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Slow Cooking

 

See also:    Cuts of Alligator  Cuts of Beef  |  Cuts of Lamb  |  Cuts of Pork

 

Jump to:     Types of Slow Cooking  Ingredient Preparation | To brown or not to Brown  | Timing  |  Recipes

 

© Photographer: Thomas Perkins | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

According to the philosophy of Slow Food International  "We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture".

 

We agree and what better way to underpin this by cooking stews, casseroles, pot roasts or braises - a tradition which dates back millennia, albeit that our ancestors didn't have the luxury of fan ovens, auto-timers or even electricity.

 

These methods of cooking well suited peoples of the past - and not only those 1940's housewives who had the whole day to watch over them. When you consider early hunter gatherers or farmers who had to spend long periods of time finding or growing food just to survive, it becomes very clear that even in today's hustle bustle with so many people out at work,  it's still an ideal method of cooking enabling us to eat  fresh, wholesome, homemade foods and, better still, with all the nutrients in tact.

 

Furthermore, many slow cooked recipes have the added advantage of being suitable for less expensive foods such as the cheaper cuts of meat or older poultry and vegetables, transforming them from being tough on the teeth to mouth-wateringly  succulent.

 

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Types of slow cooking

Bakes

Bakes are cooked in the oven and are ideal for  mince, fish, shredded cooked meat and poultry, vegetables and pasta. For the purpose of this section, we will include items such as moussaka and lasagne. where vegetable accompaniments are concerned, they are ideal for cooking at the same time as roasts.

 

Boiling

This term is rather a misnomer as the food is not usually boiled for any length of time, but rather simmered or poached very gently.

 

Braising

Similar to stewing, traditionally this method was most often used for tougher cuts of meats which were slowly browned well on all sides in a vessel on top of the stove,  then a small amount of liquid was added - perhaps only sufficient to come half way up the depth of food in the dish.  The dish was then covered tightly and the meat is simmered over very low heat until very tender.  Today however, the term is synonymous with stewing and many braised recipes use more liquid than was originally intended and is sometimes cooked in a low oven rather than on the stove top.

 

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Casseroles

This is a method of "wet" cooking where foods are cooked slowly in a covered vessel the oven. Once again, a substantial amount of liquid is added, usually sufficient to just cover the food.

 

Pies

Many pies are an excellent form of slow cooking, be they made with a pastry crust or with an alternative topping such as potato.

 

Pot Roasting

Traditionally used for large cuts of meat or joints which are  browned on all sides in butter or oil, then placed on a deep bed of seasoned root vegetables with a very little liquid, and cooked very slowly in a covered dish in the oven.  This method enables cheaper cuts of meat to be "roasted" rather than stewed or casseroled.

 

Stews

This is a method of "wet" cooking where foods are cooked very  slowly in a covered vessel on the top of the stove with  enough liquid added to completely cover the food. Many types of food can be stewed from meat to vegetables to fruit,  although the timing will obviously differ depending on the item used.

 

Tagines

This is another method of "wet" cooking where foods are cooked very  slowly in a specialist covered vessel on the top of the stove. It has become a very popular type of dish in recent years which originally hails from Morocco. Many types of food can be used from meat to vegetables . There are tagine recipes below however to find them all in one place visit the

Morocco Speciality dish Tagines page.

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Preparing ingredients for slow cooking

 

Liquids  -  Most slow cooked dishes require liquid in various measures. This can be water, milk,  stock, wine, beer or cider. Do experiment to create new and unique flavours and remember alcohol such as wine adds to the tenderising process.

 

Bakes

In general, keep all of the the ingredients in quite small pieces or thinly slice items such as potatoes. Smaller fish can be left whole and larger fish can be cut into cutlets or fillets.

 

Boiling/ Poaching -  Usually used for larger cuts of meats such as bacon and meat joints and whole chickens which are cooked on the stove top.  When cooking with the addition of vegetables which are going to be served with the dish (rather than just as flavourings), leave them in large pieces too so they don't disintegrate during the long cooking process.

 

Braising -  Older vegetables should be cut up into bite-sized pieces however baby vegetables such as carrots and turnips can be left whole as can items such as steak.

 

Casseroles -  Older vegetables should be cut up into bite-sized pieces however baby vegetables such as carrots and turnips can be left whole as can items such as chicken breasts.

 

Pies

Keep the ingredients in small uniform sized pieces to ensure even cooking.

 

Pot Roasting  -   Vegetables should be cut into small pieces but the meat left in one large piece.

 

Stews  -  All ingredients are usually cut into bite-sized pieces before being cooked.

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To brown or not to brown....

 

Where braising or pot roasting is concerned, the browning of the ingredients before the liquid is added is an intrinsic part of the process, adding the desired flavour to the finished dish and should always be done.

 

In stews and casseroles, whilst the main reason for browning is to "seal" the juices in meat, as well as adding extra flavour,  this is not always necessary and is entirely dependent on whether you have the extra time it takes to do so. However, if you do decide to brown ingredients before adding the liquid, make sure you don't overcrowd the pan as this just results in the meat being stewed rather than sealed which defeats the object.

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Timing for slow cooking

All the recipes on this site give cooking times, but it should be remembered that many slow cooked dishes, particularly meat and poultry, can be cooked for much longer periods than stated.  Also, many dishes (with the exception of fish) can be safely reheated, often leading to a richer  tasting dish where all the flavours have melded together.

 

When using a slow-cooker for stews,  the amount of liquid may need adjusting and the manufacturers' timing recommendations adhered to. Slow cookers are an excellent way to cook stews especially for people who are out at work. Simply turn them on before you leave in the morning and you'll come back in the evening  to a delicious freshly cooked homemade stew.

 

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Slow Cooking Recipes

Below are just a few of the many  slow-cooked recipes on this site to help you on your way however do experiment with ingredients, especially those which are in season.

 

Happy Slow-cooking!

 

Jump to recipes:   Bakes  |  Boiling/Poaching  |  Braising  |  Casseroles  |  Pies  |  Pot Roasts  |  Stews 

 

Key:-   Veg = Vegetarian     HT = Hot      CD = Cold      SP = Soup      HD = Starter      MC = Main Course  ACC = Accompaniment      DP = Dessert/Pudding     CBF = Cakes/Baked Fayre

 

Bakes

Seafood

Baked Gloucester Cod    HT  MC  English  45mins

Moroccan Baked Fish    HT  MC  Moroccan 50mins

Savoury Baked Fish    HT  MC  British  50mins

Salmon and Potato Slice    HT  MC  55mins

Garlic Baked Cod    HT  MC  60mins

Snapper Crillo    HT  MC  Venezuelan  60mins

Baked Mackerel in White Wine    HT  MC  Bulgarian  65mins

Tuna Lasagna    HT  MC  80mins

Aubergines Caskets HT MC 90mins

 

Beef & Veal

Beef and Cabbage Bake    HT  MC  British  75mins

Meat Lasagne    HT  MC  80mins

Stuffed Marrow    HT  MC  90mins

Bobotie HT MC South African 110mins

Shipwreck   HT  MC  Canadian  130mins

One Pot Dinner in a Pumpkin    HT  MC  British  170mins

 

Lamb

Lamb and Courgette Bake    HT  MC  M.Eastern  45mins

Moussaka   HT  MC  Greek  135mins

Mrouziya    HT  MC  Moroccan  200mins

 

Poultry & Game

Turkey, Almond and Cheese Bake   HT  MC  British  45mins

Chicken Stuffed Marrow   HT  MC  English  50mins

Turkey and Ham Crumble   HT  MC  55mins

 

Pork & Bacon

Luncheon Meat and Broccoli Bake   HT  MC  English  55mins

Scalloped Ham with Yam   HT  MC  West Indian  85mins

Potato and Double Gloucester Bake   HT  MC  English  90mins

 

Vegetables & Vegetarian

Creamy Spinach Pasta Bake   Veg  HT  MC  45mins

Stuffed Cabbage   Veg  HT  MC  100mins

Lentil Lasagne    Veg  HT  MC  110mins

Lentil and Parsnip Bake    Veg  HT  MC  120mins

 

Jump to recipes:   Bakes  |  Boiling/Poaching  |  Braising  |  Casseroles  |  Pies  |  Pot Roasts  |  Stews 

 

Boiling/Poaching

Kouneli Stifado  (rabbit)   HT  MC  Greek  85mins plus marinating

Bacon with Broad Beans    HT  MC  90mins

Cinnamon Milk Pork    H T MC  Colombian  100mins

Boiled Bacon with Cabbage   HT  MC  British  120mins

Poached Chicken    HT  MC  120mins

Boiled Leg of Lamb    HT  MC  Irish  140mins

Boiled Beef and Carrots    HT  MC  English  170mins

Bavarian Sauerbraten    HT  MC  German  200mins plus marinating

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Braising

Seafood

Braised Squid   HT  MC  Portuguese  110mins

Braised Swordfish   HT  MC  Tahitian  85mins

 

Beef & Veal

Braised Beef with Mushrooms    HT  MC  120mins

Braised Beef    HT  MC  170mins

Braised Veal with Herbs     HT  MC  140mins

 

Lamb

Sardinian Leg of Lamb   HT  MC  Italian  105mins

Venetian Lamb   HT  MC  Italian  120mins

Turkish Braised Lamb    HT  MC  Turkish  125mins

Braised Lamb with Rhubarb    HT  MC  130mins

Oregano Braised Lamb    HT  MC  130mins

Braised Lamb Shanks    HT  MC  160mins

 

Offal

Braised Sweetbreads   HT  MC  English  65mins

Braised Lambs Hearts    HT  MC  120mins

 

Poultry & Game

Braised Rabbit in Rioja    HT  MC  Spanish  65mins

Molasses Braised Rabbit   HT  MC  80mins

Honan Braised Duck    HT  Chinese  MC  100mins

Braised Chicken with Spices    HT  MC  120mins

Braised Turkey Breast in Mushroom Sauce    HT  MC  120mins

Braised Guinea Fowl    HT  MC  125mins

 

Vegetables

Tangy Celeriac Braise    HT  ACC  45mins

Braised Fennel      HT  ACC  60mins

Braised Chestnuts with Port    HT  ACC  70mins

 

Jump to recipes:   Bakes  |  Boiling/Poaching  |  Braising  |  Casseroles  |  Pies  |  Pot Roasts  |  Stews 

 

Casseroles

Slow Food - Casseroles   (click to go to the main Casseroles Page)

 

Pies

Seafood

Salt Cod Pie    HT  MC  Portuguese  60mins plus soaking

Smoked Cod Pie    HT  MC  Irish  70mins

Brill and Vermouth Parcel   HT  MC  75mins plus marinating

Eel Pie   HT  CD  100mins

Stargazy Pie    HT  MC  British  105mins

 

Beef & Veal

East End Pie and Liquor    HT  MC  English  70mins

Traditional Cornish Pasties    HT  CD  MC  PIC  English  80mins

Steak and Ale Pie    HT  MC  English  170mins

Steak and Kidney Pie     HT  MC  British  190mins

Tourtière du Saguenay    HT  MC  Canadian  200mins

Steak and Kidney Pudding    HT  MC  British  265mins

 

Lamb

Shepherd's Pie    HT  MC  English  60mins

Antipodean Lamb Pie   HT  MC  Australian  75mins

Gloucestershire Squab Pie   HT  MC  English  90mins

Cotswolds Squab Pie   HT  MC  British 105mins

 

Pork & Bacon

Sausage and Apple Pie   HT  CD  MC  English  60mins

Huntingdon Fidget Pie    HT  MC  English  80mins

Pork and Beef Tourtière   HT  MC  Canadian  80mins

Pork and Potato Tourtière    HT  MC  Canadian  80mins

 

Poultry & Game

Leftovers Turkey Pie   HT  MC  British  65mins

Game Pie    HT  MC  English  120mins plus cooling

Boer Chicken Pie   HT  MC  South African  150mins

 

Vegetables and Vegetarian

Cheese and Spinach Pie   Veg  HT  MC  90mins

Creamy Potato Pie   Veg  HT  MC  90mins

Kulebyaka   HT  MC Russian  120mins

 

Jump to recipes:   Bakes  |  Boiling/Poaching  |  Braising  |  Casseroles  |  Pies  |  Pot Roasts  |  Stews 

 

Pot Roasts

Pot Roasted Pork with Grapes   HT  MC 120mins

Pot Roasted Chicken    HT  MC  130mins

Pot Roasted Lamb with Sweet Potatoes   HT  MC  140mins

Pot Roasted Beef    HT  MC  165mins

 

Stews

Slow Food - Stews (click to go to the main Stews Page include tagines, Curries etc)

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