Saturday, January 29, 2011

Slow cooker gammon on root vegetables with cider recipe

Mmmmmm, mmm, this was an easy way to tasty! Some people love scented candles. I prefer a house full of warming smells like gammon simmering slowly in apple juice with root vegetables. Besides those scented candles make me sneeze and give my husband a headache.

The smell of this just made him smile. And drool a bit!

You can cook this in a dry cider or in apple juice. I was going to use cider but the bottle fell off the top of the fridge and smashed so apple juice it was. Do note however that, unlike in traditional recipes, the alcohol from the cider doesn't evaporate in the slow cooker as it has nowhere to go. This may be a pro or a con to you but eat responsibly!

(Note for American readers - British cider is alcoholic and about 7% - we once quite innocently and unwittingly offered some British-style cider to some Southern Baptist guests who we assumed meant the same thing by "cider". They were remarkably "refreshed" by this strange British brew and didn't initially realise the mistake. Thankfully they had a sense of humour and forgave us for the cross-cultural mistake!)

Ingredients for 6: 

1 KG / 2lb gammon (or bacon) joint
3 large carrots, chopped into quarters
2 parsnips, peeled, cored and chopped into quarters where thickest and left whole where thinnest
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
300 ml / 1 1/4 cups dry cider or apple juice
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Put all of the vegetables and the apple juice in the bottom of the slow cooker and season with pepper. I'd wait until the end to season with salt as plenty will run off the gammon.

Put the gammon on top of the veggies having removed any plastic sleeving but not the string if it has one. Rub the mustard and honey into the fat on the gammon and cook the whole lot on Low for 6-9 Hours. Stir the parsley into the vegetables if using.

Serve the meat cut into thick slices on a bed of the root vegetables, doused with the amazing cooking juices. We had this with buckwheat but it would be awesome with mashed potatoes or would pair with rice quite well.


I think it's clear from the intro that we really enjoyed this meal and the different veggies gave it plenty of interest. The meat was tender and fell apart. It made superb leftovers in sandwiches and with rice. Thanks to Katie Bishop of "Easy Slow Cooker Recipes" for the main parts of this recipe.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slow cooker Saag Aloo (potato and spinach curry) recipe

Don't worry - you're not in the wrong place! I'm just transferring my recipes to my new blog.

Click here to find it at it's new home, The Errant Sock, where you can also enjoy non slow-cooker recipes, many designed to avoid common allergens, plus crafts, home and parenting hacks, book and product reviews and much more.

Thank you for your patience and see you over on Sock!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Slow cooker Russian Borscht recipe

Borscht is a beetroot soup made in Russia, the Ukraine, Poland and probably many other counties in that direction. The beetroot is compulsory but there are many variations. Some are smooth and creamy but this is a chunky version with nice hearty chunks of beef. It's healthy, iron-rich and sweetly soothing. We've eaten the leftovers in the freezer already.

This recipe came (mostly) from my Australian Women's Weekly Slow Cooker book. Another hit from Mum's Christmas present.

Ingredients for 6:

2 tbsps butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
500g / 1lb beef stewing or chuck steak, cut into large chunks
250 ml / 1 cup water
750 g / 1 1/2 lbs raw beetroot (beets, peeled and chopped into bite-size chunks
2 medium potatoes, cut the same way
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2" thick "pennies"
1 400 g / 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 litre/ 4 cups beef stock
80 ml (1/3 cup) red wine vinegar
3 bay leaves
1/2 large savoy cabbage (or similar) finely shredded

Sour cream, to serve


Melt half the butter in a large frying pan or skillet. Cook the onion until soft then transfer to the slow cooker. Add the rest of the butter and the beef,  quickly turning the beef until each cube is browned on each side. Add the beef to the slow cooker.

Add everything down to the bay leaves to the slow cooker and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8.

Turn the cooker to High if it isn't already and quickly add the cabbage, stirring to submerge it. Once your cabbage is wilted - maybe 20 minutes - it's time to serve. Serve with about 2 tbsp of sour cream on each bowl. Steamed new potatoes are a traditional accompaniment.


This was easy and a healthy, satisfying soup. But don't let me make it sound too worthy! It's really tasty too! The vinegar may sound odd but you need it - you don't taste it but it lightens the flavours and makes all the different vegetable tastes really sing.

I think I'll make a smooth version as well some time soon. I'd forgotten how much I love borscht.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Slow cooker cherry clafoutis recipe

Clafoutis is a yummy French pudding which you can make with various fruits, especially plums, but the most famous version is with cherries.

Fresh cherries aren't something I'd typically buy in January but when I see that little orange Reduced sticker, temptation sometimes takes over and I already had in mind to cook this.

I used and adapted a recipe from the excellent Katie Bishop book "Slow Cooking - Easy slow cooker recipes" but, although I love  her recipes, this one needed a little tweaking in the time department to work well. This may be because my smaller 4 Litre/quart slow cooker is a little under-powered. It was great in the end though and the leftovers made a superb breakfast the next day.

Here's how to attain cherry heaven in a few easy steps.

Ingredients for 4:

500g / 1lb fresh cherries
(or use a jar of cherries in natural juice or brandy, drained and the juices retained)
50 g / 4 tbsp butter
4 eggs, medium
2 extra egg yolks
125 g / 3/4 cup white sugar
75 g (1/2 cup) plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
600 ml (1 1/3 cups) whole milk


Remove the slow cooker dish to butter it, pre-heating the base to High while you do so. Scatter the cherries over the bottom of the bowl.

Melt the rest of the butter (I used the microwave) in a bowl, then allow to cool slightly.

In another larger bowl, mix the eggs, yolks and sugar. Whisk in the cooled melted butter, then the flour, then the milk, to create a smooth batter.

Pour the batter over the cherries.

Place the slow cooker dish back into the casing, put on the lid and cook on High for 3-4 Hours (the recipe stated much less but at bedtime, we were still waiting!). The clafoutis is ready when the middle is just set like an oven-baked custard.

If you had juices from the jar, you could reduce by half in a saucepan over high heat and use as a pouring sauce. We had it as it was.


This was a very lovely dessert once it had cooked enough but it wasn't like the clafoutis I'd had in France which had more of a cakey texture from memory. This was more of an egg custard with fruit, despite the flour. You can also see from the photo that it was swimming in butter which was tasty but not exactly healthy. I think I'd reduce the butter by half next time. The leftovers were wonderful cold (or hot). I really enjoyed this but I wouldn't want to serve it to guests until I was more confident of the timings.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Slow cooker pork ribs recipe

I must have edited this photo half-asleep - what's going
 on withthe cornbread? It looks like food made by angels....
I didn't grow up in a rib-eating family so I wasn't really sure what I was doing with these little guys but slow cooker rib recipes are all over the net so I figured it must be a good way to cook them. I didn't have time to rustle up a recipe that day so I made up my own sauce and they turned out really well but, not being a ribs connoisseur, there may well be many ribby tricks that I missed. Feel free to educate me in the comments!

Ingredients for 4:

About 12 pork ribs
2 tbsp BBQ sauce - I used HP Honey Woodsmoke flavour
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Fajita seasoning
2 tsp mixed grill herbs (rosemary, thyme etc)
1/2 tsp salt


Mix together everything except the ribs in your slow cooker to form a sauce.

Stir the ribs in the sauce until they are well coated.

Cook on Low for 6 Hours or High for 3, making sure your sauce doesn't catch.

Serve with cornbread and creamed spinach as we did or any other classic rib accompaniments you enjoy.


We really enjoyed how tender these ribs were. The meat was juicy but not greasy. This recipe doesn't provide so much sauce that it provides much more than a sticky coating - I saw some recipes which would have come out much wetter with the ribs swimming in sauce - but we enjoyed them this way. The flavour was fine with a sweet, smoky taste, but could do with some work for real finesse. I think I'd have liked a little more tang and maybe some more heat. I'll use this method again but I might actually find a recipe next time!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Slow cooker bananas Foster recipe

Want a really easy dessert for the weekend? This is it. I still have the heavenly taste lingering in my mouth and I had to tell you about it!

Ingredients for 4:

4 bananas
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp rum essence (or 2 tbsp rum)
30 g (2 tbsp) butter - melted.


Put all ingredients in the slow cooker, stir to combine and cook for 2 Hours on Low or 1 Hour on High

Serve with vanilla ice cream. Faint with delight.


This was so fabulous I had to physically leave the room to stop myself from eating the leftovers. Cook this at your peril! Not too sweet, not too boozy, the bananas just about held their shape (I overcooked ours slightly). I could have licked the pot.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slow cooker turkey stew recipe a la Jamie Oliver

Notice how there's no photo again? I'm so sorry. Remember, that means this dish was distractingly tasty - so much so that we forgot to get out the camera before the plates were empty! I did look on Flickr but there wasn't a picture of MY turkey stew. It was a long shot, I guess. Anyway, the basis for this is a Jamie Oliver recipe from his America cook book. You'll love it. Your kids will love it. Your friends will love it. It's fabulous. And easy.

Ingredients for 4-6:

3 onions, finely sliced
a dab of butter to fry them in
5-800g stew or stir-fry turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
500ml chicken stock made with a cube (or 400 ml if you use the fresh mushrooms)
 Do bear in mind this meant I used boiling water -
       you may wish to add extra time if you start with cold chicken stock
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
EITHER 200 g (1 - 2 cups) finely sliced mushrooms
    OR 15 g dried wild mushrooms (using both would be better still!)
100 ml (1/3 cup) single cream / half-and-half
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped


If you are using dried mushrooms, pour a couple of tbsps of boiling water over them now and let them soak.

Fry the onions until they start to go translucent in a little butter. Add the turkey to the pan and turn until just coloured - you don't need to colour up every morsel but browning it off will give even more flavour.

Then tip everything up to the mushrooms into your slow cooker. If you're using dried mushrooms, chuck in the soaking juices too - the more flavour, the better!

Cook on Low for 4-6 Hours or High for 2-4.

Turn slow cooker to High if it isn't already and stir in the cream, lemon zest, parsley and garlic. If you're keen to have dinner as soon as possible (given the way this smells, you will be!), then mix these final ingredients together before lifting the lid of your cooker and quickly stirring them in. Don't  leave your lid off for ages then expect the cream not to cool down your dinner! Cook for a further 10 minutes, just to let the flavours mingle.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.


I am not a stew fan AT ALL but I could have eaten this all night. The turkey was tender and the creamy mix of mushrooms, lemon and herbs was perfect. The raw garlic was fine as it was very finely chopped and cooked in the last few moments. The stew leftovers were even better. After the last Jamie Oliver meal I cooked which was disappointing, I am right back in love with the man. I'm sure my husband will understand. He ate the stew too after all. All 6 guests that night wolfed it down too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Slow cooker Tex-Mex breakfast egg stack recipe

You may not be so keen on a savoury breakfast as I am, let alone a spicy one, in which case, why not have this for dinner? I always suggest you try an overnight recipe during the day the first time you cook it anyway so that you can just check the timings for your particular slow cooker. This eggy Tex-Mex dish is a real treat whichever end of the day you have it.

The original idea came from Steph O'Dea's wonderful blog A Year of Slow Cooking - there's a link on my blog.

Ingredients for 8

8 corn tortillas (you can use more if you have an oval slow cooker or just have fewer layers)
8 eggs
2 cups / 500 ml milk
2 cups / 400g grated pepperjack or Tex Mex cheese
(or use plain old cheddar or Edam and add in some chopped Jalapenos to your taste if these types of cheese are unavailable)
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 cup / 150 g corn - frozen is fine
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp cilantro / fresh coriander


Grease your slow cooker.

Put the first tortilla into your slow cooker. If you have a round 4 Q/ 4 L cooker, you'll probably find it fits beautifully. If not, you may have to tear a few tortillas to cover the bottom completely which us why you may need more.

Mix everything that isn't a tortilla in a large bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout.

If you are cooking with a toddler, now is the point at which you may wish to check that they haven't nibbled a little off the edge of your first tortilla. Or put a ballpoint pen under the tortilla, Unless you like blue eggs. They keep us on our toes, these kids!

If you are using the round cooker, pour in about a fifth of your cheesy egg mixture.  If you are tearing tortillas to fit, work out how many layers you can make with the number of tortillas you have and divide the mix accordingly. I made 5 layers of egg mixture between 6 tortillas but fewer would be fine. Keep on layering egg and tortillas, finishing with a tortilla. Push this top tortilla down into the eggy mixture so it is nice and moist. I grated soem extra cheddar over the top at this point.

Cook on Low for 6-8 Hours or on High for 3-4. Give the slow cooker to check the egg has set.

Serve with tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole or any other favourite tex Mex trimmings.


Awesome. I love Tex Mex and THIS is how to wangle it for breakfast. I wondered about adding in some chopped tomato too. Then you'd end up with something a lot like Migas...more about that another time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Slow cooker chocolate tapioca pudding recipe

I feel bad when I can't offer you a photo but it's usually a very good sign. It meant we were too busy eating to remember to take a pic. That can only be a recommendation, right? I put this tapioca recipe together from several sources. It was the first time I'd cooked it and probably the first time I'd eaten tapioca in about thirty years but I had some left over in the cupboard having used it as a pie thickener and thought I'd give it a bash. I was so glad I did. It's easy, it's comforting and your kids will think you're the best Mummy ever (until they find out how much you snaffled during the evening once they'd gone to bed!).

Ingredients for 6:

4 cups / 1 litre milk - I used semi-skimmed
2/3 cup / 150 g white or caster sugar
1/2 cup / 75 g small pearl tapioca (the only kind they sell in my supermarket)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence


Combine all ingredients and cook on High for 3 1/2 - 4 Hours or on Low for 7-8. Stir well at the end as your mixture will probably be quite lumpy. The lumps should smooth out. Serve hot or cold. Both were good!


Our lodger put this perfectly - "It has just the right level of chocolatiness." I was inclined to agree. For so little effort, this was a proper traditional nursery pudding and I'll happily make it again, both with and without the chocolate. There's something very comforting about a milk pudding. We only ever eat this kind of thing after a soup meal (we ate this after the delectable ribollita ) but then enjoy the luxury.

Easy slow cooker meatloaf recipe

It's not often I can remember a whole recipe without leaving the computer to get my notes first but this was so simple I could write a post off the cuff. Most meatloaf recipes can be adapted for the slow cooker and I'll be trying others but I wanted a really, really simple version for mid-week desperation moments. This also makes great sandwiches once cold.

Ingredients for 4-6:

1 lb / 500g beef mince (ground beef)
1 lb / 500g pork mince (ground pork)
1 egg
85 g packet (3-4 oz) Paxo sage and onion stuffing mix
2 tbsp BBQ sauce or ketchup


Make sure your meat is defrosted. This will be soggy and really unpleasant to mix if you use frozen.

Mix everything thoroughly in a large mixing bowl using your hands or a large fork.

Take a 2lb loaf tin (check this will fit in your slow cooker before you start mixing the meat) or a round china casserole dish of some sort that will take the mixture and grease it with a little vegetable oil or whatever you normally use. I didn't worry as I have a Teflon loaf tin. Spread the BBQ sauce or ketchup over the bottom. You could cook this in a mound straight in your slow cooker but it will cook much faster.

Cook on Low for 6-8 hours or on High for 3-4.

I served it with cous cous and buttered corn on this occasion but it would be wonderful with mashed potato or garlic mashed potato.


Easy and moist, this tasted as meat loaf should and was so simple a child could make it. The stuffing mix means the seasoning and onion are already in there. It didn't even need any more salt. You could try different flavours of stuffing mix or stretch the meat further by using a bigger pack.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Slow cooker pauper's ribollita soup recipe

My lovely Mum bought me the Australian Womens Weekly Slow Cooker Cook Book for Christmas (Thanks Mum! I love you!) and I immediately wanted to cook this. Perfect New Year's food with lots of lovely antioxidants (the vits stay in the food in slow cooking as there's nowhere for them to evaporate to) and just delicious with it. Ribollita in the slow cooker is a keeper. The name means "reboiled" by the way and it traditionally involved reheating a minestrone and adding in some bread and some coarser vegetables....the cabbage and beans are key.

I've called it the pauper's version because the original recipe involved a large ham hock which I didn't have in so replaced with two good quality ham stock cubes and I used spring greens instead of cavolo nero which brought the cost down still further. The original recipe was supposed to be good peasant fare so, although purists will gasp, I think the modern thrifty Tuscan housewife might forgive me.

Ingredients for 6:

4 rashers of bacon, ideally smoked, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped finely
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g / 14 oz tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp dried rosemary (or use 2 whole sprigs fresh and remove at end)
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
2 good quality ham stock cubes (I used Knorr)
2 litres /  8 cups water
400 g / 12 oz cavolo nero, Swiss chard or spring greens, coarsely sliced
400 g / 14 oz tin of cannellini beans
200 g fresh leaf spinach (optional - I threw it in because it was in the fridge but it was great)
250 g / 1/2 lb good sour dough bread or garlic ciabatta to serve
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional - I didn't have any but AWW recommended it)
40 g / 1/2 cup Parmesan, shaved (use a potato peeler)


Combine everything up to the water in the slow cooker and cook on Low for 8 hours.

Turn your slow cooker to High. Add your beans and greens of whatever sort you are using to the slow cooker. Cook for a further 20 minutes or so. The soup is ready once the greens have wilted.

(If you want to use a ham hock, use a 1 kg / 2 lb hock instead of the stock cubes and remove it after the 8 hours. Shred the meat finely  while the greens are cooking and add back into the soup for the last 5 minutes to reheat, discarding the fat, skin and bone.)

I served this with garlic bread but you are supposed if you are being authentic to tear some sour dough into a bowl and ladle the soup over the top. That also sounds great. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the bowl.


How can anything this healthy be so tasty? Or so easy? Although the ingredient list looks long, it only took 10 minutes to throw together. It really was just fantastic. All the different vegetable flavours came through and the cabbage was sweet and, cooked like this, just perfectly done. My husband was just as enthusiastic about it. This is not girl food or summer food, just because it has vegetables in it and the beans made it nice and filling. This we will eat again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nigella's Greek lamb stew in white wine recipe - for your slow cooker!

No, don't worry. You've not got a bad link. This great recipe is moments away, right here

I'm gradually transferring all my Blighty recipes to a new blog called The Errant Sock. As well as slow cooker recipes, you'll get lots of other conventional recipes with lots designed to avoid common allergens, plus crafts, reviews, parenting and home hacks, all with the same dash of realism and humour that you get here. So do take a look around and let me know what you think!

Hope to see you in a few seconds over on the Sock!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Perfect slow cooker chicken wings recipe

Oddly, these wings seemed to have been cooked in 1973 from the
photo quality. I have no idea why the camera
did this. They tasted fabulous.
Happy New Year to all you regular Blighty-ites and a hearty welcome  to all of you who are here because you were given a slow cooker for Christmas and now want to know what to do with it.  Boy will this recipe be a great start!

I must say sorry about the gap in posts by the way. It seems Santa misread my Christmas list and actually thought I'd like to have the UK's Official National Christmas Lurgy 2010 for the last week or so. Honestly, next year socks would be fine, Santa. It's made both staring at screens and any thought of food extremely difficult. The perils of food blogging.

What a joy though to find the missing chicken wings recipe in the back of my 2010 diary as I transferred a few notes. You have to make these luscious wings! Here's how.

Ingredients for 3 (or 2 if you're really greedy -  we were!):

About 16 chicken wings
(there's enough sauce for at least another half dozen wings, maybe more, if you want to scale up)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup (60ml) ketchup
1/4 cup (60 ml) BBQ sauce -  I used HP Honey Woodsmoke flavour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp Tabasco


Tip all ingredients for the sauce into your slow cooker and give it all a good mix. Then add your wings and stir to coat evenly.

Cook on High for 3 hours then reduce to Low for the next 2. Alternatively, cook on High for 4 hours or on Auto for 6 (auto starts with an hour on high then drops the heat).

Serve with blue cheese dip. I just mashed some Danish Blue into some natural Greek yoghurt.


Heav.En.Ly! These are spicy but not super-hot. If you like your wings really fiery you'll need a lot more hot sauce but these wings were a great balance of moist,tender meat with a sweet, smoky and tangy sauce. Flavour wise these were my prefect wings. I might however give them a 2 minute blast under the grill/broiler at the end next time just to have a slight crispy finish on the beautifully moist wings. The blue cheese dip really worked and we licked out the bowl with our fingers the sauce was so good. Elegance, pah!