If you’ve ever considered how a slow cooker might completely transform your life in the kitchen, imagine throwing a few frozen chicken breasts with a handful of choice spices, some olive oil, and a bevy of delicious root vegetables into a pot before leaving for work, then coming home eight hours later to the insatiable aroma of a home cooked meal without doing so much as mashing a plug into the wall the turning a knob.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the slow cooker.
The time of the one pot meal is now, and the slow cooker is the tool to take your low-maintenance food game to the next level. And while slow cookers been around since the 1970’s, only recently have they gained traction as a must have kitchen appliance – right up there with the likes of the toaster and the Kurig.
With these slow cooker recipes, you’ll be setting and forgetting in no time. If someone dares to try and call you a ‘lazy cook,’ remind them that slow cooking not only reduces your time in the kitchen, it saves water, electricity, and is all around better for the environment than traditional cooking methods.
That’ll teach ‘em.
Why don’t you start your slow cooker experience with this great lamb recipe?
Lamb with a touch of chocolate and ancho chiles
- 4 tomatoes, quartered
- 2 dried ancho chiles, seeds removed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled
- 400ml red wine
- ½ lamb shoulder, bone in (about 1¼kg)
- 50g dark chocolate, broken into squares
- 8 large potatoes
- Put the tomatoes, chiles, oregano, cumin, and garlic in a food processor with one-third of the wine, add 1 tsp salt and blitz until smooth.
- Put the lamb in the slow cooker pot.
- Pour over the chile mix, then add the rest of the wine with the chocolate, and whole potatoes.
- Cover and cook on low for 7 hrs until the lamb is really tender and the potatoes are still firm.
- To serve, remove the bones and skin from the lamb and pull the meat apart into large chunks.
- Chop the potatoes into chunks and skim the fat from the cooking juices.
- Serve the lamb, potato, and juices in bowls.
Try this other recipe too:
Super Tender Pork with Spices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion halved and sliced
- 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled
- thumb-sized piece shredded ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- ½ -1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 225ml apple cider vinegar
- 2kg boneless pork leg or shoulder
For the salad
- 3 carrots, shredded with a julienne peeler or coarsely grated
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- A handful fresh coriander
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
To serve: 12 warm tortillas
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
- Fry the onion, garlic and ginger for about 10 mins.
- Stir in the spices, pour in the vinegar and stir well.
- Tip into the slow cooker and add 1 tsp salt and pepper.
- Add the pork, turn in the mixture to coat it, then arrange it in the pot so it is rind-side down.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hrs.
- Meanwhile, make the salad.
- Mix the carrot with the onion, tomato, and coriander, then toss just before serving with the lemon juice and oil.
- Remove the rind and fat from the pork and skim all the fat from the juices, then shred the meat into the juices.
- To serve, put some meat and salad on one side of a tortilla.
Or this one:
Salmon With Broccoli And Mushrooms
- 1 to 2 pounds salmon fillets, skin left on
- Sliced lemon
- 1 cup of mushrooms
- Sliced aromatic vegetables, like fennel, onions, or celery
- 1 1/2 cups broth, and white wine
- Cut the salmon into pieces.
- Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle on any other spices you’re using and rub them in with your fingers.
- Place spices over the bottom of the slow cooker: Place a layer of lemon slices and spices on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add the mushrooms
- Place one layer of salmon in the slow cooker, skin-side down. Top with more slices of lemon and spices.
- Add another layer.
- Pour the broth and the white wine. If cooking one fillet, add enough liquid to just barely cover. If cooking two layers, add enough liquid to come partway up the side of the top fillet.
- Cook on LOW for 1 to 2 hours: The exact cooking time will vary based on your particular slow cooker, the number and thickness of your fillets, and how “done” you like your salmon. Check the salmon after an hour and continue checking every 20 minutes until it’s done. If you prefer fully cooked salmon, check it with a thermometer in the thickest part — the fish is done when it reaches 145°F.
- Remove from the slow cooker: Lift the salmon from the slow cooker carefully.
- Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
- You can store leftover salmon in an airtight container.
So the answer is yes! Cooking in a slow-cooker is a great idea!