Low and slow – easy but delicious slow-cooker and slow-roast recipes
Just in case you haven’t been outside and missed the memo – it’s officially winter, which means two things – mulled wine and soul-warming comfort food. Meat roasted low and slow until it pulls apart with just a nudge, mountains of creamy mashed potato, pasta bakes aplenty and curries, so many curries! Winter food is one of the true joys of the season and when it comes to comfort cooking, the slow cooker is everybody’s best friend. The set-and-forget nature of it means that with just a little prep in the morning you can come home to a cockle-warming feast and best of all, there’s only one pot to clean! If you’re keen to up the ante on your slow-cooking game, we’ve found five hearty, winter dishes that will bring you copious amounts of joy. Don’t have a slow cooker? Fret not, friend – we’ve also included a ridiculously tasty slow-roast recipe you can whack in the oven.
Slow-cooked braised beef ribs with parmesan and cauliflower
For our first recipe, it had to be a quintessential winter dish and folks, it doesn’t get much more quintessential than melt-in-your-mouth ribs with creamy cauliflower. It’s hearty, heavy and holy heck it’s delicious. For this recipe, you’ll need to brown the meat for two to three minutes before transferring to the slow cooker. Next, add some speck to the frying pan for a little added hit of flavour alongside garlic, flour and tomato paste. Slowly add a cup and a half of red wine (it would be a shame to waste the rest of the bottle) and stir until smooth. Add the liquid to the slow cooker with some stock, rosemary and bay leaves and cover for six hours. Whilst we’re all for a cheeky shortcut, when it comes to ribs, it has to be low and slow to get that perfect pull-apart meat, so be patient.
Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with 40 cloves of garlic
Yes, you read right – 40 cloves of garlic! Ordinarily if a recipe calls for a couple of cloves we’ll add five because we’re recipe renegades, but we also believe that when it comes to garlic, it’s a case of the more the merrier. This recipe, however, is the exception and we’ll stick to the recommended amount. The other reason we love this dish is because it’s essentially happiness on a plate and is not only ridiculously easy but it’s ridiculously tasty and almost impossible to stuff up. Simply prep the lamb with garlic, rub with a little oil and salt and it’s ready to rock and roll. Place the meat on top of three sliced onions, add some stock, cover with foil and bung it in the oven for two hours. Baste the lamb with pan juices and pop it back in the oven until it’s literally falling off the bone. The lamb itself is delightfully rich so keep the sides simple like some lightly grilled broccolini.
Slow-cooker beer-braised Baja chicken tacos
When you think of slow-cooker recipes, tacos probably aren’t the first things to come to mind but these bad boys are bursting with so much flavour it would be a crime to only enjoy them for half of the year. Oh, did we mention they are cooked in beer? Another reason to love this recipe! The beer gives the chicken a slightly spicy, slightly sweet flavour that tingles your tastebuds and is a handy trick to have up your sleeve to impress dinner guests. You can use breast or thigh and pop it in the slow cooker along with cumin, oregano, chipotle peppers, four cloves of garlic, half a cup of lime juice, two-tablespoons of honey, salt and pepper. Pour the beer on top and cook on low for four to six hours. If you’re really keen to give your tastebuds a kick, get started on making the Baja sauce so when the chicken is ready to shred you can simply top and devour.
Image: No Spoon Necessary
Slow-cooker coconut quinoa curry
If you are after an easy meat-free recipe that is also super tasty, this is it. Whilst some curries are best served over quinoa, this one just goes ahead and throws it all in together so it’s literally a matter of adding some ingredients into a slow cooker, turning it on and off you go. Feel free to get a little creative with the veggies but this recipe uses sweet potato, broccoli, onion and chickpeas as the bulk of the dish. You can feel free to add or substitute squash, cauliflower, eggplant – whatever you want really, just try to keep the proportions the same. From there, add diced tomatoes, coconut milk and quinoa. Finally, the flavour bombs – chuck in some fresh garlic (see lamb recipe for our thoughts on garlic quantities), fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, tamari, miso and chilli flakes. Cook for four to six hours and viola! A delicious, healthy curry.
Image: Simply Quinoa
Slow-cooker French wine and mustard chicken
Offering a little change of pace, this recipe turns a French classic into an easy slow-cooker meal using white wine, creamy Dijon mustard, fresh herbs and parmesan cheese. You can throw in some kale for a little colour, or not, it’s up to you. Don’t have a slow cooker? You can also make this on the stovetop. The first step is to mix the creamy mustard sauce by combining dry white wine (again, wouldn’t want to waste the rest), milk, Dijon mustard (both smooth and grainy), shallots and garlic. Sear the chicken and chuck it in the slow cooker along with the sauce. Add a little knob of butter, cover and cook – it’s that easy! To serve, spoon over mashed potatoes or brown rice.
Image: Half Baked Harvest
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