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Monday, 3 October 2011

The Slow Cooker

I have always used a slow cooker, (even my Nan had one of the first electric crockpots available) especially in the autumn/winter months with me being at work full time it means that we can have a nice hot meal within half an hour of me being home (half an hour to steam the potatoes) as I invariably serve mash as an accompaniment and to soak all the juicey gravy up with a side helping of bread.  However, I have had my eyes open a tad by doing a little research.  The aim of which is to use the cheapest form of power to still get a nice hot meal and a little more besides.  To tell the truth I had not before now thought of using the slow cooker to make my stock  [I just hadn't twigged]  This will be far cheaper running the stock through the slow cooker on the low setting for a little while rather than on the gas hob.(I have three different sized cookers).  You can also use it to keep food warm whilst I was waiting for something to cook.  You can apparently also make soap, fruit butters, lemon curd, play dough.  I think I am going to investigate more.

I have the "slow cooker stockpot on the bubble" as we speak so should have some nice stock to make some carrot and coriander soup for the freezer.  I also saw Valentine Warner on The Good Food Channel this evening who made a beetroot soup that had apple and parsnip in which I would very much like to try as home made soups have so much more flavour and I am very fond of soup as it is a meal in itself.


How do you use your slow cooker - or do you have a favourite recipe that you would like to share?  Would love to hear as I like to get the most out of any gadget I have.

I look forward to your comments

Nighty night until tomorrow

Pattypan

x
And with thanks to Rose H for the link to this website: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

16 comments:

  1. I used to have a slow cooker ....3 infact ...mainly used them for stews of every discription and pasta sauces, when I was a working mum. I also did pot roasts of briskit, a spicy rice dish and suet puddings ...not forgetting cooking Xmas pud with no worries of a pan boiling dry if distracted. Infact I often cooked them during the day when I was out. Alas the off spring became 'slow cookered out' and after nearly 15 years of them, begged I got rid of them.Eventually I did and dont miss them now I'm an oap at home BUT I do at Xmas time when a pudding needs to be cooked.xx

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  2. whilst on holiday this weekend i came across a slow cooker recipe book, which of course being a recipe bookaholic i had to buy (and one on pasta) it has heaps of soups and desserts and meat dishes etc. one im keen to try is ancona trippa, a tripe recipe done with garlic baconbones tomato paste carrot celery and lemon. as ive tried plain tripe and thought it needed a good kick of flavour im keen to try this one. another is a blackberry and apple betty, sounds nice esp the whipped cream added at the end.

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  3. I need to make a lot more use of my slow cooker this winter, since my children left home I've pretty much forgotten I have one! They are good for making stock though and I used to make rice puddings in it as well. With electricity prices going up so much it will be much more economical to make casseroles etc in the slow cooker so I must get my act together and start using it.

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  4. If we have roast chicken on a Sunday, I strip all the meat and leave the carcase [plus carrot, celery, onion, few peppercorns & water] overnight and that is a stock for Monday's soup.
    Tonight we are eating "Elvis Ham" - a gammon joint, covered with a bottle of REAL cola [NOT diet] again cooked overnight. It has a great flavour. Apparently EP loved this recipe.
    I have yet to try making yogurt in mine. Thats on my list!


    blessings x

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  5. I don't use my slow cooker enough! It's an original Tower one that Mom and Dad bought us as an engagement present - we've been married 33 years! I usually start using it again during the winter months for stews. I can recommend making caramelised onions in one :o)

    Sliced onions mixed with some oil, butter and some sugar works very well. Slowly caramelise them over several hours until they're the colour you want. Stir every hour or two.
    Tastes and smells wonderful :o)

    Have a look on here too Trishia, all the recipes for a crock pot you'll ever need!

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  6. using mine today leftover beef from sunday with homegrown squash carrot potato and pearl barley(shop bought) cant wait.

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  7. Angie, sorry you don't have a slow cooker for the Christmas pudding - I hadn't thought of doing the Christmas pud in - I have an old fashioned metal steamer that I use for that. But thanks for the idea on that one - I might give it a whirl
    Take care

    Pattypan
    x

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  8. Brendie

    The Apple and Blackberry Betty sounds nice. But not the tripe - I have memories of my mum cooking tripe in onion sauce. Sauce was lovely but the whole family hated the tripe - sorry - just not our thing! Each to their own though. Hope you are keeping well.

    Pattypan

    x

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  9. Hi Rowan

    We have to pay for the electric and gas on a card meter at the moment and I am always keen to try and reduce the costs i.e. not put the gas cooker on unless I really have to etc. I use it a lot come the winter months, but I have learned some different ways of using it from browsing the internet. Hope you are keeping well and nice to see you posting again. Hugs

    Pattypan

    x

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  10. Hi Angela

    Thats what I did last night as we can usually get two to three meals out of a chicken depending on the size. I like the sound of the ham in coca cola. We are rather partial to cooked ham in this household. Will post preserved ginger recipe soon.

    Take care

    Pattypan

    x

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  11. Hi Rose H

    The Tower slow cooker is the one my Nan had. They are really good for getting a warm dinner quickly int eh winter months. I like the sound of the caramelised onions too. Rose did you mean to give me a website address as there wasn't one in your post. Would be pleased to receive it.

    Hugs

    Pattypan

    x

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  12. Hi Caroline

    That sounds lovely I love beef, and squash etc and don't like to waste anything at all.

    I like using pearl barley too [my grandmother's next door neighbour was called pearl barley!]

    Take care and thanks for posting

    Pattypan

    xx

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  13. Doh! Sorry, I'm such an eejit!
    :o( Here it is...
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
    More recipes than you can shake a stick at!
    Rose H

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  14. I use my slow cooker to make stock, adding onion, carrot and celery, plus a bay leaf or two and 3 whole cloves. I also add (when I remember) a teaspoon of white vinegar to leach more calcium out of the bones. I adore pearl barley too, and such a nice lady! ;-) We make huge amounts of bolognaise sauce, curry, stews, bacon and tomato lentils, bacon and tomato pasta sauce, chilli etc too, in the s.c. and freeze it in family sized portions.

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  15. Rose H

    Thank you sweetheart and no you are no an eejit - that's me and you are just being you. Just got in and it is now peeing down with rain so off to have a look at the bloggie spot.

    Take care honey and thank you once again

    Pattypan

    x
    xx

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  16. Hi Attila and welcome to my blog. Thank you for the tip about the white vinegar - I did not know that and will try it with the next batch of stock as after all we have to get all of the goodness out of what we do. Hope to see more of you

    Take care

    Pattypan

    x

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