Category Archives: Slow Cooker

Meat Porn

Variance on a theme by c. sativa

Well I might get a few more readers with that title, though I may get reported for misleading non- ‘mature’ content. Only mature thing around here is my receeding hairline. Anyway, the above dish was a freezer special, I had stewed some meats together, chicken, beef rib and chorizo with some frozen lobster stock left from Christmas (not ideal) and then kept for a rainy day. The beef ribs are often sold for the barbecue, but they are way too tough and are far better stewed.

The rains been a long time coming, but in with the Calasparra rice and saffron. Some yard long beans as shown, but no more seafood. I think this still comes under the paella umbrella. Come to think of it, I’ve never done the traditional Spanish rabbit based paella. I must make a note of that omission as they’ve got them at Meat Direct.

Pink lamb and Burghul wheat

To be honest I cant remember how I cooked this lamb. I think I smeared the last of my very delicious Massaman Thai paste  over it and rotisseried. It is also very good either in a chicken or on it deep fried, ‘Southern style’. Some soaked burghul wheat with some barbecued aubergines, olive oil. Some green beans and tomatoes, obviously.

Sweet soy belly pork

Shona made this with belly pork this time, not pork ribs. The soft and unctuous skin is rather good, though the bones do add, well, boneyness.  This is great for the slow cooker. It’s worth doing as many shallots as patience will allow. The ones you get here require Angelic levels of it; they are frigging tiny. Whole star anise, cinnamon stick, soy sauce, and palm sugar and a chili or two, children allowing. Yum, yum, yummity yum.

Not doing well with the cutting down on the dead animals.


Chili con Skippy and Bush Fusion Adventures

Not sure what the water footprint of ‘roo is, but I’m sure as hell (so, not very?), that it is less than our bovine fleisch. Looking into chili con carne, it seems to be a Tex Mex creation, not Mexican, which is maybe why cheddar seems to go so well with it. Just one of those crazy food marriage things. In fact cheddar goes with a few weird things, fruit cake, ginger cake and stout. And stout goes with…….

Anyway, on this child friendly achilic outing,

  • 2 finely shopped onions, browned in olive oil with
  • 2 big teaspoons cocoa
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 1tsp ground cumin and corriander

Into the slow cooker with,

  • 1kg roo mince, browned in wee batches with lots of olive oil
  • 400g  red kidney beans, dry weight (mass actually), soaked overnight
  • 200ml Hungarian red pepper paste
  • 100ml passata

Topped up with water, and cooked for 8rs or so.

Served with chili flakes for the adults, some not so great homemade tortillas, lovely biodynamic polenta, tomato and cucumbers and cheddar on top. Coopers stout too.

Nothing to do with Skippy Carnage

Having bought a 2kg chunk of roo leg to play with, I portioned some up into chunks for kebabs. A rapid marinade of lemon myrtle and olive oil, then skewered with delicious green/ going red slender peppers and slowly grilled over gumtree embers. Couscous, with cucumber, spring onion, mint, and Rosella jelly with apple vinegar. Mild dysphoria lifted with this fine supper. Not bad for getting home at 5pm to on the table at 6. God I’m good.

Chuck over the grass

It’s odd that beef here is often sold with the declaration of ‘grain-fed’. I’m not sure this is something I would go shouting about. So, it was great that Shona found some grass fed organic beef at the rather good Meat Direct in Rapid Creek. They specialise in large lumps of quality  meat, which is clearly, is a fine thing. We had a 2.7kg slab of chuck steak, which is from the shoulder. Mum made a very good red pepper stew when she was here and then I minced some. Hugh Fearnley is correct in his ‘River Cottage Meat’ book,  they were average burgers. However, it really shined in tonight’s slow cooking feast. I picked up some lovely looking local tomatoes from the market. In fact, I bought three types as the season has really taken off here, which is a bit weird, as it parallels the season back home in Blighty. That’s the wet season for you, tomatoes just rot.

So, a kilo or so of cubed chuck steak, browned in olive oil, and then deglazed the pan with cheapo balsamic vinegar, and into the slow cooker. Tomatoes halved, in ,and then five deseeded and chopped narrow curly green capsicums, with just a hint of heat. In the slow cooker for about 8 hours until the tendinous parts were soft. Actually, that was yesterday, so by  tonight the flavours had married. I made some mash with desiree potatoes, putting an elephant garlic clove in to boil too, though three might have been a bit more gutsy. Olive oil and butter, and the choppped shoots from the Asian shallots, which interestingly, seem to also be in season now too- I will have to stock up.

Now to salt some lemons.

Crimson flavas for an aprosoponarian

Shona made a very fine vegetable stew in the slow cooker a week or so back, with butternut squash, chick peas and saffron as the backbone (sorry for the anti-pun). This seemed an entirely appropriate dish to serve to someone who doesn’t eat anything with a face. So, would that be an aprosoponarian? I’m easy.

This was better in the slow cooker, the vegetables kept their textures better without the disintegration into soup. I can’t remember where Shona found this recipe. For 4 adults and 4 kids we doubled the quantities.

  • Roast and grind 2 tsp cumin and 2 tsp corriander
  • Fry 1 onion, chopped and 2 garlic cloves in 2tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter
  • Add 1 cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp chili, 1/4 tsp saffron threads (soaked), 500g cubed butternut squash, 1 cup soaked chickpeas, 2 cubed potatoes, and 150ml passata
  • Cook untill the potatoes are soft
  • Add 2 chopped courgettes and 1/2 a preserved lemon, chopped and cook a further 5 mins.
  • Chopped parsley to serve.

So whilst Shona got on with the vegetable knife work, I prepared the garnish- leg of lamb on a spit. I haven’t been down to the Fannie Bay butcher for a while; they do sell a very good organic salt bush lamb. Instead I bought a half leg from the local nettle knitters grocers, ‘Greenies’. Other than the waft of incense from the clientele, it’s really very good. So, some sweet smoked paprika , a tight little fire in the clay bbq inside the Weber, a foil catcher to divert the oil from the flames, and wham bam TQM. As a condiment, I went all fusion and mixed some apple cider, chopped mint and rosella jelly. Very good indeed. Raita and couscous to serve. Oh yes, and some barbecued aubergines.

The previous night I had finally gotten round to preparing my superbly aromatic quinces I had also bought from Greenies maybe 3 weeks ago. A number of membrillo recipes suggest cooking the quince in water first then pulping it and then adding a certain proportion of sugar to the pulp. I’m always concerned that the amount of water will vary, so I cooked the quinces whole in a little water to steam through and then took the quincies out to pulp through a mouli legumes. One recipe suggested 450g sugar to 600g fruit. I had 1.8kg of pulp- joy. Sugar and pulp cooked until red, and at this very moment, it is now baking in an oven dish attempting to firm up- it is very easy to burn this on the stove top, a heart breaking event indeed.

On the hunt for quince puddings, I came across a recipe in Elizabeth David’s classic ‘French Provincial Cooking’ for ‘Gallette aux fruits’. She suggests any seasonal fruit such as quince, cherries, apricots can be baked on a rich yeast dough. I’m not sure mango or papaya would work. So with quinces firmly in mind, off we set, bike trailer in tow.

No quinces were to be found. Balls. Well, it is well into late winter down under. Instead I bought some Granny Smith apples (who the hell was Granny Smith?). So, in the event of a very fine discovery, here’s the recipe.

  • 3 Granny Smith apples- peeled, cored, and cut into 8
Lightly fry these in butter and a coating of sugar, set aside.

For the dough

  • 5oz flour
  • 1.5oz soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 egg
  • water
I cheated, and made the dough on the pizza setting in the bread maker. It needs a little water as suggested by ED. Leave to rise to double in size then knock back. Not specified from ED, but I melted a little butter in a cake tin (about 9″), and then a little sugar too. Press the dough to cover the bottom of the tin. I spread some rather loose quince paste on the dough, and then on went the apples- I made pleasing spoke pattern. Baked at 175C for 30-40mins.
The touch of French genius (I presume it is not from M. David), is the addition of a small quantity of custard mix to the top 5 minutes prior to completion.
  • 2oz cream mixed with
  • 1 egg yolk
When this has set, serve at once with more cream. It was.

Baked Apples, quince puree, yeast bum