Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I am a bit slower than your average Ms Joe on catching the latest trend.... if I buy something cool it was generally 'cool' the season before last.

I have just bought myself THE kitchen accessory of winter 2008, the slow cooker. Better late than never, or better slow than ... dead - is that the cliche I am looking for?

Yesterday I got it out of the box and fired it up. I cooked a beef curry and for the first time in a long, long time I shopped for the recipe and followed the steps I was supposed to.  While browning the meat I set off the smoke detectors and they in turn set off the two year old. When things calmed down and all was in the pot I watched with satisfaction as it bubbled away quietly all day.

Here it is under one of our favourite wedding presents, a rather quirky print by Tasmanian artist Tom Samek.
Tom Samek was born in Prague but has lived in Tasmania for rather a long time. Chances are if you are Tasmanian or know a Tasmanian you have seen one of his works on a wall. We have five and have vowed not to get any more. I love his offbeat humour and what he has to say about the sometimes ropey politics of a small place. Don't get me started on Australian politics this week... I'd never stop.

I digress. Back to the slow cooked curry.

Delicious? No. Absolutely bloody awful. So bloody awful that my other half admitted (after kindly eating it for dinner) that we should toss and not freeze the leftovers as had been my cunning plan.

Disappointed? YES. YES. YEEEESSSS.

I am not giving up - 2010 is not the year of giving up - but I may need your help.
This is my favourite, simple, slow cooked casserole dish and if you have time I'd love to hear yours.
Ann's slow, simple Osso Bucco (Hey if you can't name a dish after yourself on your own blog when can you? And yes Osso Bucco Proper uses white wine and a load of other things - this one came from a magazine clipping and lord knows where from - sorry!)

2 slices of osso bucco (sliced veal shank really)
2 x 400g tins of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of good-ish red wine
4 cups of hot veg stock (or beef if you like)
2 sliced cloves of garlic
salt, pepper and thyme and then lots of time....

You don't need to brown the meat. Just chuck it all in the pot. Slow cook for a couple of hours until the meat is falling apart. Then tip the sauce (minus the meat) in a pan and boil it off on the stove top until the sauce thickens. Shred the meat into the thick sauce and serve with pasta and parmesan.

It will work perfectly in my slow cooker. If not it has always worked bloody well in this....
And I am very sorry for all the 'bloody' swearing in this. I am cross. I hate it when my food is not even worth freezing.


  1. Here is my fav slow cooker recipe.....

    - cut into chunks, enough gravy beef for your family (gravy beef is the best I have found to be tender so the kids don't spend all dinner chewing....)

    - put in slow cooker as is

    - mix up the following
    - 1/2 cup brown sugar
    - 1 1/2 T flour
    - 1 T worcester sauce
    - 1 T tomatoe sauce
    - 1 t mustard
    - 1 T vinegar
    - 1/2 water
    - salt and pepper (a shake or two)

    Pour the mix over the meat. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. Give a stir once or twice - although not essential. Serve with rice or mash potato and greens.... so good!!

  2. At least you've got five Tom Sameks Ann! Bloody heck, a failed slow cooker recipe...oh yes I've had them too. My failsafe is lamb shanks. I've never had a lamb shank recipe go wrong. And pea and ham soup's pretty fine too. Please do a post on the political farce that is Australia at the moment...I'd love to hear what you have to say :) On the bright side, that slow cooker looks damn fine under your print!

  3. Oh don't give up! I use mine almost every 2nd night.. I love it... so do my lads. Get the women's weekly slow cooker cookbook.. everything in it is delicious! I did a corned beef in mine last night... fell apart it was so tender... big hit. Keep trying... A-M xx

  4. I love my slow cooker! Ive had one for years but gets much more of a work out now with children. I have given up cooking curry in it because they never come out nice.
    I generally use it for spag bol, chicken casserole, mexican mince for tacos, beef stroganoff. Im back to cooking curry in a pot.

  5. It's a bit heartbreaking when you go to all that effort and it doesn't turn out.. I haven't bought a slow cooker yet but I do want one. I've been using my Scanpan Dutch Oven which is very good. Sort of like a fast slow cooker on the stove..Rachaelxx

  6. I don't really know what a slow cooker is. .. is it a pressure cooker? Why can't you just use a Le Creuset type pot on very low simmer? Anyway you mustn't give up do as AM says and get the Women's Weekly cookbook on it that will fix you up. Love your print.

  7. Thank you all for your encouragement and advice. Women's Weekly never fails... good tip. And thanks Mrs M for the recipe too.

    Ah Jane, you have an unnerving knack of getting straight to the uncomfortable truth - a pressure cooker will cook your food much faster. A slow cooker is really just a plug in Le Creuset that you can leave on all day safely without worrying about your house burning down. And please don't tell my other half that I've bought an appliance that sort of does what my very expensive French pot does already!

  8. A flop slow cooker recipe is twice as annoying as any other as you have waitied so bl**dy long for it, I would be cross fav is an old Alison Gofton recipe for beef in red wine, but reducing the liquid as it never evaporates enough, I dont want to clog up your whole comments page but I can email you a scan of the recipe if you like, does make the house smell rather yummy to:)
    PS Slow cookers do make amazing porridge, if you require enough porridge for a crowd....

  9. I stumbled upon you somehow (I clicked a lot of links I think...) and added you to my blog-reading list. And I had to comment on this!

    We love our slow cooker. Love it.

    And this is one of our current no fail recipes - - absolutely delicious. We serve it on rice or wrapped in tortillas with some Monterrey Jack cheese and sour cream...mmmm...I do double the beans and double the liquid (I use broth if I have it instead of water).


    a work of warning - go easy on the chipotle chiles if you're not a fan of heat. I started with about 1/3 of the amount in the recipe but we've increased it so that we use about 2 heaping tablespoons now. Even our two year old will eat it!

  10. Oh too funny. I don't have a slow cooker but if I did I would definitely persevere. It would be perfect for a lamb stew. Yum! And you should write something about Australian politics. I'm sure it would be insightful!!

  11. Oh poor you, how frustrating, especially when you waited so long for it to cook! My failsafe chicken in red wine and tomatoes:

    chicken thigh fillets - about 1kg
    carrots, celery, onion, garlic - any vegies you like actually
    two tins crushed tomatoes
    beef stock cube
    1tbsp soy sauce
    good slurp red wine - between 1/2 and 1 cup, depending on how many you're cooking for
    add just enough water to almost cover ingredients

    I usually brown the chicken in a pan first, because I like the flavour, and also fry the garlic and onion too. Then throw everything else in the pot and cook until the chicken is falling apart. That's it - really yummy and great with rice, pasta or mashed potato. Now all you need to do is road test all these recipes and tell us how you go! K xx

  12. I have to admit I am not that impressed with our slow cooker! Maybe it is just me and I need the Womens Weekly cookbook too :) I have had enough this winter though, will try again next year!

  13. After 15 years of trying our slow cooker now cooks up beautiful meat and vegetable dishes.....for the dogs!!!xx

  14. Take two! I am sure it will be a success. Keep us posted. ;-)

  15. That caught me unawares - I thought it was going to be exquisite. Here's my failsafe slow recipe: melt a chunk of butter, add 2 pounds or so of diced lamb and two large onions. Simmer till brown. Add 3/4 carrots and potatoes, any herbs you like, and any other veg you fancy. Leave in the oven for hours.

  16. We've got 2 Tom Samek's! I love them, one for my 30th from all my besties (all those Mt Carmel girls!) and another I gave George as a wedding pressie. Always a fail safe wedding present!

    Must say have never been a fan of the slow cooker... too many bad memories (and meals) from my childhood and the ol' crock pot!

  17. Oh do persevere Ann! The kids gave me one last month & even though it's just MOTH & I at home these days, it's become my new best friend. I did my standard bolognese sauce (browned the beef, onions & garlic in a pan on the cooktop) & then chucked it in the slow cooker & added all the other ingredients. I cooked it for 8 hrs. on low & OMG it was amazing! It delivered a rich sauce with a depth of flavour I've never got cooking in 'normally'. Thanks for your comments on my smeg melt-down!
    Millie ^_^

  18. I really love the print! it's look so perfect in the kitchen!


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


Related Posts with Thumbnails