Since we’ve started using our Slow Cooker regularly we find that we are having way less Take Aways than we used to. Back in the day, by the time I got home from work, collected my daughter from childcare, bathed her and got her into bed. It was getting late and I couldn’t be bothered starting to cook, so we’d find ourselves whipping around the corner to McDonald’s or ordering in.
Last week I was inspired by Cabinet Stew to have a go at making Chinese Food in the Slow Cooker. It was a lovely change to the MSG filled ones that we were getting delivered and no more waking up in the middle of the night dying of thirst.
Slow Cooker Sunday – Chinese Food (Beef and Greens)
1 TBSP of Corn Flour dissolved into 2 TBSP of water
one small head of broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
1 tin (225g) of Bamboo Shoots and Water Chestnuts, drained.
Place the beef and the onions in the bottom of the slower cooker season with pepper. In a mixing jug, combine the garlic, vinegar, sugar, ginger, soy sauce, orange zest, orange juice, spice and beef stock. Mix well and pour over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
An hour before serving stir in the cornflour, this should help it thicken and place the water chestnuts/shoots and broccoli on top. Replace the lid and cook for another hour. Gently mix before serving and serve on a bed of rice or noodles.
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Disclosure: The meat was Courtesy of www.farmison.com; a one stop gourmet shop selling food and produce sourced from over 75 of the UK’s leading farms and producers. All the best quality, most popular and rarest cuts of award-winning meats, cheeses and greengrocer goods are all selected for their superior taste can all be delivered directly to the door of the home cook.
I really did think that Gary from Norfolk Deli was winding me up when he said Beef Skirt as I’d never heard of it. I thought he was hoping I’d go to the shops and ask for it, similar to glass hammers, skirting board ladders etc. However, I’ve now learned that it’s a great cut of meat for slow cooking, it almost had a slight sweet taste to it.
Here’s a recipe that’s very simple but relies on good quality ingredients to make it sing. It uses beef skirt which is a wonderfully tasty and a less expensive cut of beef and is perfect for slow cooking. Serves 4 increase qty’s for larger families.
500 gms of beef skirt, my preference is Aberdeen angus or a rare breed but failing that use your local butcher.
2 large organic Parsnips
3 good size organic carrots
A large onion or 2 small ones.
1 Bottle of dark bottle conditioned ale. Try to use locally produced ale, expect to pay £3 for this. Supermarket mass produced dark ales don’t cut it I’m afraid.
Some beef stock (see note*)
Fresh garden herbs or a bouquet garni.
Dice the skirt into cubes and brown it off. Chop half the onion chunky and half thinly and put it, the browned skirt and half of the bottle of ale into the slow cooker crock.
Chop the carrots and parsnips into large(ish) batons and put them in too. Top up the crock with stock so that the liquid is level with the contents. Add seasoning (careful with adding salt as some shop bought stock is packed with salt) and fresh garden herbs or a bouquet garni.
You can always thicken the gravy towards the end. I serve it with crispy roast potatoes and green veg but you can have it on its own or experiment by adding other veg such as celeriac or swede; Or add a handful of peas in last 25 mins for colour.
Put your slow cooker on following manufactures instructions (low 6-8 hours).
* I make my own stock from bones I get from my local butcher. Bring to boil then let simmer for hour and then once cooled and sieved put the liquid into ice cube bags and freeze until you need it.
If you want to use the whole bottle of beer then feel free, I just enjoy a drink whilst cooking!
Gary won’t be best pleased with me, but as a busy mum I didn’t have time to track down a bottle of conditioned dark ale and opted for a supermarket one and as we’re trying to watch the pennies I didn’t use organic veg. The only other thing I did that was different was that I added some dumplings (Aunt Bessie’s) 90 minutes before the end. Turning them once. If this was a detriment to the recipe I couldn’t tell as it was gorgeous. Makes me wonder how delicious it would have been if I stuck to the recommended ingredients.
Thanks for the recipe Gary. We will definitely be having it again and you’re welcome on the blog anytime.
For more our our tried and tested Slow Cooker Recipes Click Here.
It’s taken me ages to work out a recipe for Beef Stew. I like my stew thick and gloopy. This one was gorgeous and hubby gave it an A ++. I put it on a bit late so cooked it at high throughout but sure you could adjust the timings and cook it on low for 8-10 hours, just remember to put the leeks, carrots and dumplings 90 minutes before it finishes and turn to high.
Beef Stew with Dumplings, Red Wine and Leeks
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Slow Cooking
Author: Mediocre Mum
2 TBSP of oil (whatever you have at hand)
500 g of stewing beef
Salt and pepper
1 large onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
2 TBSP of flour
300ml of red wine
300 ml of vegetable stock (would have used beef stock if I had any)
I TBSP of tomato puree
2 bay leaves
150 g of baby carrots trimmed, cut large ones in half
1 large leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
If you’re so inclined you could make your own but I cheat and use Aunt Bessie’s which you will find in the freezer aisle near the chips!
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper and brown on all sides (approx 5 minutes). Add the onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes until soft.
Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Sprinkle with the flour. Mix well for about a minute. Then gradually add the wine and stock. Simmer until it thickens. Then add the tomato puree and bay leaves.
Transfer to slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours.
minutes before it is finishes add the carrots and leaks and stir and place the dumplings on top. After about 45 minutes turn the dumplings.