Slow Cooker Sunday: Oxtail Soup

You should have seen my face!  I ‘was’ a vegetarian for nearly 20 years.  I now enjoy a good steak and don’t mind handling meat.  However, a South African friend shared a Slow Cooker Oxtail recipe and she even pointed me in the direction of a local South African butcher.

My husband loves Oxtail soup but we normally buy it in a tin.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the look on my face when the Butcher walked out of the fridge carrying a 3 foot long tail must have said it all.

If I’m honest, I was a bit squeamish handling it but got over it in the end and it was worth it as the soup was absolutely gorgeous.  So gorgeous that we had it two nights in a row.

Slow Cooker Sunday: Oxtail Soup

Recipe Type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: South African
Author: Mediocre Mum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 1 tin [url href=”” target=”_blank” title=”Butter Beans”]butterbeans[/url]
  • 1.5kg (3 pounds) oxtail, segmented with fat trimmed (ask local butcher to do this for you)
  • flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 3 onions peeled and chopped
  • 4 – 6 carrots – peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
  • 60ml (4 tablespoons) tomato purée
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) dried thyme (optional)
  • 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) teaspoon dried sweet basil (optional)
  • 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Dust the oxtail in seasoned flour, brown on all sides and transfer to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, wine, tomato puree and stock.
  3. Add the sugar to the tomato mixture to neutralise the acidity.
  4. Rinse the beans thoroughly under running water and add to the meat.
  5. Add the herbs if desired.
  6. Cover and cook on low for a minimum of 6 hours until meat falls off bone. (Note: I found that the meat didn’t fall off the bone so I fished it out of the slow cooker, scraped it and returned the meat to the dish.)
  7. Remove excess fat
  8. Serve with rice, mash potatoes, polenta, fresh bead.
  9. It also tastes delicious if left overnight and reheated the following day


As always I’m on the hunt for some new recipes to try out.  Do you have any you would like to share?

And if you need extra inspiration, don’t forget to check out our Pinterest Board, with over a hundred recipes.

Google+ fans, we also have a Community ‘All Things Slow Cooking’ feel free to join in.

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Slow Cooker Sunday: Mince and Macaroni Soup

Bit of a laugh yesterday, the team from Netmums sent around a film crew.  They’re starting a parenting channel on youtube and would like to highlight food for all the family.  They asked if I could knock up a few Slow Cooker recipes that kids would eat.  In the end, I did Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs, Mince and Macaroni Soup, Sausages with Chutney Gravy and a Banana Bread.  It was really food fun.

I do public speaking everyday and am a fairly confident character and genuinely thought I’d be comfortable in front of the camera but I wasn’t.  Once I see the final version, if it’s not to cringe worthy I’ll pass on the link.

I wasn’t going to post a recipe yet, but, the cooking marathon has resulted in a huge amount of food in the house.  We went sledging today and it was so nice to come home to some hearty soup that helped us unthaw!  So, I thought I’d share it.


Slow Cooker Sunday: Mince and Macaroni Soup

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Slow Cooking
Author: Mediocre Mum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
A hearty soup that is perfect for a cold winters night!
  • 1TBSP of oil
  • 400g of minced beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 450ml of beef stock or water
  • 1 500g carton of passata
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP of soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of dried Italian herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 200g of uncooked macaroni
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Brown the mince for approx 5 minutes, add the onion and garlic, sauté for a further 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the stock, passata, tomatoes, soy sauce, dried herbs, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  3. Fifteen minutes prior to serving cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions. Stir into the soup. Ladle into large bowls and serve with crusty bread.


This is the perfect weather for slow cooking.  So what have you been cooking?  Do add your recipes to the link below.

I will also be adding your recipes to our Pinterest board which is growing rapidly.

Enjoy the snow!

Slow Cooker Sunday: Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

This isn’t the normal type of meal I would cook.  I tend to lean toward fresh ingredients but I do love a cheat sometimes.   A while back I was in Ikea and got caught up in the moment and bought a 1kg bag of their frozen meatballs.  They’ve been clogging up my freezer ever since.

Last week I came across this very simple recipe from Six Sister’s Stuff for Tangy Meatballs which only has 3 ingredients!  The only challenge I had was finding grape jelly here in the UK.  So, I substituted Reduced Sugar Black Currant Jam.

It may not sound appetizing but it was really nice and most importantly the 5 year old loved it.

Slow Cooker Sunday: Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

Recipe Type: Main
Author: Mediocre Mum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A very easy family recipe with only 3 ingredients.
  • 500g of Frozen Swedish Meatballs ( I think any pork or turkey would do)
  • 100ml of Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce (Blue Dragon)
  • 200g of Reduced Sugar Blackcurrant Jam
  1. Preheat the slow cooker on low. Add the Dipping Sauce and Jam to the Slow Cooker and mix well.
  2. Add the meatballs and stir to coat.
  3. Cook on low for 2-5 hours
  4. Serve with rice and greens.

How it’s your turn to share some of your favourite recipes using the Linky below.

You can also find us on Pinterest if you need some Slow Cooking recipe inspiration with over 90 recipes.

Slow Cooker Sunday: Boxing Day Hearty Vegetable Soup

I’ve eaten so much I won’t have to eat again till 2013!  We didn’t have a turkey this Christmas as we’re only a small family of 3, we opted for beef,  so luckily we aren’t dealing with the ridiculous amounts of left over bird.

However, on Boxing day we planned a day out, Geocaching and building forts and if I’m honest I couldn’t face more food so I thought I’d put on a hearty soup to come home to.

NOTE:  LENTILS NEED TO BE SOAKED THE NIGHT BEFORE!  The reason I put that in capitals is because I missed this step.  However, I managed to salvage dinner.  I put it all on and then noticed that they needed to be soaked.  I got around it by turning the slow cooker onto high and cooking for about 8 hours.  However, in future, I may by tinned lentils.


Slow Cooker Sunday: Boxing Day Hearty Vegetable Soup

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Soup
Author: Mediocre Mum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 TBSP of oil oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 50g of yellow lentils
  • 50g of green lentils
  • 50g of red lentils
  • 1 tin (400g) butter beans drained and rinsed
  • 80g pearl barley
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried Parsley
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions for about 3 minutes until soft.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker
  3. Add lentils, butter beans, barley, carrots, potatoes, parsnip, stock and season with salt and pepper. Stir, cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Add a pinch of dried parsley, ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.


It was a lovely, thick hearty soup.

Do you have any recipes to share?

Slow Cooker Sunday: Eva’s Slow Cooker Mince Meat Pies

slow cooker mince piesI was inspired by @utterlyscrummy to have a go at making mince pies using my slow cooker.  I’ve never made mince pies in my life and I almost chickened out when I saw you can buy a box of them for a £1.  However, the end result was much better than I expected and we all had fun making them.

I roped in my neighbour ‘Eva’, an aficionado in the kitchen, to give me a hand.  We’re very different in the kitchen.  I tend to follow recipes like a science experiment but she just bungs everything in similar to the Muppet’s Swedish Chef.

However, this is the recipe we cobbled together in the end.

Makes:  12 Mince Pies



  • 1 tsp of Clementine Zest (approx ½ a Clementine)
  • 5 small dessert apples or 2 large cooking apples.  Cored and roughly chopped.  We used Royal Gala.
  • 2 Cardamon pods (Big Brown ones) cracked to release the flavour
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of mixed spice
  • 4 cloves
  • 500g of Dried Mixed Fruit
  • 1 TBSP of Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 TBSP of Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 125 of Apple Juice


  • 500g Dessert Pastry Block you could also use regular shortcut pastry.


1.)  Throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, mix well and cover and cook overnight.  Approx 10-12 hours.
2.)  Roll out the pastry block on a lightly floured surface until it is 2-3mm in thickness.  Try not to handle the pastry too much or it becomes tough.  Use a fluted edge cutter to make the bases.  It should be a 2-3 cm bigger in diameter than the openings in the muffin tins.  Gentle encourage them in.flutedcutter
3.) Fill the bases about 2/3 full of the filling.

4.) We used a selection of star cutters to make our tops.


5.) Pop in the oven for 20 minutes at 160 degrees.


6.) Remove from tin while still warm and place on a cooling rack.

7.) Use a sifter to sprinkle icing sugar on top.

Mince Pies

They tasted so much better than store bought ones!  Enjoy!

Will you be using your Slow Cooker over the holidays?  Pop your recipes below.

Don’t forget we’re also on Pinterest with over 80 Slow Cooker Recipes to inspire you.

Merry Christmas and All the best in 2013!