Slow Cooker Question

Recipes, Cooking tips and maybe some 'Home Made' secrets !
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kate egg
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Slow Cooker Question

Post by kate egg »

I recently brought the slow cooker out of hibernation and have cooked a couple of gammon joints (delicious), made some soup (ditto) and a couple of weeks ago made beef borgignon that was amazing. Yesterday I put all the same ingredients in at about 10.30 a.m. and set it on low as it was my shop afternoon, it was in for 8 hours as per the recipe, and the meat was cooked, the mushrooms too but the onions were still quite hard and a little bitter. I am completely baffled why they weren't cooked. They weren't even out the same bag, one was the last out the old lot and the other was from a new bag I bought at the weekend. It meant that we couldn't eat it and I have popped it in the fridge to have tonight, I am going to pick out the onions and chop and soften some more to go in before I reheat it. (We are on a deadline as have to leave at 7 to go hospital visiting)

So any ideas about these onions? Is it because I set it on low and the contents didn't reach boiling point? Last time I did it for 5 hours on high.

)hlp>
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by Totally Scrambled »

Do I take it you used shallots?
Did you just put the shallots/onions straight in the pot or cook them first?
Apparently onions take for ever to cook in a slow cooker and need a bit of a head start.
When I use any type of onion (leeks, garlic etc,) in our slow cooker I usually gently fry them in a little oil or butter for about 10 minutes or until they have softened and then pop them in the slow cooker.
They're always nice and tender then )t'
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lancashire lass
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by lancashire lass »

I have also had some amazing slow cooker meals since I bought one before Christmas but was always surprised the meal was cooked within 5-6 hours. It has one of those teflon bowls which you use on a hob to sear meat and I've usually done the onions at the same time. The other day I happened to have my reading glasses on and noticed for the first time that what I thought was "low" was in fact "high" :oops: Once I'd realised my mistake, decided to go for an all day slow cook on low and just seared the beef - like you I found everything was cooked but the onions raw and there was a bitter after taste in the stew.

Totally Scrambled wrote:When I use any type of onion (leeks, garlic etc,) in our slow cooker I usually gently fry them in a little oil or butter for about 10 minutes or until they have softened and then pop them in the slow cooker.
They're always nice and tender then


I might try the stew again and see if that makes any difference thank you )t'
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by Mo »

lancashire lass wrote: The other day I happened to have my reading glasses on .......

{rofwl}



I know that feeling so well. Isn't presbyopia a pain.
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kate egg
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by kate egg »

Thanks for those replies, seems it is not such a strange phenomana (sp?) after all!

They were normal onions not shallots and I cut them into chunks but didn't fry them off.

The last time I used red onions and just cut them in half and they were perfect, very odd maybe red ones are sweeter?

Had to laugh about the glasses - know that feeling {rofwl}
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by saint-spoon »

Because of the lower heat vegetables take longer to cook than meats in a slow cooker. I do as Don says with most of the harder veg, carrots, swede and so on and I always brown the meats as well... it adds flavour.
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kate egg
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by kate egg »

Made steak and kindey for a pie filling this week and fried the onions a bit first to soften them and it came out perfect )c+ )eat(

I think the thing you said Saint-Spoon about veg needing higher temperatures hit the nail on the head - the first time I cooked it on high and the onions were fine, the next time I cooked longer on low setting and they never got cooked.
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by julie62 »

I do tend (if I have time) to sling everything in a pan first and cook it a wee bit before transferring it to the slow cooker - just seems to make it a bit more appetising if you brown stuff off a bit first. I must say I've used my slow cooker a lot this year and it's been a bit of a revelation. Great for shift workers like me )t'
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by saint-spoon »

try cooking a whole chicken in it. sit it on a couple of sliced onions, a carrot and other stock veg, a splash of water and whack it on high for five hours without opening the lid.
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kate egg
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by kate egg »

I read that somewhere else about cooking a chicken in it, I guess it doesn't brown but we chuck the skin away anyway. Is it very moist? My old man is a right fuss pott and likes meat reasonably 'dry'....
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

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I'm going to try the chicken )t'
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by jemberelli »

I always do my chicken in it - the meat just falls off the bones, lovely & moist. I then take out any skin/fat, add a bit of boiling water & some chunks of onion/carrot to the carcass etc then simmer on low for a few hours - homemade chicken stock ready to pop in the freezer for when it is neede.
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kate egg
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by kate egg »

Beef borgignon again and today's )like( did on high about 4 hours and just turned to low, tasting good and onions definitely cooked this time. Had to substitute port for the red wine as I don't have any, not sure Rose wine would work... the port has worked ok
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by julie62 »

Did braising steak and onions in mine the other day and that was lovely too. Just onions dry fried a bit cos of the diet before I put them in, floured steak, an oxo cube and water. Was really nice.
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Re: Slow Cooker Question

Post by manda »

I use my slow cooker for things like Tagine style dishes ....does a similar job...Moroccan Beef / Lamb in the slow cooker is yummy :-D
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