Winter is undeniably the season of slow cooking. Succulent meat, bursting with flavour that you can prep in the morning and eat as soon as you get home.
Who doesn’t love slow cooking? Here are our tips on how to do it well and some of our favourite slow recipes.
WHY SLOW COOK?
Slow cooking is one of the best culinary methods in terms of ease and efficiency. As well as generally being able to throw everything in at once, more often than not, leaving the dish alone is the best thing you can do. This makes the method incredibly popular with busy couples and families, as the whole meal can be prepped in the morning, and is ready to eat as soon as you get home in the evening. And what’s better than that?!
This slow cooked beef with pearl barley is perfect for a hearty family meal at the end of the day
Another reason for the popularity of slow cooking is that the method favours more affordable cuts of meat. Among the recommended cuts are top rib, also known as the housekeeper’s cut, as well as silverside, eye of the round and brisket. After a few hours of cooking, these cuts will be succulent and bursting with flavour, and won’t set you back anywhere near as much as a sirloin or fillet.
The beef shin is underrated, but has a beautiful flavour when slow cooked. We love chef Alyn Williams’ recipe for slow cooked irish beef shin with quinoa, wild garlic and parmesan.
As we’ve mentioned, the laissez-faire requirements of slow cooking are one of the reasons for the method’s popularity. However, there are a couple of extra steps you can take to make your meal really stand out. Firstly, trimming the fat is not only a great way to make a healthier dish, but will also avoid having excess oil in your finished meal, as unlike when frying, the fat will not drain away upon cooking. Our other top tip is to seal the meat on all sides in hot oil before adding to the slow cooker. This will caramelise the surface, and enhance the flavour of the meat itself, and subsequently add depth and complexity to the entire dish.
Try this show-stopping recipe for braised short ribs at your next dinner party.