You don’t have to be the mother of young children to know that cooking can sometimes fall so far down the list of things to do that you just end up popping a ready meal in the microwave.
Of course this is fine every now and again, but most of us know that cooking with real ingredients is considerably healthier. The trouble is often simply finding the time to actually spend in the kitchen.
This is where a slow cooker can really come in handy. The ability to throw ingredients together in the morning and let them bubble away throughout the day can be a great help for busy mothers as much as it can be for anyone who is out at work all day.
The smell of great cooking wafting around as you come in the door can really make a house a home, and works as well in the summer as it does in the colder winter months.
One-pot cooking doesn’t mean you are simply restricted to old-style stews either. Slow cooker recipes cover a wide range of different cuisines from the most traditional to more recent family favourites. This style of cooking is also perfect for using tougher cuts of meat such as blade steak, shoulder and leg meat, which all have great flavour and are often far cheaper than other cuts.
Why slow cooking is great?
1. It’s no fuss! Throw everything into the pot and leave it cooking on its own
2. You can use cheaper cuts of meat and still have a lovely tender meat at the end
3. It saves you time. Letting it cook by itself for a few hours means you don’t need to tend to it. More time to play!
4. It saves on preparation and washing up! All in one pot. Put the others away!
5. It is delicious. There is something that tastes very nice about things that have been cooked very slowly and consistently.
There are many advantages of slow cooking, and one of them is the fact that you can be as involved as you like in the ingredients you put in. From making up your own recipes to using those handed down through family generations, or even using pre-made selections from famous brands such as Schwartz, there is no end to the ways in which you can construct a perfect meal.
Traditional dishes such as beef and tomato casserole & sausage and bean casserole are always firm family favourites that can be perfect for a cold winter evening.
For a touch of sophistication you can use a slow cooker to make a perfect chicken in red wine sauce or, for something which is sure to please everyone, there is always the chance to make a wonderful chicken curry.
Slow cooking also means you can use tips and tricks to add your own twists and ensures full flavour. Simply by browning meat in a pan before putting it into the cooker, you can add to the finished flavour, colour of the dish and produce an even more professional result.
(Please note this is a guest post