Author Topic: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts  (Read 2585 times)

lagatta

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slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« on: May 06, 2011, 09:36:44 AM »
In response to Croghan’s new crockpot and queries, I thought I’d start up a thread in Chef’s Corner about slow-cooking, stewing and related techniques, whether or not they rely on crockpots.

This blog was a challenge to use a crockpot every day for a year. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com  The blog author has children with celiac disorder ; hence there are no dumplings on offer.

Canadian Living has a collection of slow cooker recipes and tips, with ingredients easily available here: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/menus_and_collections/slow_cooker_recipe_collection.php?gclid=CN--mam606gCFUXe4AodOQGqfA

A British site, also tips on using the slow cooker: http://slowcookerrecipes.org.uk

An Australian site:
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/slow+cooker+recipes

A slow cooker is a « mijoteuse » in French, by the way.


« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 09:49:12 AM by lagatta »
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 10:30:29 AM »
The site where I found my favourite slow-cooker recipe for pork roast has changed and I can't find that recipe any longer. I remember the method - you make a bed of sliced onions on the bottom of the cooker and place the meat on top. Add liquids and spices -- except I can't remember what or how much -- and any veggies you like, and off you go. I'm sure I cooked on low all day -- meat is almost shreddable, like a pot roast, at the end.

The variants I see on Google rely a lot on soy sauce, or ketchup, or barbeque sauce, and I suppose you could do those, but I'm pretty sure I didn't -- just some stock, not too much, and maybe a half-cup of wine, along with some of the spices that make a barbeque sauce -- chili, but sweet spices too, like cloves and cinnamon.

lagatta

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 10:54:32 AM »
That is a common technique for roasts, raising them a bit above the stock. You don't need much stock, whether meat or vegetable stock, wine, beer etc as slow-cooked meats and vegetables release and retain a lot of moisture.

I think a lot of newer crock recipes use overly-sweet or chemically sauces because so much of that is sold as ready meals in supermarkets (perhaps used a lot in chain restaurants too; I'm fortunate to live in a place there are good cheap options so I almost never eat in one). Soya sauce can be a good ingredient, but other than being salty, it has a very definite flavour of its own so it doesn't go in just anything.

With the onions, you could even use a bit of beer. Beer can be bitter, but as stewed onions are sweet, the dish shouldn't be too bitter.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 11:37:39 AM »
Actually, thinking of the bitter/sweet combo, I remember something -- there is brown sugar and a bit of vinegar mixed together in the sauce. That plus chili is kind of what barbeque sauce is, no? Maybe some tomato puree as well.

Croghan27

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 03:15:04 PM »
Those that live alone and cook for themselves will know of what I speak!
 
While the crock is a suitable size for me, it is too small for the regular serving one gets at a store. I just dumped in the beef with some water ...but the beef was so much and the pot so small that once I added the veggies (peas, corn and carots) it ws filled up to the rim.  :annoyed
 
Waaaay more than I can eat at one sitting .... several sittings in fact. Now I have to find a way to transfer the brew from said crock to some smaller vessels for freezing. (Given my clumsey fingers, Queenie may be graced with some stew broth upon the floor near her dish.  :bigeyes )
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Holly Stick

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 03:44:05 PM »
Our family crockpot is quite large and I would always have several servings to freeze when I made stew.  My mother won it at a store that was giving out prizes by having customers spin a wheel.
 
I haven't had the crock pot for a few years; probably my sister has it, or some other relative.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Boom Boom

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 03:44:59 PM »
Those that live alone and cook for themselves will know of what I speak!
 

I know the feeling. I usually just keep leftover crock pot stuff in the fridge, and when I can't stand it any longer, I throw it out. If it's expensive stuff like a rib roast stew, yeah, I'll freeze it.
 
Our hydro is off today because of a bad storm - heavy rain and wind. I have my generator on, probably will keep it going through the night to keep the freezer cold.

lagatta

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 08:13:12 AM »
This barley stew recipe from epicurious (archive for Gourmet, Bon Appétit and some other culinary publications) looks like a good base on which to develop your own recipe, whether vegetarian or incorporating meat (but rich in vegetables in either case):

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Barley-Stew-with-Leeks-Mushrooms-and-Greens-356352

Mine won't be vegetarian because I did the barley in some beef stock (the bones were given to me). I used "dehulled barley", also known as pot barley or scotch barley - or "hulled barley" in the sense of removing the hull, not pearl barley - dehulled barley is more nutritious, and takes longer to cook. I did the barley on its own in my crockpot, to control its doneness.

I'm going to go buy some mushrooms, on sale today at Loblaws, and pick up a leek or some chard at Jean-Talon Market. I like kale too, but it is harder to cook and I'd have put it in with the barley.

I have red onions, tomatoes and carrots, but need vegetables that aren't sweet as well. I also have a very tender kind of flat cabbage (yummy) but if I put that in, I'll just do it at the last minute.

I have sage, regular basil, thai basil and a Southeast Asian herb called rau ram (in Vietnamese) with an intriguing flavour. Won't put all of those in; certainly the sage, perhaps some rau ram (it grows like a weed).

I'm thinking of adding a bit of some kind of meat, though it will be mostly vegetables. I'd love some duck, but it is expensive unless you buy a lot, frozen, at Southeast Asian or Chinese shops.

It is a stormy, moody day, so I feel like something a bit substantial, but incorporating seasonal vegetables.

Always a bit sad, these threads haunted by our old friend Croghan... :crying
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

lagatta

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 10:25:51 PM »
This week I'm making an Indonesian (or rather, Indonesianish) dish - a Javanese chicken curry, made with a little pouch of instant herbs and spices in oil, produced in Indonesia, bought in Amsterdam. I had good quality chicken legs from a trusty Moroccan butcher nearby. Decided to bone the legs and make a bit of stock from those fresh bones and some roasted ones I had in the little freezer. I added the skin; it adds a lot of flavour and it is easy to skim off all the fat afterwards, letting the stock cool down. I cooked some tiny potatoes i the broth as it was cooking down.

Sautéed some shallots (not scallions or green onions) and a bit of garlic. Added reduced stock, then pieces (more or less cubes, but following muscles of dead chickens) and let this simmer until done. Then packed up the cooked chicken and some of the broth, and most of the broth in another pyrex container. I'll add in other vegetables tomorrow. Recipe calls for some coconut milk, but I won't add in a whole tin. I freeze the milk, once opened, in smaller portions.

It is a mild curry; no hot spices at all. I think I'll leave it that way, and serve it with little bowls of sambals (chillis and spices mixtures), also bought in Amsterdam.

Nice time of year for such dishes, as there are all kinds of fresh local vegetables but we might want a hot, slightly substantial dish.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Boom Boom

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 08:50:44 AM »
Beef fried rice with a lot of veggies tonight, then I'm hoping to use my crock pot this week for slow cooking. Haven't used it much so far.

lagatta

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 07:24:37 PM »
Back to the lighter side. I like to provide vegetarian alternatives when possible if posting a recipe with dead beast in it. Tempeh is one of the staple foods of Indonesia, probably the most common high-protein food among the poor and working-classes. It is a sophisticated take on soyfoods: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempeh

But the only tempeh I find here is ridiculously overpriced tiny cakes, frozen, at health food shops. And often loaded with flavours. salt and sugar.

Boom Boom and any others with out a ready supply of fresh beansprouts: they are really easy to sprout, from mung beans. I've been lazy recently, tending too much to my balcony herbs, but you simply have to soak mung beans more or less overnight (until they begin to sprout a bit), then drain off the water and let them develop, covered, while rincing and draining often. One quickly gets the hang of it.

They are very nice to add to this kind of dish, at the very end, just letting them warm through.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 07:51:56 PM by lagatta »
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Boom Boom

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Re: slow cooking, stewing and thereabouts
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 10:28:41 AM »
It's a cold winter here, and a hot hearty crockpot meal would be great - so I'm bumping this thread up to get it started again!  8)

 

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