Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Collection: Crock Pot!

I've had this Slow Cooker squashed up next to Rob's crates and crates and crates of vinyl in our dusty old basement since the Christmas before last and decided it was high time it saw some daylight. Anyway, as it turns out, I like it very much, it looks nice and it gives the kitchen a warm and cosy hum. Unfortunately, I'm not doing all that well with it. Mostly I'm using too much liquid and we have been eating 'chilli soup', 'lamb-shank dhansak soup' and 'smoked rib and yellow pea soup' this week. Also my attempts to make overnight yogurt have so far failed, first time it didn't set, the next time I scorched it and it set beautifully but tasted like burnt cheese.
By coincidence I have been asked this week to go on GMTV and talk to Lorraine Kelly about the benefits of Slow Cooking (this Thursday, if you're watching) so I am determined to become an expert asap. Any tips, post them here.
In the meantime, here's a recipe from my friend Katie B's lovely book Slow Cooking. Now she is an expert so I'd rather you spent your ingredients on one of her dishes than risk them on one of mine. And if you are thinking of buying a Slow Cooker may I recommend you invest in a Cuisinart - it's more expensive than my Crock Pot but that cook and hold is worth every penny.

Katie's Slow Cooker Chinese Red Braised Beef
Serves 4 - 6
1.5kg brisket joint
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
150ml light soy sauce
100ml dry sherry
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp shredded fresh root ginger
1/2 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
pred rind of 1 orange
150ml cold water

Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker dish and mix well.

Cover with the lid and cook on low form 8 hours, or up to 12 hours, until the meat is meltingly tender.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker dish and carve into thick slices. Dizzle with the sauce and serve with noodles and steamed green vegetables.


dulwichmum said...

Oh sweetie, I received a slow cooker for Christmas, and as a result I fear that we may require the services of a marriage guidance counsellor. I have made a super lamb stew - well actually our housekeeper made it, and she ate it to actually, with the children, clearly. You don't honestly see me eating a stew do you? OHMYGOD!!!

BLTP said...

At college my mate had one and for some reason we decided to cook pike in white wine in it. The canned white wasn't a hit!

DivineMrsM said...

Wow - that recipe sounds fab. I just have to get to Hoo Hing to replenish my Sesame Oil stocks.

My slow cooker (bought with Nectar points from Argos) has been used but once in the last year so I think your friend's recipe might be just the thing to bring it out of the cupboard.

Thanks Silvana :-)

Silvana said...

Oh dear BLTP, fish is not good in a slow cooker and neither is too much wine - the alcohol doesn't cook off in the same way so it says rather pungent.

DM - you and stew, no I just don't see it. Could always use it for pickling your onions though.

MrsM - give it a go, I can't leave mine alone. I don't know Hoo Hing, where is it?

Fiona Beckett said...

This recipe sounds fab Silvana but surprised it doesn't contain more liquid. My slow cooker instruction book (I've got a Morphy Richards) says you have to cover the meat which is presumably why your meals are awash with excess sauce.

The dish I've found works best in it - and I haven't tried that many, I must confess - is poached chicken with vegetables. You get fabulous moist meat and a chicken stock to die for.

rach said...

We had slightly alcoholic chicken and root vegetable stew/soup for tea last night - I think I might be leaving off the lid for the last bit of cooking next time!

Will give the Chinese red braised beef a go though - sounds delicious.

DivineMrsM said...

Hey Silvana,

We had the beef tonight. It was nice, but a little dry and a little bitter (some thick sweet soy helped out there on serving). I think it was because my slow cooker is ginormous so the liquid only came about an inch up the meat (which was about 5 inches tall in the pan).

I suspect these slow cook recipes need a bit of food science sense when it comes to quantities of liquid.

Hoo Hing is our nearest Chinese cash and carry and has the most fantastic ingredients for sale including fresh live razor clams. It's in Mitcham. I hear good things about the scuzzy looking café within its confines too, but have yet to check it out.

Give me a shout if you fancy a recce one day.


BTW - I want your friend's slow cooking book. I see it has a duck confit recipe - my fave! Off to Amazon I go....

Silvana said...

Dear Divine Mrs M. Sorry to hear your were disappointed with the recipe - I shall be having words with that Katie!