Cooking For the Crockpot

A crockpot or slow cooker, as it's also know, can be an invaluable piece of kitchen equipment. In essence it's a stoenware or earthenware pot sitting on top of a heating element. With a tight-fitting lid it allows meals to be cooked very slowly over low heat for a long period of time.

This is an excellent cooking method for tenderizing tough cuts of meat, so you can use it to cook those cuts (such as shoulder [chuck]) that are tough but very flavorful.

Crockpots also allow for meals to be cooked slowly over a long period of time, so you can prepare your meal the night before hand have it cooking slowly over night. Or you can add your ingredients to the crockpot and have it cook away whilst you are at work so it will be ready in the evening when you get home.

Essentially, if you have a recipe for a stew you can easily adapt it for the crockpot. The main thing to do is to reduce the volume of water, typically by about 1/2 to 2/3. As an example of this here is a traditional recipe for a Turkish Lamb stew with Onions:

Lamb Stew with Onions

Ingredients:

250g lamb, cubed

300g pearl onions (baby onions), peeled

a few slivers of freshly-pared orange zest

2 tbsp butter

50ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp crushed tomatoes

salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

Place the lamb in a pot, cover with 360ml water and simmer gently (covered) on low heat for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Now add the remaining ingredients and add a further 360ml water. Return to a simmer, cover and cook gently for a further 35 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and serve with pilaf rice.

Below is the same dish adapted to be made in a crockpot or slow cooker.

Crockpot Lamb Stew with Onions

Ingredients:

250g lamb, cubed

300g pearl onions, peeled

a few slivers of freshly-pared orange zest

2 tbps butter

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp crushed tomatoes

salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a crockpot and stir-in 400ml water. Cover and cook on low powder for between 6 and 8 hours or until the lamb is tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve hot with pilaf rice.

As you can see, you require less water for the crockpot version and cooking is simply a matter of combining the ingredients in the crockpot and cooking. Much simpler and a lot less fuss!

Although this article has deteriorated with braising and stewing in the main, a crockpot can be a very versatile cooking tool. You can create soups, roasts and even cakes and desserts in a crockpot as long as you have the basic recipe. Crockpots are also cheap to buy and may well represent one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen.



Source by Dyfed Lloyd Evans

Post Author: MNS Master

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *