Baked Potatoes Slow Cooker Style

SONY DSC

As I am usually too hungry and impatient to wait an hour or 2 for my tea after getting home from work at night, baked potatoes weren’t often on the menu. Then I researched how to do them in the slow cooker, and prefer this method every time! The picture shows a sweet potato, but the method works exactly the same for regular potatoes.

Give your potatoes a quick scrub if necessary, then score or prick them and wrap them individually in foil. Place them in the bottom of the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours. The time needed depends on the size of the potato. You can also cook them on high for 3 – 4 hours.

Our favourite way of eating baked potatoes is smothered in tuna mayo, cheese and baked beans. Very unhealthy, but so good!! They are also great served with chili and a dollop of sour cream.

Advertisements

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

I’m afraid I have no picture this time, as a) I forgot, and b) it is very hard to make stroganoff look photogenic! So if you want to know what it looks like, you’ll just have to make it! This is a bit of a cheat’s version, as it should have cream in it, but for an easy, cook-ahead, store cupboard meal, this is perfect, and very tasty.

1 lb stewing steak

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

6 medium mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup flour

1 mug beef stock

1 can condensed mushroom soup

Put the steak, onion, garlic and mushrooms into the slow cooker, and add the flour. Stir until the meat is well coated with the flour. Slowly add the stock, mixing so that the flour doesn’t end up lumpy. Add the soup and about 1/2 can of water. You may need to add extra water later on, but I found the consistency just right. Cook on low for 8 – 9 hours. Serve with rice.

It really couldn’t be easier!

Sausage & Bean Casserole

SONY DSC

Sausages are so versatile, and are always on hand in our freezer. You would be forgiven for thinking we exist entirely on sausages, especially after the last post, but we do eat other things from time to time! Yesterday was one of those days where I hadn’t got anything out of the freezer, we both ended up being late home from work, and this turned out to be a perfect, comforting dish. I had literally just thrown stuff in the crock pot hoping it would turn out well. It did, and I got a “really nice” from my husband!

Serves 4

8 sausages

2 medium onions. diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 can beans (I used black-eyed, but haricot, kidney or borlotti would work too)

1/4 pint beef stock

Fry the onions until soft, then add the garlic, sausages and peppers. Fry until the sausages begin to brown. Transfer to the crock pot, add the beans and stock and stir. Cook on low for 4 – 6 hours. To thicken up the stock, just add a teaspoon of gravy granules about 5 minutes before serving, and mix well. Serve with crusty white bread.

Slow Cooker Sausages with Tomatoes and Peppers

SONY DSC

This is so quick and easy it is perfect for people who don’t like cooking, or who are in a rush. I’m not even sure this can technically be called cooking…

(Serves 2)

1 carton/can chopped tomatoes

1 green bell pepper, chopped (other colours are available)

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 sausages

Turn the slow cooker on high, and put the tomatoes, pepper and garlic in, give it a quick stir, and place the sausages on top. Cook for 3 – 4 hours. Serve with pasta.

What could possibly be easier? It tastes good as it is, but you could easily add other vegetables, or a bit of chilli.

 

Slow Cooker Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding

SONY DSC

The perfect pudding for those spring days when it feels like it has reverted to winter, this is easy peasy in the slow cooker. I love making steamed puddings in the slow cooker because there is no steamy kitchen and constantly topping up saucepans. You just pop it in and leave it alone for a few hours.

4 oz self raising flour

2 oz sugar

2 oz suet

1 egg

2 – 4 tbsp milk

2 generous dessert spoons of jam

Put the flour, sugar and suet in a mixing bowl and rub in gently. Mix in the egg and enough milk to bring the mixture together. It will be very sticky and dense.

Grease a plastic bowl (make sure it fits in the slow cooker first!) and put the jam in the bottom. Pour the pudding mixture over the jam and smooth the top. Place a double layer of greaseproof paper or foil over the top of the bowl and tie it securely. If your bowl has feet of some sort (not the kind that needs shoes, obviously) then it can go straight into the slow cooker. Otherwise, use a saucer or a trivet in the bottom of the slow cooker, so the pudding is not sitting directly on the base of the crock pot.

Pour boiling water into the crock pot, about half way up the side of the pudding bowl. Cook on high for 3 – 4 hours, or until the top of the pudding is springy to the touch.

Once cooked, let the pudding sit for a few minutes, the jam will be molten! Turn it out onto a plate and serve with custard. This is best eaten on the day, it can get a bit dry if you try and reheat it.

You can replace the jam with golden syrup for a sweet syrup pudding, or try chocolate spread!

Mediterranean Goat Chops

SONY DSC

I got the chops out the night before with the intention of making Lancashire Hotpot. Being a scatterbrained idiot, I was about to prepare it the next day when I realised I had no carrots. So I started grabbing things and ended up with this.

4 goat/lamb chops

1 pepper, chopped

1 onion, sliced

1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tin/carton chopped tomatoes

1/4 pt vegetable stock

a couple of sprigs of thyme, or other herbs of your choice

Basically throw everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours, or high for 4 – 5 hours. Easy peasy. For a more Mediterranean feel, serve with couscous. As I didn’t have any of that either, I had to make do with potatoes!

 

Slow Cooker Beef & Guinness Stew

124_2711

 

This is the perfect dish for those long days when you come home late, and all you want to do is eat and fall into bed. This takes about half an hour to put together, but you can leave it to cook all day. This is about double what I usually do, it will serve 6 – 8.

2lb diced stewing steak

1/2 pt Guinness

2 onions

1 leek (optional)

1 swede

3 – 4 carrots

4 oz stew mix (pearl barley, split peas & lentils)

3/4 pt beef stock

1 tsp marmite/bovril

Pour the Guinness into the slow cooker and set it on high. Toss the meat in some flour and fry in batches. As each batch is done, add it to the Guinness in the slow cooker and let it marinade. Once all the meat is done, start on the veg. Lightly fry the onion and leek, dice the swede and slice/dice the carrots. Add prepared veg and stew mix to the meat, and give it a stir. Make up the beef stock and dissolve the marmite in it, before pouring over the prepared stew. Ideally the stock should be just below the level of the food, so just add accordingly. Cook on high for 4 – 6 hours, or 7 – 10 on low. In my opinion, slightly longer is better, as long as you don’t let it dry out. If you want to thicken up the gravy before serving, my favourite trick is to add gravy granules, but you could use cornflour instead. Give it another 10 minutes or so before serving if you do add any thickeners. This can just be served on it’s own, alternatively, dumplings, scones or potatoes would help it go a bit further.

*Tip: Experiment a bit with the veg, you can use pretty much any root vegetables, turnips, potatoes or parsnips would all work well. Just make sure the slow cooker isn’t over-full, and make sure it has enough stock and you’re good to go!