Slow Cooker Suppers
Last year, when we renovated our house and had our new kitchen put in, I was lucky enough to get the oven of my dreams. I know, who has dreams about ovens? Well, trust me, for a mum of three, this oven is dreamy. It is a double range oven, and it has so many uses that it was worth every penny. The fourth oven (yes, there are four!) is a slow cooker, which I am ashamed to say that until now - almost 9 months since the oven was installed - I haven’t used at all. I blame the endless summer of salads and barbecues! But now I really wish I had started to use it sooner - it is brilliant!
Life has been busy since ‘back to school’, mainly in the evenings. We now have clubs every night, meaning late dinner times, late dinner shifts, and tired 3 year olds! The slow cooker has made this transition so much easier: I prep the ingredients quickly, sometimes even the night before, and into the slow cooker they go for 6-8 hours! Who knew dinner could be so easy? Perhaps I always thought that slow cooked dinners wouldn’t be super healthy, but you can pack some veggies and lean proteins in perfectly well. It also turns out that it is a good way to get children to eat meat: the texture is so soft because it has been slow cooked that it seems to be much more acceptable to a little person.
So, with all that in mind this week, I thought I would share some of my favourite slow cook recipes, in particular my simple beef casserole which can be adapted to add lots of different vegetables depending what you find in your fridge. The meat is so tender after a slow cook and the vegetables very toddler friendly.
600g lean stewing steak
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 celery sticks, cut into small pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, chopped
(any other vegetables you have or would like to add in, mushrooms are a good addition or add in some potatoes if you want a true one pot meal)
500ml good quality low salt beef stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp plain flour
HOW TO SLOW COOK BEEF CASSEROLE
Place all the vegetables in a pan on the stove with a drizzle of oil and cook for a few minutes until soft.
Add the meat and brown lightly, then add the flour and mix well until the flour has been absorbed.
Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well and place in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
And.... that’s it! You can get on with your day knowing that a warming, wholesome dinner will be ready and waiting for you. A real mum win.
For an indulgent Sunday, why not add some dumplings like we did? Comfort in a bowl!
Some of my other favourites for the slow cooker are:
- Classic Chicken Korma. Follow a classic chicken korma recipe, mix the spices with the meats or vegetables, add some ground almonds and coconut milk and leave to cook for 6 hours on low. The tastiest curry! This approach works the same for a tikka curry too.
- Sausage and bean slow cooked stew. There are some great slow cooker sausage recipes out there, but my go to made up recipe is to: brown some sausages, onion and vegetables (we like peppers and courgettes), and then add some smoked paprika, vegetable stock and some chopped tomatoes and place in the slow cooker for up to 6 hours. For the last five minutes add a drained can of cannelini beans for some extra protein and fibre. Delicious!
Enjoy some slow cooking and let me know any of your favourites.
Thank you for reading!
Love Caroline & The Clean Little Tummies xxxx