Jump to content


Photo

Slow Cookers


  • Please log in to reply
218 replies to this topic

#151 Nathan

Nathan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,404 posts

Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:57 PM

Sear/brown the meat first before putting it in the slow cooker. It works best for soups/stews and wonderfully with beans. That's really what it's for. I've also done a not half-bad charcroute garnie in a slow-cooker. Obviously not as good as a conventionally-prepared charcroute....but that's not the point of the slow cooker....rather, it's that I put everything in the cooker in the morning and returned 12 hours later to dinner.
Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#152 Jesikka

Jesikka

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,820 posts

Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:23 PM


Did you maybe not slice it across the grain?


That's what I wondered. Also, did you try to slice it right out of the cooker? I always find that it falls apart if sliced hot. Brisket is better (easier to slice, at least) if I refrigerate it for a day before slicing and then reheating in the juices.


Hmm, maybe. I guess I sort of sliced as I went...could have been the issue...

#153 Jesikka

Jesikka

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,820 posts

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:10 PM

Sear/brown the meat first before putting it in the slow cooker. It works best for soups/stews and wonderfully with beans. That's really what it's for. I've also done a not half-bad charcroute garnie in a slow-cooker. Obviously not as good as a conventionally-prepared charcroute....but that's not the point of the slow cooker....rather, it's that I put everything in the cooker in the morning and returned 12 hours later to dinner.


Searing/ browning the meat is easier when you have a stove (ie: don't need a slow cooker). I could prob sear on my induction, I guess...

I made lamb stew in the slow cooker last night that smells pretty good but I'll have to taste it tonight to judge fully. I have some osso bucco in the freezer, so I was thinking of trying either that or coq au vin next. But these are just the stewy things that I make in our house during the winter.

Any particular bean things you do? I'd love a bean recipe...

#154 Nathan

Nathan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,404 posts

Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:38 PM


Sear/brown the meat first before putting it in the slow cooker. It works best for soups/stews and wonderfully with beans. That's really what it's for. I've also done a not half-bad charcroute garnie in a slow-cooker. Obviously not as good as a conventionally-prepared charcroute....but that's not the point of the slow cooker....rather, it's that I put everything in the cooker in the morning and returned 12 hours later to dinner.


Searing/ browning the meat is easier when you have a stove (ie: don't need a slow cooker). I could prob sear on my induction, I guess...

I made lamb stew in the slow cooker last night that smells pretty good but I'll have to taste it tonight to judge fully. I have some osso bucco in the freezer, so I was thinking of trying either that or coq au vin next. But these are just the stewy things that I make in our house during the winter.

Any particular bean things you do? I'd love a bean recipe...



I just kind of throw them in with bacon and onions and stock...hit with some herbs/cilantro at the end.
I think Rancho Gordo has a bean slow-cooking recipe early in this thread that is probably sensational.
Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#155 SLBunge

SLBunge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,052 posts

Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:24 PM


Sear/brown the meat first before putting it in the slow cooker. It works best for soups/stews and wonderfully with beans. That's really what it's for. I've also done a not half-bad charcroute garnie in a slow-cooker. Obviously not as good as a conventionally-prepared charcroute....but that's not the point of the slow cooker....rather, it's that I put everything in the cooker in the morning and returned 12 hours later to dinner.


Searing/ browning the meat is easier when you have a stove (ie: don't need a slow cooker). I could prob sear on my induction, I guess...

I made lamb stew in the slow cooker last night that smells pretty good but I'll have to taste it tonight to judge fully. I have some osso bucco in the freezer, so I was thinking of trying either that or coq au vin next. But these are just the stewy things that I make in our house during the winter.

Any particular bean things you do? I'd love a bean recipe...

I realize you just made lamb stew but Rancho Gordo's Spring Lamb with Flageolet would do well in a slow cooker.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#156 Jesikka

Jesikka

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,820 posts

Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:03 AM

Thanks guys! The lamb stew came out nicely, although I still think it does better on the stovetop. I just looked back and Rancho definitely has some delicious sounding ideas earlier in the thread. I'll try something soon. That is, if I don't just become a raw foodist for the rest of this my-apartment-still-has-no-gas crisis. I am moving ahead with a kitchen renovation, so at least when I can finally use my stove again it will be in a more functional and pleasant space.

I have no doubt that the slow cooker could be great for making carmelized onions, confits, grits, and even steel cut oats. Stock, sure.

But I read up a little bit on slow cookers and it seems to be the case that the liquid in a slow cooker doesn't evaporate (recipes converted to slow cooker versions cut the liquid down significantly) or at least barely does. It started to make sense to me that I'm not getting the depth of flavor that I'm used to from braising. Without everything cooking down and melding and reducing, there's never going to be the same amount of flavor. And all this in addition to needing to figure out the temperature piece in order to stop overcooking the meats.

I made coq au vin today. Most of the steps took place outside of the slow cooker- I used my induction burner to cook the onions and carrots, start the sauce (cognac, wine, a bit of tomato paste, thyme, etc), and brown the chicken. Then I piled it in the slow cooker and cooked it on low for 8 hours. I used a bit of reserved sauce to cook pearl onions, sauteed some mushrooms, and reduced the liquid from the slow cooker. I adjusted it for taste a bit with some sherry vin. The whole thing was based on the Molly Stevens coq au vin. I think the chicken is a bit overcooked, but I based the 8 hours on a bunch of stuff I read online...Next time I'd definitely keep it to 6 at most. I still don't have a sense for the damn thing...

Anyway, that's the latest. Lamb stew = success. Coq au vin = edible but far from amazing even with numerous steps outside of the slow cooker.

Anyone have any favorite recipes that don't involve cooking?

#157 Lex

Lex

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,558 posts

Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:58 PM

As a rule chicken doesn't do well in a slow cooker. Other meats are fine.

“I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.”

"One of the Evil Twin beers I tried smelled like a foot." - LiquidNY

"I don't have time to point out all the ways in which you're wrong" - irnscrabblechf52


#158 Suzanne F

Suzanne F

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 16,415 posts

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:33 PM

Caramelized onions: I learned to do them in the slow cooker from eGullet: in the morning* load up the thing with sliced onions, add a stick of butter (it has to be butter for the flavor!), and leave it on all day. Yes, a lot of liquid accumulates, but I keep that too to add to soups. I pack the cooked onions into 8-ounce canning jars while they're hot and let the jars seal themselves (no processing) and keep them in the bottom of the fridge, and just pop one open when I need it. You can (once you have a stovetop again, of course, or in an electric frying pan until then) sauté the lot briefly before adding to a dish, to dry them a bit and deepen the flavor.

*Better to do it all day, while you're out of the house, rather than overnight. That can lead to strange dreams.

Because it's allowed doesn't mean it isn't creepy. -- Sneakeater, April 10, 2014

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#159 Nathan

Nathan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,404 posts

Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:06 PM

yup, it's good for onions.

as for adding flavor to stew or the like in a slow cooker...I've found that bacon works well. put it on the bottom and it essentially disintegrates....
Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#160 splinky

splinky

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,609 posts

Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:39 PM

some of these recipes look great

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#161 memesuze

memesuze

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,278 posts

Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:21 PM

crock pot bread
"When you think about it, all of my greatest work is poop tomorrow." - Mario Batali

Even if you live to be 100, life is short.

#162 AaronS

AaronS

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,166 posts

Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:44 AM

some of these recipes look great

I made that mole. it's ok in the context of the low expectations attached to anything I'm involved with.

#163 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,933 posts

Posted 01 June 2012 - 06:02 PM

crock pot bread


That's a really interesting link. Thanks for sharing it.

The idea of making bread in a slow cooker is somewhat odd, but it looks like it could be worth a try...

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#164 memesuze

memesuze

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,278 posts

Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:06 PM


crock pot bread


That's a really interesting link. Thanks for sharing it.

The idea of making bread in a slow cooker is somewhat odd, but it looks like it could be worth a try...

the comments have followup suggestions
"When you think about it, all of my greatest work is poop tomorrow." - Mario Batali

Even if you live to be 100, life is short.

#165 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 39,691 posts

Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:20 PM

And I don't like to leave my home with the oven on.


THANK YOU, SCREAM (wherever you are).
Bar Loser

MF Old