Slow Cooking, Stellar Results!

As soon as the ratio of sun to cloud cover starts skewing in favor of crisp, overcast days and the wind is just a little more blustery, it instinctively feels like the right time to dust off the crock pot and start pondering some delicious, slow-cooked meals. Whether it’s a chilly weekend at home or a weekday where you leave for work and it’s dark out then you leave from work and it’s still dark out, slow-cooking offers the perfect way to enjoy a hearty, homey meal without too much fuss. The technique might be old-school, but the results will leave you feeling accomplished and your tummy warm and full! Not to mention how great your whole house will smell!

Slow cooking can be done a bunch of different ways – in an actual slow-cooker, crock pot, on the stove-top or even in place of traditional oven-braised recipes so there’s a method for everyone! It usually involves tougher, less expensive cuts of meat that are cooked at a lower temperature for longer periods of time so that they tenderize and mingle with the flavors of whatever you’re cooking with them!

Now, this isn’t a 2o minutes and you’re done kind of deal, but if you start your recipe in the morning, you can have a wonderful weeknight meal waiting for you when you get home! Or, do some extra on the weekend and you’ll have leftovers to warm up again later in the week; in fact, these types of dishes are often better reheated because the ingredients have had even more time to get to know each other. How d’lish does that sound!

Here are a few yummy slow-cook recipes to get you started, but the sky (and the season, of course) is the limit to what you can put on and let simmer away while you enjoy your autumn! – Kathy Casey

Fragrant Soy and Ginger Beef with Green Onions and Cabbage
Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2-½ pounds beef brisket roast
2 slices fresh ginger root
3 cloves garlic
1 star anise pod
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar v ½ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in 6 wedges
1 very small head green cabbage, cut in 6 wedges
1 bunch green onions, ends trimmed off, cut in 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Place beef in pan, fat side down, and brown the first side. Turn over and brown the other side. Transfer beef to a non-corrosive bowl or baking dish.
2.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, brown sugar, soy, vinegar and chili flakes. Pour over the meat, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3.
The next day, remove the meat from the dish and place in the bottom of the slow cooker (reserve marinade). Next, layer in the onion wedges, then the cabbage and green onions. You may need to push down the cabbage a bit to make it fit.
4.
Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved marinade until blended, then pour over the top. Cover tightly with the lid and set to cook on high. Cook undisturbed for about 8 to 9 hours.
5.
To serve, remove the cabbage and onions to a platter and the meat to a cutting board. Slice the meat against the grain and place on the platter. Spoon the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Editor’s note: For slow cookers, the USDA recommends cutting large pieces of meat into smaller pieces because it could take too long to reach a safe cooking temperature. Thinner briskets can be cut in half.

©2003, Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup dried black currants or raisins
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut in 6 wedges each
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch dice
Fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint, very coarsely chopped or torn
Steamed rice or potatoes as an accompaniment

1. In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, cornstarch and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the curry powder, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, sugar and yogurt.
2.
Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the slow cooker and add in the following order: onion, celery, currants or raisins, apples and bell pepper. Cover, set cooker to high and cook for about 7 to 8 hours.
3.
Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with rice or potatoes.

©2003, Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 28th, 2010  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, meats, poultry

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