Slow Cooker Love (and a fabulous giveaway, YAY!)
Slow cooking. We love it. We love it so much that it’s impossible to believe that just a few years ago you would have been hard pressed to buy a slow cooker anywhere. They were out of fashion for so long, they only seemed to be available, old and round and my eyes! bright orange, in op shops.
Thankfully we have rediscovered them, and to make it even easier on our eyes, they have been brought bang up to date with sleek and shiny design upgrades.
But back to slow cooking – the concept alone wins hearts everywhere. If you are pressed for time, stuck for ideas or don’t rate yourself as a cook, slow cookers provide a welcome way to ease your load. Dump it in, set it and forget it. Even better, come home in the evening to a meal you can smell from the path leading up to the front door, needing nothing further than a quick stir and a glass of wine before you serve it up. Am I right?
Well, not exactly – there are a couple of tips worth knowing
- The single biggest problem with slow cookers is the risk that all meals taste and look the same. To avoid this, start the recipe off by browning the meat and veg in a conventional saucepan to get some depth of flavour for a few minutes, then pouring it into a slow cooker, scraped up crusty bits and all
- If you are cooking a curry or well-spiced dish, roast the spices first by dry-frying them in a small saucepan until they release their oils and start perfuming the kitchen, THEN add them to the slow cooker.
- You need to add enough liquid to cook the meal slowly but too much liquid can make the result too sloppy. Solve this by pouring the juices off into a saucepan in the last ten minutes and reduce the sauce down by half to thicken it up and boost the flavour
- Don’t waste your money buying expensive cuts of meat with little or no fat – slow cooking may actually toughen it up more than you would like. Cheap cuts of meat are the stars here, especially those that have streaks of muscle or fat running through them. Slow cooking reduces the meat to gelatinous goodness. Go for chuck steak, gravy beef, shin meat such as osso bucco or lamb shanks, rolled brisket, hangar or skirt steak, pork knuckles, ham bones or chicken maryland.
Anyway, anyway, anyway, that’s not the reason I started banging on about slow cookers in the first place, oh no. You see, thanks to the delightful and marvellously generous people at Kitchenware Direct, I have been test driving a new slow cooker for the best part of the week. Oh yes. I have a bright and shiny new Morphy Richards slow cooker baby and apart from the scrape of orange rind I threw into my new favourite beef casserole, there’s not a hint of orange in sight.
It’s big (a whopping 6.5 Litre capacity) making it perfect for the biggest lamb shoulder or leggiest ham bone you can throw in it. It has an instruction book that includes some rather nifty recipe ideas. It has a dial that allows for mid-range cooking times. And it sits right at home in any stainless steel kitchen your little heart desires.
Not only that, it comes with a two year warranty.
It’s big, it’s beautiful and it’s very well made. Oh and it came from Kitchenware Direct and I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore this company. They are a local online company made good, and with their excellent range of high quality products, competitive prices and brilliant and responsive customer service I don’t think I’ll ever buy a kitchenware product in a shop again. They asked me to go through their catalogue and choose an appliance to review so perhaps I shouldn’t say that I spent so much time drooling over the kitchenware beauties that I short-circuited my keyboard. Oh I sooo did. And then, when I chose the slow cooker it arrived in less than 48 hours. BRILLIANT service and fast. You can’t argue with that.
I love my new slow cooker and Kitchenware Direct so much I want you to share the love and enjoy it as well. Thanks to Kitchenware Direct, I have a fabulous Morphy Richards 6.5L Slow Cooker to give away to a lucky reader. Oh yes!
And now, in classic spruiker style, allow me to say the immortal words – But wait, there’s more. (I really love saying that.)
The lovely peeps at McCormick Foods have given me a grab bag of goodies that are the perfect partner with your new slow cooker. As well as a slow cooker recipe book, the package includes more than a dozen different recipe base and spice mixes to add to your slow-cooked foods or to your barbecued meats, giving you lots of flavour ideas to make the most of your slow cooker.
The total prize value is – what else? – $120, including the slow cooker valued at a mighty $90.00.
To be in the running for this fantastic prize pack simply add a comment below (not the Facebook page please, it simply makes it more complicated to wrangle everyone’s entries) and include at least one of the following:
- Tell me why you would like to win this pack, OR
- Give me your best, killer, kick-arse slow cooker recipe, OR
- Give us a great cooking tip for making the most from using a slow cooker. Do you make jam in yours? Soup or baby food? Let us know.
You can comment and enter as many times as you want but because of postage costs, the prize can only be sent to an Australian residential address. Sorry ’bout that. The winner will be selected by a computer generated random selector thingy and notified by email.
The giveaway closes at 7pm on 27th April 2012 (Eastern Standard Time). So what are you waiting for? Get cracking!
This giveaway is proudly sponsored by Kitchenware Direct who very kindly gave me a Morphy Richards slow cooker to review and keep in addition to the fantastic giveaway for a lucky reader. The McCormick products were a separate giveaway to bloggers who attended a recent corporate event.