In the USA a Slow Cooker is known as a Crock Pot.
Make life easier for yourself - get a Slow Cooker/Crock Pot.
Also, if you are serving a cold buffet meal but would like to include a warming soup - for instance at a sport's meeting or shoot - your Slow Cooker proves invaluable here.
The photograph below shows a Russell Hobbs Slow Cooker. There are many other brands available with prices starting from around £20.00.
It will pay to look around and you may well be able to save money by careful selection here. Take a look at some indepdendent advice and compare prices. A bonus is that manufacturers usually include a recipe book with their cooker.
In best money saving tradition, the Slow Cooker in the picture came via www.freecycle.org so well worth a try here first.
Perhaps the best desription of a Slow Cooker recipe is 'fix it and forget it'.
The first of our easy slow cooker recipes is:
Pre-heat your Slow Cooker as in a slow cooker recipe book. Place thinly sliced carrots, onion, parsnip, chopped celery – or whatever vegetables you have to hand in the cooker. (In a Slow Cooker vegetables take longer to cook than meat.) Add either chicken breast portions or drumsticks (skin removed) sufficient for your family. Add three tablespoons of pearl barley that will bulk up the meal and take on the flavour of the chicken etc.and taste delicious. Cover with a gravy mix with some added Vegemite for flavour. Cook for 8 or 9 hours.
For a change, and a lighter looking meal, add a can of condensed chicken soup and any left over white wine or cider. Set the Slow Cooker to auto and just leave for 9 hours, or overnight on the cheap electricity until the meat is tender.
An easy slow cooker recipe encourages 'creative' cooking. It is so easy just to add an additional ingredient or left-over. Economical cooking at its best. The next easy slow cooker idea is:
Wild rabbit, if you are lucky enough to get one, it is excellent cooked in a slow cooker with a selection of vegetables as above. Unless you have a friend who shoots, try your local Farmer's Market. Here it pays to shop around. Your local butcher often buys in rabbits from his 'local source', and you can guarantee the animals will be fresh.
Variations on the above easy slow cooker recipe are:
BEEF WITH BEER, PORK WITH CIDER, LAMB WITH CHICKPEAS
A good, cheap lamb recipe is for lamb neck fillets. Cut into small pieces, and cook in the slow cooker with sliced carrots and onion, pearl barley, a tin of chopped tomatoes and some gravy mix. Depending on the quantity of lamb you buy, this total recipe should cost around £2.50 and feed 5 persons.
With a slow cooker, it is so easy to adjust any recipe to suit your own particular requirements so developing another easy slow cooker recipe.
Another very easy slow cooker recipe is Gammon hocks. They are a cheap and easy meal that will save money. Try cooking them with cider, celery, carrots and leeks. Serve with creamed potatoes.
When faced with a surplus (1 1/2 lbs)of pork chipolata sausages I decided to use them in this way:
For a really thick and hearty meal, into the Slow Cooker put four carrots, sliced thinly into rings. Lightly brown The sausages in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan. These were removed and placed on top of the sliced carrots. One chopped onion was then lightly cooked in the oil and then added to the cooker. For a really thick dish, add 2 tablespooons flour to the remaining oil, cook for a couple of minutes then add 1 small cup water into which has been added some gravy powder. Bring to the boil and then add to the slow cooker. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes to the cooker with a splash of Worcester sauce. Cook over night or throughout the day for up to 8 hours. Serve with a green vegetable and mashed potatoes. Yet another easy slow cooker receipe.
For sauces in a Slow Cooker, Batchelor's concentrated soups are ideal to use in almost any recipe. Canned, chopped tomatoes are also a good addition. Also any wine, beer or cider - depending upon the type of meat - can also be used. Easy slow cooker recipes are excellent places to use up left-over ingredients - this is a very forgiving and accommodating way to cook.
A Slow Cooker is an absolute blessing. Quick, easy and time saving. Quite literally toss in the ingredients, switch on, forget it until it is time to eat.
Before you know it, you have probably invented another easy slow cooker recipe. It is just about impossible to make a mistake when using a slow cooker - everything seems to turn out just fine.
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