SLOW-COOKED DINNER RECIPES
As I’m working from home these days, I’ve a lot more time to cook dinners from scratch. Slow and low is how I’m cooking a lot these days.
When I talk about slow-cooking, it can mean one (although sometimes both) of two things, the first being, of course, a meal cooked using the slow-cooker or the crockpot, whatever way you call it! The other is simply taking your time. Taking your times to roast garlic slowly until it’s confit, taking the time to sweat your onions properly until they are golden and sweet, even if that takes nearly an hour, taking the time to soak your beans and cooking them from dry, taking the time to rinse your rice properly and fully until the water runs truly clear. A slow-cook can also means cooking something on low heat for as long as it needs to be. Think about a risotto, it won’t take you hours but it will demand your presence, you must be there to stir and feed it with liquid. It needs your devoted attention.
I thought I would go through my archives and pull out the best of my slow-cooked recipes for you, we can all do with a bit more inspiration at times. I hope you try them or that they give you some options, which we can always do with more off!
As you know by now, I’m French, and back home (Ireland is home home) we eat rabbit on the regular. I know it’s not the case here but I wish it was. There is plenty of rabbit in Ireland and as it happens, when I buy one to cook, it’s always been imported from France. It’s silly and unnecessary and I wish it wasn’t so. But until, I can source Irish rabbit, the French ones will do. A slow-cooked rabbit is a source of great joy for me. The meat is lean and tender and has a strong and gamey flavour which allows you to play with quite punchy marinades and sauces.
A slowly roasted joint of great meat is a Sunday must if you’re that way inclined. To me lamb is my the one that feels the most luxurious, although of course a great chicken or a well-cut bit of good pork are both superbly satisfying. Historically, when I go for lamb I turn to Kilmullen Farm lamb from Wicklow or to a piece of Achill Mountain mutton for something a bit stronger. Those are the two producers I turn to but I actually don’t think there is bad lamb in Ireland. Or certainly, I’ve never had any!
Moving on to beef and a cut that you need to try. Much like pig cheeks, beef cheeks are tasty and tender, they are just much larger. They also happen to be one of the cheaper part of the animal and you would need to go to the butcher to find them, I can’t say I’ve ever seen beef (or pork) cheeks in the supermarkets now that I think of it. This recipe one of the many ways you can cook them. But always, always take the time to cook them low and slow. This is not a piece of meat you should eat rare or any other way than fully cooked.
This Chinese style chicken, which I make in the slow-cooker is a whole round people pleaser and you wouldn’t want to be ringing the take-away shop if this was waiting for you on a Friday evening. Low effort for maximum reward.
The last savoury dish I’m giving you is a bright and exciting dish. The gochujang hits so many spots for me. It’s warm and spicy with a tangy kicky, it brings that umami we all love and crave so much. It’s the one condiment I’ve been playing with a lot over the last while and you will likely see on this blog more often.
Finally, sometimes, dessert also deserves a bout of slow-cooking. A big bowl of rice pudding which has been gently simmering in the oven for a couple of hours sending gorgeously sweet smells wafting through the house is as comforting as an hour with your gran. Or thereabouts.