Ready, steady: A slow-cooker is a home chef’s best friend (recipe)
Any thought you have that slow-cooked food means dried-out mush should be chucked with the same speed you toss Aunt Martha’s tuna casserole delight.
These days, slow cookers are a chef’s best friend. And, whether you want to keep food warm, or sear your favorite meat, there’s a cooker out there to do the job. Our favorites for just about any cook:
The downside to slow cookers is that for dishes that need to be stirred, you’re out of luck. Or maybe not. Check out this version with a stew paddle will ensure you don’t have to remember to give things a stir halfway through the day. Crock-Pot six-quart digital slow cooker with Istir Automatic Stirring System, $59.99, bedbathandbeyond.com
Think your slow cooker can’t sear, brown or saute You haven’t met this guy. Cuisinart four-quart three-in-one slow cooker, $159 on sale, crateandbarrel.com
This appliance works as both a speedy pressure cooker, which will cook meat in minutes, or a slow cooker. You also can sear with this cooker. Breville pressure and slow cooker, $179 on sale, surlatable.com
Worried about keeping those appetizers warm, or that chocolate or caramel melted? Look no further. Crock-Pot Little Triple Dipper, $29.99, target.com
If you’re looking for a sturdy slow cooker that will last through the years, or one you can program for 24 hours, check out this handy model. KitchenAid six-quart slow cooker, $139.99, macys.com
In the mood for an old-fashioned beef stew? Look to Crock-Pot, the brand most associate with the slow cooker, or check out brands like KitchenAid or Cuisinart.
From Allrecipes.com, a classic:
- 2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 ½ cup beef broth
- 3 potatoes diced
- 4 carrots sliced
- 1 stalk celery chopped
Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Cover, and cook on low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on high setting for 4 to 6 hours.