with the quantities given. It freezes nicely, too. If you want, you can omit the smoked sausage during the first stage of cooking, and add it the next day when you’re eating the leftovers.

If you have any recipes you’d like to share I’d love to hear them, I’m always looking for cheap and easy ways to feed my family and would love to broaden our food horizons by trying some things that don’t usually make it onto our plates.

Also, if you make a Mum’s the Word stew for yourself, do let me know how it turns out!