slow cooker

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greenjay

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slow cooker
« on: January 05, 2021, 19:43 »
I was given a slow cooker for Christmas.so today I tried a chicken and veg soup. forgot to add salt during cooking. veg cooked fine but the stock wasn't so good, thin and rather tasteless (lack of salt).
what else can I try what would you recommend?

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New shoot

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Re: slow cooker
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 20:42 »
The main thing to remember is that you pretty much get out the liquid you added in.  The usual evaporation that happens in pan or oven cooking just doesn’t happen, so the initial mix needs to be dryer.

Slow cookers excel at things like chilli, stews, spag sauce and curry.  Anything that benefits from long simmering is even better in a slow cooker as any meat will get really tender and the sauce flavours will be intense. 

One useful one is to put the bones from a roast chicken in with a few veg and herbs, cover with water and slow cook it overnight.  You get wonderful chicken stock for almost no effort  :)

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Yorkie

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Re: slow cooker
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2021, 21:22 »
The usual advice is to sear the meat by frying it off before you put it in the cooker, to enhance the flavour.

However I didn't have the time to do so the other day, so I just bunged the beef into the cooker along with chopped veg, and then stirred about 3 tbsp of plain flour into the contents before I added the stock. It came out really nice and thick.  You can also stir in cornflour diluted in water to thicken it up towards the end as well.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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lettice

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Re: slow cooker
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2021, 10:15 »
Use a slow cooker at least once a fortnight, mostly for casseroles of sausage/bean diced pork, chicken legs/breast/thigh and stewing steak.
Have made yogurt and stock in it, but much prefer doing that on the stove.

Had the same one a Boots Swan slow cooker with a ceramic removable pot for about thirty years.
It still looks brand new, being a doddle to keep clean.

There are plenty of good books, ebooks and recipes online for slow cookers.

I never pre fry if doing a slow casserole type dish.
Put the slow cooker on for about 15 mins on High before adding the ingredients, then put on auto and leave it to do its stuff for about 5-8 hours.
Do give it a stir up before its last hour of cooking, but do it quick as you do not want the lid off too long.

If you want dumplings and I always make them for pork and stewing steak casseroles, you can make the dumplings as normal. Put them in the pot for the last hour rather than the 15 mins you would normally do with an oven casserole. Another method that works well is to put the pot uncovered pot under your grill for about 15 mins to cook the dumplings.

Always find my homemade stock makes a good thick sauce, just make the stock up to the level of your meat/veg I find produces the best results.
For stewing steak I make up a thick gravy with your favourite granules, say half a cup and add that along with the stock to the meat/veg level and its a lovely thick sauce.
I also add a few spoonful's of Waitrose cooking wine in casseroles as that can be poured straight in as its been dealcoholized and no pre cooking, which is required for normal wine you would add.
You could always add a bit of cornflour to just your sauce at the ned of cooking and mix it on a hob to thicken up a bit if you prefer.

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jaydig

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Re: slow cooker
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2021, 15:30 »
Casseroles are wonderful made in a slow cooker, but don't forget that the vegetables will also let down liquid while they are cooking. I usually add a slurry of cornflour and a little water to thicken the gravy about half an hour before it's finished cooking.  Rice pudding is also very good, as are steamed puddings and hams.
I read a tip a while ago about putting all the various ingredients for casseroles,' curries and the like together in bags in the freezer, and if you are going out to work or for a day out, just tip the contents of the bag into the slow cooker, switch on and - hey presto!! a hot meal awaits you on your return.

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wighty

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Re: slow cooker
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2021, 15:36 »
We always slow fry the onions first as we find sometimes they still remain a bit on the 'raw' side for our liking, otherwise love the slow cooker and use it frequently.  Our favourite is oxtail cooked in  port.

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greenjay

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Re: slow cooker
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2021, 20:47 »
Many thanks for your replies. I think that I put far too much stock in to begin.
Like most things trial and error



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