Sunday, 8 November 2009

Cooking slowly, with Sally Wise

Amongst the cookbooks I have recently bought, the latest Sally Wise gem, entitled “Slow Cooker” is an enlightening read, if you happen to be a slow cooker owner and user.

I bought one many years ago, and use it often enough over winter, when I find the best part of the day is arriving home in the cold and dark after work, to open the front door and have the fragrant aroma of a Beouf Bourgignon assail your nostrils – all ready to simply sit down and devour. It beats the hell out of having to mentally pysche yourself, at the end of a long winters day, into preparing and cooking the hearty hot meal your mind and body crave but you yourself just don’t possess the required energy or enthusiasm to produce.

I hadn’t thought of it logically before but Sally mentions that quinces cook perfectly in the slow cooker. Now, why didn’t I think of that? We all know they require a long and slow cook – so why wouldn’t you use a slow cooker?

Her recipe for Dahl sounds intriguing, and I’m tempted to try it but would hate to have to throw out a vat full if I tasted it and hated it!

She has recipes for all manner of food it would never have occurred to me to try in the slow cooker – like for instance, bread. There is also a delicious recipe for Homemade Baked Beans which I suspect will be eaten chez Rita soon.

I love it when these old favourites, in this case both the slow cooker and the dishes you can cook in it, get recycled and a new generation of cooks can benefit. As Sally quite rightly points out, you can use the cheaper cuts of meat, and produce beautiful, economical and tasty food for a family with this particular kitchen appliance.

If you’ve never delved into the world of slow cooking, there are extremely valid reasons for buying one. If I was given the option of tossing out every kitchen appliance I possess and retaining only two, that would be one. The other one would be my food processor (or, if I owned one, my Thermomix).

Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

boeuf Bourguignon.

Christina said...

Speaking of food processors Rita,
I am now the very very proud owner of my first kitchen aid appliance.
A gorgeous metallic pearl {grey} beauty of a machine, courtesy of a reasonable Melbourne Cup win, Christmas donations from friends and family and as always the wonderful Steven at THCS.
A special mention to Steven who knowing I couldn't make up my mind between a couple of machines, brought them out to my work and waited patiently for over an hour while I decided on the first one I chose any way. I've had it three days and used it three times!
Did I mention I'm in love.
I never thought I needed a slow cooker but your description of coming home from work with a hot meal already done is tempting me greatly.
I suppose I could always use my beautiful dutch oven and the timer on my oven. Might try that once, see how it goes, and make a decision.
Next on my wish list is a bamix.

Rita said...

What would I do without you Anon, correcting my typos?
Christina - well done and congratulations! As ever, Steven comes up trumps again. Can that guy do no wrong?
Re the dutch oven thing - nope, sorry Christina but your proposed solution means you have to be there keeping an eye on it, whereas the slow cooker method means you just bung in all the ingredients, turn on the switch then go off to work for the day, and return home that night with THE most delicious meal all waiting there for you in the cooker!

Susannah said...

I have a free standing wood heater that has space on the top for cooking. At the front, things come to a rolling boil, and on a separate level at the back, a slow simmer. Good for soup and other slow cooking on winter weekends, and even on weekday winter evenings (cooking the dish for the next night's dinner). I have used a couple of the slow cooker recipes - some with more success than others. The soups are good, but with most meat dishes I prefer to brown the meat first, before the slow cooking phase. The caramelisation gives a superior flavour, whereas the dishes that only get the slow cooking, while tender, don't have the richness of flavour.


sir grumpy said...

My old mate Ron used to run his slow cooker all winter, Rita.
He'd come into the office saying he had a rabbit on the go with half a bottle of red, some jellied stock, small jacket potatoes and garlic.
He'd come in next morning and rave about how good it had been.