Tag Archives: Slow Cooker

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Casserole Base

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This is my recipe for a basic casserole base. It creates a delicious gravy to cook meat and vegetables in. I generally cook this casserole base then pour half into my slow cooker, add my meat (for instance diced beef or lamb) and vegetables chopped into large chunks (for instance carrots, pumpkin, zucchini and frozen peas), then pour the remaining base over the top. Served with mashed potatoes it makes a delicious winter meal.

You can easily prepare this casserole base ahead of time and add it to your slow cooker straight from the fridge, or cook it up in the morning and pour into the slow cooker hot. If you’re leaving the slow cooker to cook for a whole day (at least 8 hours) you can add the casserole base cold and use frozen meat. If you have less time (approx 6 hours), I’d advise adding the casserole base hot and using defrosted meat.

 

Casserole Base

 

 

Ingredients

  • 25g butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1tbs tomato paste
  • 2tbs plain flour
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 2tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate 
  • 200g (1cup) red wine
  • Cracked black pepper

Thermomix Method

  1. Place garlic, roughly chopped onion, celery & carrots, and butter in TMX bowl
  2. Chop 3-5 sec, Sp 5
  3. Cook 100C, 5 min,  Rev Sp 1
  4. Add tomato paste and flour
  5. Give a quick stir with the spatula
  6. Cook 100C, 2 min, Rev Sp 1
  7. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and wine
  8. Cook 100C, 10 min, Rev Sp 1

Non-Thermomix Method

  1. Finely chop garlic, onion, celery & carrots by hand or in food processor
  2. Place pan over medium heat and melt butter
  3. Add chopped garlic, onion, celery & carrot
  4. Cook for 5 min, stirring regularly, until softened
  5. Add tomato paste and flour
  6. Stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes
  7. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and wine
  8. Stir gently until well mixed and simmer on low heat for 10-15 min, until sauce thickens

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Persian Lamb

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It’s cold and chilly in Perth at the moment, so the perfect time to whip out a few slow cooker recipes. This persian lamb was originally a Neil Perry recipe that a friend cooked us for dinner one night. I’ve since changed it here and there, and now converted it for TMX and slow cooker. The result is a delicious, thick and spicy dish with melt-in-your-mouth lamb. Best to cook this one while you’re out all day as the smell is divine! I like to serve this with cous cous (which only takes a few minutes to prepare) and roast vegetables, however it is also good with steamed veg and rice. If you are short on time just roughly chop some slow cooking veggies like pumpkin, carrot and potato, and throw it in the slow cooker with the lamb. For best results this dish needs a good 8-10 hours in the slow cooker.

Persian Lamb

Ingredients

  • 500g diced lamb shoulder
  • 2 brown onions
  • 20g butter
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1tsp pink salt
  • 1tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate
  • 100g dried prunes
  • 1tsp raw sugar
  • 75g lime juice (approx 2 limes)
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 120g water

To serve

  • Large handful of fresh mint
  • Roasted almonds or pistachios
  • Steamed or roasted vegetables
  • Cous cous or Rice

TMX Method

  1. Turn slow cooker on to warm up
  2. Peel & quarter onions, place in TMX and chop 5 sec, Sp 5
  3. Add butter and cook 100C, 3 min, Sp 1
  4. Add ground spices and salt, cook 100C, 3 min, Sp 1
  5. Add prunes and chop 5 sec, Sp 5
  6. Add stock, sugar, lime juice, saffron & water
  7. Cook 100C, 3 min, Sp 1
  8. Pour 2/3 of mixture into slow cooker, then add lamb (fresh or frozen), then pour remainder of sauce over the lamb
  9. Cook 8-10 hours
  10. Serve on cous cous or rice with vegetables and garnish with fresh mint and chopped almonds or pistachios

Non-TMX Method

  1. Turn slow cooker on to warm up
  2. Peel & chop onions
  3. Roughly chop prunes
  4. Heat butter in a frypan and add onions
  5. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 min until onions are softened
  6. Add ground spices and salt, cook stirring over medium heat for another 1-2 min
  7. Add stock, prunes, sugar, lime juice, saffron & water to pan
  8. Cook over medium heat for 5 min
  9. Pour 2/3 of mixture into slow cooker, then add lamb (fresh or frozen), then pour remainder of sauce over the lamb
  10. Cook 8-10 hours
  11. Serve on cous cous or rice with vegetables and garnish with fresh mint and chopped almonds or pistachios

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Corned Beef

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I’ve found myself pulling my Slow Cooker out of the cupboard quite regularly this winter and this dish is one of our favourites. Corned Beef cooked in the Slow Cooker turns out so moist and delicious, and will fill the house with lovely aromas while you’re out. You can serve this with any vegetable sides you choose, we often do a selection of roast veggies and cauliflower baked with cheese sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 piece of corned beef (the size doesn’t matter as long as it will fit into your Slow Cooker)
  • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 fresh bay leaves (use dried if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • black pepper and pink salt to season

Method

  1. Rinse your piece of corned beef under cold water then pat dry with paper towel
  2. Pour water into the bottom of the Slow Cooker
  3. Place a small, flat saucer or dish upside down in the bottom of the Slow Cooker
  4. Place the corned beef on the saucer or dish, fat side up, so the meat isn’t sitting on the bottom of the Slow Cooker
  5. Season the top of the corned beef (fat layer) with pepper and salt
  6. Place roughly chopped vegetables (celery, carrot & onion) in bottom of Slow Cooker around corned beef
  7. Place bay leaves and 4 of the thyme sprigs on top of the corned beef
  8. Sprinkle the other thyme sprigs & whole black peppercorns amongst the vegetables
  9. Set Slow Cooker appropriately (I usually use ‘auto’ on mine) and leave to cook for at least 8 hours
  10. Slice and enjoy, then use your leftovers for delicious sandwiches the next day