Healthy winter slow-cooking - Pork ragu
WINTER

Winter slow-cooking recipes

Cold winter Sundays are the best time to create these delicious, hearty slow-cooked meals.

Slow-cooking recipes & tips

 

At the end of a busy day, nothing beats coming home to a meal that has already cooked itself! When all the flavours infuse in one pot, the result is a meal with maximum taste.

Discover some of our favourite winter slow cooking recipes below and hacks to make them taste delicious. Try our recipe for slow-cooked Greek lamb is flavoured with simple classic Greek ingredients of garlic, lemon and oregano. Or cosy up in front of the fire with a bowl of rich slow-cooked lamb and lentil soup with fresh ginger and cumin.

 

Slow cooking hacks

1. Avoid lifting the lid on your slow cooker unless really necessary as this allows the heat to escape. Also, cut your ingredients into similar-sized pieces so they cook evenly.

2. Slow cooking is great for tougher cuts of meat (such as chuck or stewing steak). However, still remove as much visible fat as possible to reduce the SmartPoints (there will be enough interconnective tissue to keep it soft and tender).

3. When converting recipes for the slow cooker, reduce the liquid content as there is less evaporation. As a general guide, use ½–1 cup (125- 250ml) less than for other cooking methods.

4. Cheaper cuts of meat such as chuck steak and lamb shoulder are best for slow cooking; expensive cuts will become tough instead of tender.

5. Use paper towel for blotting any cooking fat that rises to the top.

6. Keep an eye on the liquid level and add more water or reduce the temperature if the food starts to stick.

 

Which slow cooker should you buy?

Look for a slow cooker with a searing function to brown meat without using another pan. A 4.5-litre model is best for a family of 4-6 people.

 

Converting recipes to slowing times

Here’s how to convert your favourite recipe for the slow cooker. If it normally takes:

30 mins–1 hour: slow cook for 2-3 hours (high) or 5-7 hours (low)
1-2 hours: slow cook for 3-4 hours (high) or 6-8 hours (low)
2-4 hours: slow cook for 4-6 hours (high) or 8-12 hours (low)

 

Flavour enhancers for slow cooking

One reason slow-cooked food tastes so good is the flavour-some cuts of meat used, but it also helps to have these key ingredients.

1. Root vegetables. Hearty winter vegies hold their shape and add lots of flavour to the dish. Add delicate vegies towards the end of cooking.

2. Whole spices. Long cooking times give whole spices the edge over ground. To remove them easily, wrap in muslin and tie with string.

3. Fresh herbs. Hardy herbs such as rosemary and thyme suit slow cooking. Add soft leaves such as coriander, parsley and basil at the end to serve.