Learn

| Cooking Tips & Tricks | How to slow cook

How to slow cook

Whether you're using a slow cooker, or cooking in a casserole dish in the oven, there are a variety of beef and lamb cuts available which will produce tender, juicy and succulent family meals that are good for you too; meals cooked slowly retain maximum nutrition as well as developing a delicious depth of flavour. Don't let the time put you off; the preparation is quick and easy then the oven or slow cooker takes care of the rest.

How to slow cook

  1. Cut the meat into cubes.
  2. Oil the meat then brown in a frying pan over a high heat, then transfer to a casserole dish / slow cooker. This is best done in small batches which will help the meat brown evenly rather than stew or burn in the pan. Repeat with seasonal vegetables.
  3. Remove excess fat from the pan and add stock or liquid. Stir well then pour over meat and vegetables. The liquid should almost cover the meat.
  4. Cover the dish tightly then cook according to the recipe.

Tips for top results

Use the appropriate cut:

Cuts with a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue retain juiciness better than very lean cuts when cooked long and slowly. Economical cuts of beef and lamb will cook to perfection when cooked long and slow.

Brown meat first:

This not only improves colour but also develops flavour.

Cover the dish tightly:

A tight-fitting lid holds in the heat and liquid and makes the meat tender.

Check for readiness at regular intervals:

Over-cooking can make the meat dry and stringy. If the meat is ready but the cooking liquid has not reduced enough to give a good sauce consistency, remove the meat (keep it covered so the surface does not dry) while you complete the sauce. Then return the meat to the hot sauce.

How to convert a regular recipe for the slow cooker

Time:

As a general rule, 1 hour of simmering on the cooktop of the oven equates to approximately 5-6 hours on low or 2-2.5 hours on high in a slow cooker.

Liquid:

As there is little evaporation when cooking with a slow cooker, you need to reduce the amount of liquid. As a general rule, reduce the liquid (such as stock, wine, or water) by about half of the original amount. A maximum of two cups of liquid will generally be enough for most slow cooker recipes (except soups).

Best meat cuts for slow cooking

Beef
  • Chuck steaks
  • Diced beef
  • Beef briskets
  • Blade steaks
  • Beef shin
  • Skirt steak
  • Oxtail
  • Short ribs
  • Cross cut blade
  • Gravy beef
Lamb
  • Shoulder
  • Shanks
  • Neck chops
  • Leg steaks
  • Diced lamb
  • Shoulder chops

Posted by Shawn Moodie

Related Posts

Back to learn

Inspiration

4 recipes to get the kids in the kitchen with these school holidays

With school holidays kicking off this weekend, it is about now that many parents start scratching their heads about how to keep the kids entertained for the next two weeks. Our Nutrition team has suggested four kid-friendly recipes that they can get involved with cooking.

Read more

Ingredients

How to cook corned beef silverside

Corned silverside or corned beef is usually a piece of beef around 1 – 2kg which has been corned or cured in a salty brine using various seasonings. It is a delicious tender cut of beef and once cooked is best sliced and served with steamed vegetables and creamy mashed potato and is traditionally accompanied with a mustard sauce. Leftover corned silverside makes the most delicious cold meat sandwiches the next day, making this a very economical cut to use for family meals.

Read more

Inspiration

Soul soups: the health benefits of soup

Brrrr, the temperature’s suddenly dropped and snow is even falling in some parts of our beautiful whenua. When winter weather starts to bite, it’s a perfect time for comfort food and a steaming bowl of nourishing soup ticks that box.

Read more