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Lockdown Dinners: 15 Essential Slow-Cooker Recipes

While slow-cooker recipes are great all year round, they shine most in the cold winter months, when you can pull out the slow-cooker and churn out the hearty soups, stews, curries and roasts we all need to keep warm until spring. This is even more relevant now during lockdown with many of us having to divide our time between juggling kids, working from home and meal planning. Here are fifteen of our top slow cooker recipes that take the hassle out of cooking. Beef cheeks anyone?

Beef Ragout

This ragout is easy to prepare with a slow-cooker. Just prepare all the ingredients the night before, cook the pasta when you get home and bon appetit!

Braised Lamb Shanks

Tender, succulent lamb shanks that fall away at the bone, this recipe is ideal for cold winter evenings. While there is an option included for using the oven, I prefer to do it in the slow-cooker for added convenience.

Spanish Beef and Potato Stew

Spanish Beef Stew is a rustic and hearty one-pot dinner with diced beef slow-cooked in a tomato sauce flavored with garlic, olives, sherry, and Spanish paprika.

Lancashire Lamb Hot Pot

This working man’s family meal originated in Northern England during a time when families would bake their own bread in a farmhouse brick oven. Once the bread was cooked, the stews were put in and left to simmer slowly until day’s end.

Beef and Sweet Fennel Tagine

Done in the slow-cooker or oven, you can perk up the mid-week menu with this fragrantly-spiced Moroccan beef tagine-like stew.

Tender Lamb in Rich Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca is a traditional and much-loved Italian sauce usually served with pasta. We’ve put a Kiwi spin on it by adding lamb and serving it over a buttery kumara mash. It’s loaded with flavour and couldn’t be easier to make. The oven does all the work to make the lamb ‘fall-off-the-bone’ tender.

Tuscan Beef Casserole or Pie

Another simple slow-cooker recipe, this Tuscan-inspired casserole is enjoyable as is, or served under a rich Parmesan pastry pie top. To make the pies, allow the beef mixture to cool well before putting it into a large pie dish or individual dishes. Particularly tasty on a winter’s night accompanied with your favourite red wine.

French Style Navarin of Lamb with Vegetables

Add a French twist to your week with this beautifully crafted lamb recipe. This dish shines when made in a slow cooker - just be sure to keep an eye on the liquid levels.

Slow Cooked Dukkah Bolar

This recipe is a go-to around my house come winter. Coating the bolar roast in dukkah and slow cooking gives the meat a tender and juicy result. Serve with oven-roasted root vegetables, topped with the crème fraîche and hazelnuts.

Tomato Soup Baked Lamb Shanks

Prepared in a slow-cooker, serve the shanks as they come, straight out of the slow cooker, or jazz up this family favourite by serving the shank meat under an easy savoury bread and cheese crumble.

Slow-cooked Beef Cheeks

Beef cheeks, when cooked long and slow result in tender, juicy and flavoursome beef. When paired with silky smooth polenta, doused in a rich sauce spliced with a little orange for freshness, you have a dish made in heaven. Impress your guests this winter with a recipe that requires minimum fuss but delivers maximum impact.

Lamb Bourguignon

This twist on the classic French stew, made popular by Julia Child, is exactly the cure for bitter cold winter nights, especially when paired with a glass of red wine and a crusty baguette.

Italian Beef Casserole

This delicious recipe inspired by Italian flavours, suitable for the oven or slow cooker. I like to get it started before heading off to work and leave it cooking until I get home. Yum!

Braised Oxtail Pie

I love the taste of slow-cooked oxtail on a cold winter night. Oxtail does involve more work to cook than most other cuts, mainly because it is best to refrigerate the casserole overnight to allow the fat to set on top. This can then be lifted off. Richly-flavoured, I like this oxtail recipe served under a fluffy-baked puff pastry pie topping.

Beef Olives

The name ‘Beef Olives’ does not have any association with the olives you pick off a tree. Rather, beef olives are a very old dish dating back to medieval times. The ‘olives’ are little parcels of stuffed schnitzel which, cooked in the slow cooker, result in a beautifully tender, popular family meal.

Posted by Shawn Moodie

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