We’re all about the slow cooker right now. You’ve probably already heard about cooking “slow and low”, but did you know there are plenty of benefits from eating meat that’s been cooked for a long time (not cremated though).
Slow cooked meat retains its scrummy flavour and is more easily digested. This type of cooking also means less bloating, and by cooking the meat on a low heat with the lid on the nutrients are saved … so what’s not to love?
Our Paleo friends are already converts to the slow cooking movement, as this time-saving method means your meat stays tasty and moist.
The best Paleo-friendly meat recipes contain grass-fed meat as grains are a no-go, and as we well know grass-fed ensures healthy and tasty meat.
The sugar-free diet gang are also on board with the slow cooker, as make-ahead meals ensure you don’t get hit by the sneaky sugars hidden in processed foods, tins and packets.
In contrast to the home oven, you can leave the slow cooker on all day while you’re out at work or taking your weekly Pilates class, and you won’t be in any danger of burning the house down.
It works best using cheaper cuts of meat, like beef shin, brisket and skirt, and lamb shoulder, chump and scrag as the meat becomes tender from the slow cooking process.
Cheaper cuts of meat are favoured by chefs for their value and flavour.
Using a slow cooker is a great way to cook ahead, and preparing meals in this way ensures that you can eat a far healthier diet as you’re not grabbing food in a hurry.
You can pick up a slow cooker relatively cheaply and it takes the hassle out of cooking as everything goes into the same pot.
It’s best if you have the time to cook on the “low” setting to ensure the meat is as tender as it can be, and you may find that after the dish has cooked you need to drain some of the liquid or further reduce it on the hob.
The cooker needs the liquid to cook, otherwise you end up with a tough, slightly scorched and rather bland meal.
There are limits as to what can be done in a slow cooker, but there is a whole lot you can do with one, including bolognaise, lemon curd, stews, casseroles, and even tiramisu!
In homage to the slow cooker here’s a super tasty recipe that is value for money, super easy, and you’re oh-so-welcome!
- 2 ½ lbs diced beef
- ½ bottle red wine
- 250ml beef stock
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 onion, diced
- 350g closed cup sliced mushrooms
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 big handful of fresh parsley, minced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- Season the beef with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.
- In a small bowl mix the tomato paste with the stock. Pour this over the beef and add the wine.
- Add the carrots, onion, mushrooms, garlic and remaining seasoning.
- Stir the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 2-3 hours.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.