Matt and I have ummd and ahhhd about getting a slow cooker for a while, but when my last lot of Swagbucks vouchers came through, I decided to go for it. I get at least one £5 Amazon voucher a week at the moment. Last year I saved them up to pay for Christmas but this year they’re helping to buy things for the house – like a slow cooker. Who can say no to a ‘free’ gadget?
As always, my first port of call was to ask Twitter. You told me that even the cheap slow cookers are good and to get the right size as they have a minimum fill level. All very helpful indeed and I was glad that I could rule out anything over the £30 mark.
After a fair bit of reading, I decided to go for the Morphy Richards Searing Slow Cooker for £29.99 inc delivery. It had one feature that stood out to me as super convenient – you can use the liner straight on the hob. That means, if your recipe calls for you to sear your meat or cook off the onion first, you don’t have a separate pan to wash. Oh, and it’s shatterproof – perfect for two clumsy cooks.
I’m trying it out for the first time today so if all goes well, you can expect a recipe post soon. I’ve gone for pork in a cider and mustard sauce – a meal we enjoy but is a bit too time consuming to be a weeknight eat. I’m hoping the slow cooker can change that for me and hopefully improve my eating habits on the days where I’m not well enough to cook properly.
I was expecting it to make a sound of some sort but it’s all cooking away silently as I type. Fingers crossed it works out well. If you have any recipe suggestions, please link me up in the comments – I’m collecting ideas on a Pinterest board for slow cooker recipes.
If you’re reading this in the future *spooky hands* I’ll link up my slow cooker / crock pot recipes below.
Slow cooked pork
in cider and mustard sauce
My first meal in the slow cooker went well! This recipe started out as a BBC Good Food recipe that I played about with to match the ingredients we had on hand and has since been adapted to suit a slow cooker.
The pork falls apart in your mouth and carries the rich and flavoursome sauce really well. Thanks to my slow cooker this is an easy week night eat yet still the perfect serve for a prim and proper dinner party
Coat the pork in cornflour and add it to the slow cooker along with the cider, onion, mustard and bay leaves. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 6. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the chopped parsley and creme fraiche and stir through.
If you like this recipe and fancy sharing the love, I’ve added some new sharing buttons at the bottom of every post to make it a bit easier for you all.Experiment Try wilting spinach in at the end for added goodness. Reduce the calories by opting for low fat creme fraiche Serve With mashed potatoes and green beans
Mexican Pulled Pork
(in a slow cooker)
To feed 6 you’ll need a 3lb boneless pork shoulder. So 2lb is there’s 4 of you or 1lb to nicely feed 2. I like to leave the fat on for flavour, but if you’re dieting you might want to remove that bit.
Next we make our rub. This is my recipe for an all round mexican spice mix. The quantities below make enough for a 3lb shoulder so adjust as necessary. Otherwise, feel free to make extra for next time, use as your own fajita seasoning or even rub in to chicken thighs before baking…yum! Just store in an airtight jar.4 Tbsp chilli powder 1 Tbsp brown sugar 2 Tsp cumin 1 Tsp garlic salt 1 Tsp cayenne 1 Tsp oregano 1 Tsp onion powder 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
Mix all those lovely spices up. Now rub that baby in to every nook and cranny. You might want to wear disposable gloves for this part- 3 hand washes later, rubbing my eye still stung!
Here is where my searing slow cooker comes in to it’s own. It’s time to sear the pork shoulder. If your slow cooker is as nifty as mine, you can use the liner straight on the hob. If not, I’m afraid you’ll have an extra pan to wash. So high heat, drop of oil and lightly brown all sides. Don’t those spices smell glorious?
Slow cooker time. 8 to 10 hours on low and this baby will be amazingly tender. It will probably have released a lot of liquid so take the meat out and shred elsewhere.
I’m drooling writing this up. Holy Mother it was beautiful! If you want to juice it up, spoon a little of the liquid in the slow cooker over the meat.
I served mine in tacos with home made salsa and guacamole. Matt fell in love with me a little more after this meal.
Leftovers? No worries. Portion up in to bags and freeze. Get out the morning before you need it and stuff in to enchiladas or quesadillas. Let your other half, children, guests praise your super kitchen skills.
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