Slow Cookers – Part 1

For hubby’s birthday in 2012, he asked for a slow cooker. I didn’t know anything about them but he had looked into it and thought that one might be useful. Technically he hasn’t used it at all, although he does pay for the electricity and food and washes up afterwards, so that makes up for it! And he introduced me to the amazing world of slow cooking.

Lamb shanks
Lamb shanks – first use of slow cooker!

The first thing I cooked in the slow cooker was lamb shanks. It was his birthday treat, a few weeks after his birthday as I had been unwell, and they were amazing. I was converted!

After this, I mostly cooked casseroles in the slow cooker, using cheap cuts of meat from the butchers at Sainsbury’s. Nearly every Sunday we had a casserole, and that got a bit boring so the slow cooker had a rest for a few months.

Hubby was given two slow cooker recipe books which have been useful for a change from casseroles such as chicken korma, bolognese, sweet and sour chicken, tagine, mustard chicken with bacon. I didn’t know you can make puddings in the slow cooker, and I must say slow cooked rice pudding is particularly scrummy! I recently bought a new recipe book for our collection with some slightly different recipes in it.

I have found the slow cooker to be particularly useful when we have friends or family coming round. For example, our Bible study group meets at our house every week and we start with a meal. When it’s our turn to cook, I whack everything in the slow cooker whilst our son is having a nap and, voila, come 7.15pm when everyone arrives, it’s ready! I even used it on Easter Sunday this year to cook a joint of lamb.

Nutella scrolls
Nutella scrolls and apple & cinnamon scrolls

A few months ago I joined a Facebook group called “Slow cooked wonders” where people share ideas, recipes and advice. A few brilliant recipes from this group include Nutella scrolls and apple & cinnamon scrolls, pictured (not looking particularly appetising) right. The second time I made them, I made half Nutella and half bacon & leek, and made the scrolls smaller which resulted in more scrolls and they looked a bit nicer.

My most recent discovery from the Facebook group is making bread in the slow cooker. IN THE SLOW COOKER! I made my first loaf on Thursday! It only takes two hours! I can hardly contain my excitement but I will leave it there – more on bread next time…

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