Friday, 9 January 2015

Family Favorites - Slow cooker meals

Slow cooker Bolognese



One of our favorite family meals is bolognese and it is even better that I can make in in our slow cooker or crock pot.  It is perfect for Sundays when we have junior football, as I can prep it in the morning and we can come home to a warming, delicious hearty meal and even better one that leaves me with empty dishes and full tummies. 


You will need:
  • 15g Flora Buttery
  • 1 carrot , very finely chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stick , optional , chopped
  • 55 g (2oz) mushrooms , cut into quarters
  • 350 g (12oz) lean beef mince
  • ground black pepper
  • 400 g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp beef stock
  • 225 g (8oz) spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
This week, we had our bolognese without the mushrooms and celery, but with added peppers.



Method:


  1. Heat the Flora Cuisine in a large non-stick frying pan and season the beef with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the beef until it is nice and brown , before transferring to the slow cooker with  all the other ingredients and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  2. 15 minutes before serving cook spaghetti in lightly salted boiling water for 12–15 minutes, then drain.
  3. Arrange spaghetti in a deep dish, pour meat sauce over and sprinkle with grated cheese.
We always make double, as it freezes really well and is perfect for making lasagne with. 

Flora as some great recipes for using up leftovers to make family meals.

Smoky Slow cooker Beef and Sweet Potato Chilli


Chilli is also a firm family favourite in my home.  It is a great way to use up any beef that you might have left from the Sunday roast or from a large pack of mince meat that you may have left from making the spaghetti bolognese. 

You will need
  • 1 tablespoon Flora Cuisine
  • 800g braising beef, chopped into cubes
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, diced
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped - no seeds
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped - no seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika - less if your kids are not keen on the kick
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 700ml beef stock
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained
  • 1 large square of dark chocolate
Method
  1. Heat the Flora Cuisine in a large non-stick frying pan and season the beef with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the beef until it is nice and brown on both sides, before transferring to the slow cooker, along with the diced sweet potato.
  2. Add the garlic, diced chillies, spices and oregano to the pan juices and fry for minute until fragrant (you may need to open the window, as pre-cooking the chillies will make your eyes water!) Stir in the tomato purée, tomatoes and stock then bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot sauce over the meat, then cover with a lid and cook on low for seven hours. Taste, and add more smoked paprika and spices if you feel it needs it. Stir in the kidney beans and the dark chocolate, and then cook for an hour more until the meat is very tender.
  4. Serve immediately with a nice big blob of sour cream. This also works well spooned over baked potatoes, and  freezes beautifully.


Homemade Slow Cooker Beef Stock


Stock is something that I always make on a Sunday using my slow cooker and any left overs we have from preparing Sunday dinner,  I leave it my slow cooker on low over night and it is THE best stock you will ever make.
You will need
  • Beef bones (preferably with some meat still attached to it – this will help give it a richer flavour!)
  • 1 medium sized carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium sized , diced
  • 1 rib of celery, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dried herbs (use whichever you have to hand)
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cold water
Method
  1. Place the leftover beef bones into the slow cooker with the chopped vegetables and the herbs.
  2. Add water to the slow cooker until it is roughly ¾ full and cover.
  3. Cook on low for 10 hours, or high for 5-6 hours.
  4. Once made, strain out and discard the vegetables and bones. You can freeze this, or use it immediately in a recipe of your choice. 

Slow cooked Sweet Potato




Did you know that you can cook potatoes and sweet potatoes in your slow cooker?  Well you can.  This will revolutionise the way you cook them, also it is so much cheaper to leave your slow cooker on than your oven all day.

You will need
  • A medium sized sweet potato
  • A tasty bit of Flora Buttery
  • Salt and pepper
  • Kitchen foil
Method
  1. If your potato is looking a bit dirty, give it a good wash and dry it well (a dry skin will crisps up better in the cooker!)
  2. Pull enough kitchen foil off the roll to wrap your potato up. The metal allows the heat to conduct better and this is what crisps the skin. Put the potato on the foil and then rub the potato with a tiny scattering of salt and some black pepper. Then wrap your potato up, ensuring that no skin is showing.
  3. Place your potato in the slow cooker, and cook without lifting the lid for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Carefully remove when ready and unwrap.
This works just as well for regular potatoes too. 


3 comments:

  1. Awesome post, we love our slow cooker! Thank you for sharing with Frugal Family - don't forget to link up another post next Thursday! xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never done potatoes in the slow cooker - you learn something new every day - thanks for joining in with the #frugalfamilylinky

    ReplyDelete
  3. We definitely need to use our slow cooker more often! Thanks for linking up with the Frugal Family!

    ReplyDelete

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