Category Archives: Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Recipes

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka

Love chicken tikka but don’t like to be too hands on in the kitchen? My Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka is for you! All of the flavour without the faff. 

I love chicken tikka. It is always my go-to Indian recipe which I know is quite boring and unauthentic. I’ve already come up with my Skinny Chicken Tikka recipe which I still love. But it isn’t a recipe that you can just leave to cook. 

Why use a slow cooker?

I love using my slow cooker for a number of reasons, but ease is probably number one. Being able to add the ingredients and leave them to cook without much intervention is great! We all lead busy lives and we don’t always have the time on a weeknight to be grilling chicken to crispy perfection. 

I wanted to create an Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka that had all of the flavours you would expect, but with minimal effort. 

How easy is this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka to make?

It is honestly a very easy recipe to make. As long as you can make sure there are no bones in chicken thighs – you can make this dish! You then add all of the marinade ingredients to the chicken and let it work it’s magic. 

When cooking, I let it cook down until the sauce is thick and coating the chicken. If you didn’t want the sauce to thicken, you could always serve it once you have shredded the chicken. 

Why use chicken thighs and not breasts?

I typically prefer chicken thighs to breasts. I think they have more flavour and also keep their moisture when cooking. This is particularly important when slow cooking chicken because it is easier for it to become dry as it is cooking for longer. You can use breasts if you prefer though. 

Are there any differences to normal chicken tikka?

As this chicken tikka is cooked in the slow cooker, you don’t get the lovely charred edges. I do absolutely love these charred edges, but sometimes you want the flavours without the hassle! This Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka is perfect if you are an inpatient cook and don’t like to be very hands on in the kitchen.

How to serve this Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka

The reason why I created this recipe was because I wanted an easier chicken tikka recipe. I felt like my Skinny Chicken Tikka took a little bit too much time to use for lunches. I like to serve this Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka with salad and some mango chutney. Another equally delicious way to serve it would be in a flatbread or wrap with salad. As the chicken is already shredded it works well for either of these options. 

5 from 2 votes
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Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka

Love chicken tikka but don't like to be too hands on in the kitchen? My Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka is for you! All of the flavour without the faff. 

Course Main Course, Lunch
Cuisine Indian, British
Keyword Slow Cooker, Crock pot, Curry, Chicken Tikka
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 310 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g chicken thighs skin & bones removed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 175 g non-fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger puree
  • 1 tbsp garlic puree
  • 2 tbsp tandoori masala powder
  • ½ tsp tumeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala power
  • 1 tsp dried coriander powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder

Instructions

  1. Remove all the skin and bones from the chicken thighs. If you have bought thighs with the skin and bone removed, make sure you check for small bones 

  2. Add the chicken thighs to a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients 

  3. Stir all of the ingredients so they are evenly mixed and coating the chicken 

  4. Leave the chicken to marinade for 2 - 60 hours - the longer the better! 

  5. After the chicken has marinated, add the chicken and any marinade to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high 

  6. Take the chicken out of the slow cooker and shred it using two forks

  7. Add back to the slow cooker and cook for 1 - 1½ hours

  8. Cook until the sauce is as thick as you'd like it

Recipe Notes

I use a 3.5L slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 123mg 41%
Sodium 717mg 30%
Potassium 382mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Sugars 4g
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 3.7%
Calcium 10.4%
Iron 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Vegan Lentil Chilli

Delicious and comforting with a touch of spice. This Vegan Lentil Chilli is such an easy slow cooker meal that is packed full of flavour. You definitely won’t miss the meat!

Over the past few months, I have been making a conscious effort to step up what I am doing to help the environment.  I’ve always been an enthusiastic re-cycler (that phrase might catch on!) but I’ve been finding ways to do that bit more. As well as recycling I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use; especially single use plastic. 

Aside from recycling, Mr Curly and I have also decided to try and eat less meat. This will be a pretty big change, especially for Mr Curly. Up until very recently he would consider a meal to be missing something without meat. This meant that for lunch and dinner each day, there would be some kind of meat involved. I wasn’t sure how long he would last with wanting to eat less meat but so far we’re doing really well! 

We’re not going too crazy, but trying to have vegetarian lunches and at least two vegetarian meals a week. So I had to come up with some really tasty vegetarian meals that wouldn’t make us miss the meat. I have never been a fan of Quorn so meat replacement products were not going to be my go-to.

One of the first dishes that come to mind was a chilli which is how my Vegan Lentil Chilli came about! My intention was to make a vegetarian dish, but once I was finished I realised it was vegan too which was an added bonus! I thought it wouldn’t be vegan because I was going to add dark chocolate. But when I was talking about this on Instagram, my sister and another blogger friend pointed out that dark chocolate is actually vegan. And if that wasn’t good enough, it is also gluten free too! 

I was slightly apprehensive about this Vegan Lentil Chilli because I’m not very experienced with vegetarian food. It passed my taste test which meant it was the onto Mr Curly. I served it up for him and when he’d eaten it I asked him what he thought. He told me he really liked it, but I confused him when I asked him if he missed the meat. His response of ‘there was no meat in that?’ gave the Vegan Lenil Chilli a big tick! If someone that was a massive meat fan can’t tell its meat free then that’s a huge plus. 

The final taste tester was my vegetarian friend Katie that I work with. Before the recipes had even finished cooking she was messaging me saying she thought she needed to taste test! So I took her some of this Vegan Lentil Chilli along with my tweaked Vegetarian Curry recipe. I am pleased to say she was a huge fan of both of them and has been hassling me to get the recipe written up ASAP. I think what she liked most about this was it has a bit of heat to it. 

If food is packed full of flavour, you definitely won’t miss the meat in my opinion.  I have used my favourite chilli powders for this Vegan Lentil Chilli as well as some chipotles in adobo sauce. You might have to look in a few of the bigger supermarkets to get these, but it really is worth seeking them out. And don’t worry you can use them in plenty of recipes already on my blog!

5 from 11 votes
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Vegan Lentil Chilli

Delicious and comforting with a touch of spice. This Vegan Lentil Chilli is such an easy slow cooker meal that is packed full of flavour. You definitely won't miss the meat!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, International
Keyword Chilli, Vegetarian, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 217 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 1 onion diced
  • 400g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 400g tin black beans (rinsed)
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 peppers diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 tsp chipotles in adobo sauce (optional)
  • ½ tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 red chilli sliced
  • 200 g red split lentils rinsed in cold water
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 30 g dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients apart from the dark chocolate to the slow cooker. Stir thoroughly. 

  2. Cook on high for 6 hours. Break the dark chocolate into chunks and add it to the slow cooker. Stir through and allow to cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour until the lentils are completely cooked

  3. Serve with boiled rice 

Recipe Notes

I use a 3.5L slow cooker. 

If the chilli starts looking dry, add a splash more water. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Lentil Chilli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217 Calories from Fat 828
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 92g 142%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Sodium 757mg 32%
Potassium 59271mg 1693%
Total Carbohydrates 3957g 1319%
Dietary Fiber 1451g 5804%
Sugars 2g
Protein 1477g 2954%
Vitamin A 23.8%
Vitamin C 15.6%
Calcium 451.1%
Iron 1948.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu

Deliciously rich and comforting, this Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu is one of my new favourite recipes. This recipe needs minimal effort but is the perfect dish for a cold evening.

 
This Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu is my pork version of a ragu you would usually have as spaghetti bolognese. If you follow my blog, you’ll know pork is my favourite meat. So naturally I wanted to make a pork version of a recipe I already love. 

You will see the resemblance to the typical ragu, but also the changes I have made. I wanted to use two different cuts of pork to bring different textures to the dish. I especially like the texture the pork shoulder brings to the dish and it makes the dish more exciting than just mince. 

Sage is a classic combination with pork and works really well in this Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu. I have used a mix of fresh and dried sage because I like using fresh herbs when I can, but like the convenience of dried herbs. If you don’t have fresh sage, you can use just tried thyme but add slightly less before tasting and adding more if needed.

This Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu freezes really well. I made a batch of this to keep in the freezer which when defrosted makes a fantastic week night dinner served with pasta. It’s a fantastic no fuss meal that it sow comforting and tasty. 

5 from 9 votes
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Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu

Deliciously rich and comforting, this Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu is one of my new favourite recipes. This recipe needs minimal effort but is the perfect dish for a cold evening. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Slow Cooker, Pork, Crock pot, Ragu, Sage
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 239 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g pork mince (lean)
  • 300 g pork shoulder steaks (approx 2 steaks)
  • 400 g tinned tomatoes (1 tin)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 250 g carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp fresh sage
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 250 ml chicken or vegetable stock

Instructions

  1. Brown the pork mince either in the slow cooker pan on the hob (if your slow cooker allows) or in a pan. This will take up to 5 minutes 

  2. Add the pork shoulder steaks on top of the browned mince

  3. Peel the onion and carrots and dice them finely along with the celery. Add to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients 

  4. Stir thoroughly and allow to cook on high for 5-6 hours 

  5. Take the pork shoulder out of the slow cooker and shred it before adding it back. Stir thoroughly. 

Recipe Notes

Do not skip the browning of the mince step as it will alter the texture of the final dish. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 495mg 21%
Potassium 467mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 141%
Vitamin C 7.1%
Calcium 4.6%
Iron 6.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Tender chicken in a glossy sauce packed with flavour. This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken is not only delicious, it is also a really quick dish even in the slow cooker! When I asked my followers on Facebook what recipes they wanted to see, slow cooker recipes came out on top. I am always up for developing new slow cooker recipes because I love how easy they are to prepare and then leave to do their own thing. 

When looking at the slow cooker recipes already on my blog, I realised they were either British or Mexican inspired recipes. So my inspiration was to broaden this and go Asian.  

Teriyaki Chicken is something I have always liked but never actually made myself. Well I have made it using a jar of sauce in the past, but I’m pretty sure we can’t count that! I assumed that it would be easier to buy a jar rather than make the sauce myself, but I was wrong. 

I used a recipe by Woks of Life as a base for my Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken to get the ratios of my sauce right. I tweaked it by adding the honey and adapted it for a slow cooker. Even though this is a slow cooker dish, it can actually be a quick slow cooker dish – yes they do exist! This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken can be cooked in just over two hours. I love slow cooking, but sometimes you don’t have five plus hours to wait for a dish to come together. 

Teriyaki Chicken is something I think a lot of people will have eaten before so is a familiar dish. I recently found out that teri means ‘gloss’ and yaki means ‘to grill or sear’. So it was important to me to make sure my sauce was thick and glossy. I prefer to use chicken thighs, especially when slow cooking because I think it stays moist better than breast. 

Mr Curly gave this Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken a big thumbs up so I can see this becoming a regular recipe in our house. 

5 from 8 votes
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Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Tender chicken in a glossy sauce packed with flavour. This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken is not only delicious, it is also a really quick dish even in the slow cooker!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Slow Cooker, Chicken, Crock pot, Teriyaki
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 710 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken thighs bones and skin removed
  • tbsp Mirin
  • tbsp light soy sauce
  • tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • spray oil

To Finish

  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with water
  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs and cut into large chunks.

  2. Brown the chicken thighs in the slow cooker dish on the hob with some spray oil (if you slow cooker allows). If not, do this is in a frying pan.

  3. Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a jug. 

  4. Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and pour the sauce. Stir to coat the chicken in the sauce. Leave to cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. Stir the chicken once or twice throughout the cooking time. 

  5. Ten minutes before serving, mix the remaining cornflour with water and stir through. 

  6. Serve with boiled rice sprinkled with sliced spring onions and sesame seeds. 

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 710 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 72%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 245mg 82%
Sodium 1189mg 50%
Potassium 572mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Sugars 18g
Protein 42g 84%
Vitamin A 5.1%
Vitamin C 1.4%
Calcium 5.4%
Iron 13.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple

This deliciously tender Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple has flavours that make it perfect for stuffing into tacos and adding your favourite toppings. 

Something you may, or may not know about me; is my love of obsession with pork. I am constantly looking for ways to celebrate my favourite meat. What better way than to seek inspiration from one of my favourite cuisines – Mexican! 

Pork and pineapple is a combination I have loved for as long as I can remember. When I have a gammon steak, I have to have grilled pineapple with it. The sweet flavours of the pineapple compliment the pork so well which is where I started when coming up with my Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple. 

Fresh ingredients are fantastic, but with this recipe I chose to use tinned pineapple. This is firstly because of ease, but mainly because I wanted to use the juice as well as the pineapple and a tin made this easier. You may think that the pineapple juice will make the pork too sweet, but it really doesn’t. It helps keep the meat really succulent. 

Bringing in the Mexican influence, I added some ancho chile. It doesn’t add heat at all, but a depth of flavour that works really well. So rest assured that this is suitable for children and people who don’t like any spice!

I have used this Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple as a tasty filling for tacos because who doesn’t love tacos?! Seriously if you don’t love them comment below because I don’t believe such people exist! If you want to serve this with tacos too, I would recommend using the small corn tortillas you can now buy in most supermarkets (or online from Mexican food specialists). If you generously fill the tacos (how else would you fill them), then you should have enough for 8 tacos. For me this works as a filling dinner for two people or a starter for at least four. 

Tacos aren’t your only option though! This Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple can be eaten simply with rice, in a tasty burrito or even just with salad. It is so versatile that you could really enjoy it with whatever you fancy!

5 from 3 votes
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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple

This deliciously tender Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple has flavours that make it perfect for stuffing into tacos and adding your favourite toppings. 

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Pork, Pineapple
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients

  • 700 g pork shoulder
  • 150 ml pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ancho chile powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chile flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 50 ml water
  • 432 g tin of pineapple rings

Instructions

  1. Add the pork shoulder to the slow cooker along with all of the ingredients apart from the pineapple. Lie a few slices of pineapple on top of the pork and leave set the rest aside. 

  2. Cook on high for 4 - 4½ hours. After the pork it cooked, remove it and the pineapple from the slow cooker. Shred the pork using two forks and add back to the slow cooker. 

  3. Cook the shredded pork on high for a further 30 minutes. 

  4. While the pork is finishing cooking, grill the pineapple for a couple of minutes on each side until you have dark grill marks 

  5. If serving in tacos, fill the tortillas with the shredded pork and top with the grilled pineapple, coriander and sliced chills. 

Recipe Notes

If you're serving this with tacos it makes 8 good sized tacos which I would serve for 2 people as a main course or 4 people as a starter. 

Alternatively cook for 6 - 7 hours on low. 

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 668mg 28%
Potassium 412mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Sugars 3g
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 1.5%
Vitamin C 5.6%
Calcium 2%
Iron 7.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli

A delicious, healthier version of a Mexican Classic. My Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli is not only tasty and healthy, it is really easy too!

Chilli Con Carne was the first meal my Mum taught me to make as a child. It is still one I make often and really love. However I do like to try and adapt tasty recipes to make healthier versions. Obviously healthier recipes can’t compromise on taste and my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli definitely doesn’t. 

When I was making this Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli, I knew I wanted to mirror most of the flavours in my traditional Chilli Con Carne but make some tweaks. Obviously the biggest change I have made is the meat choice. Instead of minced beef, I used minced turkey. Although I use 5% fat minced beef, with turkey you can buy breast minced meat which is 2% fat. If I was buying meat to use that wasn’t being used in a highly flavoured dish, I would opt for turkey thigh mince which is approximately 5% fat. This is because it provides more flavour and adds moisture. However with this dish, there are so many tasty flavours this isn’t necessary. However as always, use whichever you prefer. 

I have also added more vegetables to my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli as firstly they help make the dish even more delicious. They also help bulk the dish out without adding more unnecessary fat. 

As with a lot of my recipes, you can easily adapt my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli. If you don’t like sweetcorn, leave it out. If you really love peppers, add more. You can also play around with the heat depending on your taste. Obviously everyone’s spice tolerance is different, but I would say that this has a mild to medium rating. If you are making this recipe for children or spice intolerant people, you can add less. One advantage of this recipe is that you can taste it after an hour or so to see how the flavours are developing and then add a little bit more chile powder if needed. 

You will see why I called this my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli when you see there are just over 200 calories per portion! This makes it a healthy meal as well as a tasty meal. The rice and toppings obviously iI often take this to work for lunch without the rice for a warm and filling lunch. 

I always serve chili with rice, salad and soured cream and my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli is no exception. Add whichever toppings you like – avocado, coriander and onion would also be good toppings to use. I like to add a sprinkling of feta cheese because it is the closest to the cheeses traditionally used in Mexican cooking. It is also better for you that cheese like cheddar. 

5 from 1 vote
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Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli

A delicious, healthier version of a Mexican Classic. My Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli is not only tasty and healthy, it is really easy too!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Turkey, Chilli, Slow Cooker, Healthy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 221 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g 2% turkey mince
  • 1 onion diced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 340g tin sweetcorn
  • 2 peppers sliced
  • 395g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin ground
  • ¼ tsp ancho chile powder
  • ¼ tsp ancho chile flakes
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chile powder
  • tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 red chile
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (optional)
  • spray oil

Instructions

  1. Brown the turkey mince either in the dish from your slow cooker (if it allows) or in a pan on the hob 

  2. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker dish 

  3. Stir all of the ingredients together and cook for 5-6 hours on high or 7-8 on low. Stir every couple of hours if possible 

  4. An hour before the end of the cooking time, look to see if the sauce needs thickening. If it is thinner than you would like, mix the cornflour with water to make a slurry and add to the dish 

  5. Serve with rice and toppings of your choice

Nutrition Facts
Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 783mg 33%
Potassium 620mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 7g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 66.5%
Calcium 4.9%
Iron 12.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Beef & Ale Stew

If you’re looking for a comforting winter warmer, you definitely need to try my Slow Cooker Beef & Ale Stew. Melt in your mouth beef in a thick and rich gravy with deliciously sweet carrots – yum. 

This time of year really does lend itself to slow cooked dishes. When the weather is cold and miserable I like a lot of people want warm and comforting food. And surely it’s not just me that feels a bit lazy when the weather is a bit rubbish? That’s another reason why slow cooked meals are so great, once you have spent a few minutes assembling them at the start, you can then pretty much just forget about them. 

Beef is a great meat for long slow cooking because it gets deliciously tender. I also find gravy that is deeply flavoured to be one of the most comforting things to eat. Slow cooking is a relaxed way of letting the flavours develop over time where they can really intensify. I had to stop myself spooning all of this gravy straight from the slow cooker it was that tasty. 

You can cook this on high for 5-6 hours, but if you have the time, I would recommend letting it cook on low. This will make the beef even tastier. I put this on just before I went to bed and got up to the most amazing smell the next morning. If you want to eat it that day, you can just reheat it later. Alternatively you can freeze it for a really quick meal another day. 

My Mum used to make delicious gravy for us growing up and because she knew we all loved it so much she made sure there was plenty. At the end of the meal, if your potato hadn’t soaked up all of the gravy, we used to get a slice of white bread and use that to soak up the last of the yummy gravy. It was so good!

As this is cooking for such a long time, I like to leave the carrots quite chunky because I want them to keep their shape. You can cut them smaller if you like but they may disintegrate slightly. I think mushrooms would make a great addition to this stew but as with the carrots I would leave them quite chunky or add them half way through the cooking time. 

You can use whichever ale you like in this recipe. I used a dark ale that said it worked well with red meat, but I think any medium to dark ale would be great. You could also use Guinness which would be really tasty. If you do not want to use ale in this recipe, you could just add more beef stock. I would also consider adding a tablespoon of Bovril. This would help add a depth and richness to the gravy – I love the stuff! 

If you don’t have a slow cooker but want to give this stew a go do not panic – you can absolutely cook this in the oven! I haven’t tried it, but if I was, I would cook it for around 5-6 hours at 120ºC with a lid on and then for the last 30 minutes to an hour take the lid off. I would also add around 250ml more stock which would help ensure it doesn’t dry out. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend leaving this overnight, as you would need to check it every few hours and give it a stir. 

I like to eat this Slow Cooker Beef & Ale Stew with a baked potato or mashed potato. Or as I mentioned before, some bread is a great alternative to mop up all of that delicious gravy! 

0 from 0 votes
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Slow Cooker Beef & Ale Stew

If you're looking for a comforting winter warmer, you definitely need to try my Slow Cooker Beef & Ale Stew. Melt in your mouth beef in a thick and rich gravy with deliciously sweet carrots - yum.

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword Slow Cooker, Beef, Ale
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 475 kcal

Ingredients

  • 700 g braising steak
  • 200 g smoked bacon lardons
  • 30 g plain flour mixed with 1 tsp sea salt & ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 550 g carrots sliced
  • 1 stick of celery sliced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • ½ tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 500 ml dark ale
  • 1 beef stock pot
  • 1 tsp sunflower oi

Instructions

  1. Add the bacon lardons to your slow cooker if you can use it directly on the hob, alternatively add them to a pan. Cook them until crisp and set aside
  2. Mix the flour together with the salt and pepper. Depending on how much oil the bacon left, add a little more if needed
  3. Coat the beef lightly in the flour and then brown it in the slow cooker/pan in batches
  4. Once all of the beef has been browned, add it back to the slow cooker
  5. Add the bacon and the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine
  6. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Remove the rosemary sprigs and serve

Recipe Notes

I use a 3.5L slow cooker for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Beef & Ale Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 475 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 1258mg 52%
Potassium 480mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 460.2%
Vitamin C 14%
Calcium 5.5%
Iron 3.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Hearty Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

If you’re looking for comforting and rustic, my Hearty Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole is for you.  Easy to make and full of flavour this is a great Winter warmer. 

I love using my slow cooker, especially during the Winter. You can make so many delicious and comforting dishes with minimum effort. This is a good thing when the weather is miserable and all you want to do is snuggle up on the sofa with a blanket; and a bowl of Hearty Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole of course!

My inspiration for this Hearty Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole came loosely from a sausage cassoulet. I say loosely because I took the general idea of it and then made it my way. This recipe is very easy to tweak and make it how you would like also. 
 

I chose to remove the casing from the sausages because I wanted to cut the sausages up for a start. This is to make the sausages go further and to also remove the necessity of using a knife. This really is lazy comfort food so who wants to be using more cutlery than needed?! I also removed the casing because I wanted the sausages to absorb as much flavour of the dish as possible so I thought I’d remove any barriers to prevent this. 

Why baked beans you ask? Well why on earth not. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that my Dad used to add baked beans when he made cottage pie and it was oddly tasty. I wanted to add a bean to this recipe but I am not adventurous when it comes to beans. I am broadening my horizons and in the last year or so I have become a fan of black beans. Steady on, you may say but I will get there! My lack of confidence in beans was only half of the reason I used baked beans. I wanted their tomato sauce to enhance my casserole too. 

Another ingredient which enhances the casserole is red wine. Mr Curly and I aren’t big drinkers so I used a small bottle of red wine. If you do enjoy a glass of wine with your dinner and have a bottle open, add a medium sized glass to the casserole. Alternatively if you would rather not add wine at all, just add water instead. 

You can also add whatever vegetables you like. Parsnips or swede would add a sweetness which would work well. You could also add some mushrooms to add to the heartiness. Feel free to add whichever herbs you would like, or even use dried herbs if you don’t have fresh herbs. 

I like to serve this with some nice crusty bread which is very tasty dipped into the sauce. If you would prefer something a bit more substantial like Mr Curly, you could serve this Hearty Slow Cooker Casserole with pasta or even mashed potato. 

Serves 4 using a 3.5L slow cooker

6-8 good quality sausages, de-skinned
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 carrots, sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 gloves of garlic, diced
187ml red wine (small bottle) 
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 spring of rosemary
½ tbsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 ½ tsp sea salt
¼ black pepper
½ tsp dried sage
2 bay leaves
250ml chicken stock
420g tin baked beans
Spray oil
2 tbsp cornflour mixed with water (optional)

  1. Remove the casing from the sausages. I find the best way to do this is to gently cut a slit into the sausage and then peel the casing away from the meat 
  2. Split each sausage into three pieces and roll them between your hands to round the edges

  1. Brown the sausages in your slow cooker on the hob, if it allows. Or brown them in a pan and add them to the slow cooker

  1. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the baked beans and stir to mix 

  1. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 
  2. With an hour to go, add the baked beans and stir through. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stalk 
  3. If you would like the stew to be a little thicker, mix the cornflour and water together and add to the slow cooker. Stir through and let cook for a few more minutes before serving

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Slow Cooker Pork & Mustard Stew

Tasty and tender pork slow cooked with mustard, herbs and cider – what’s not to like? My Slow Cooker Pork & Mustard Stew is perfect for a winter’s evening. 

I love pork. It is definitely my favourite meat and is incredibly versatile. If I’m in a restaurant and pork is an option, it is more than likely that is what I will be ordering. And don’t even get me started on belly pork!

Growing up, my Mum would make a pork casserole using thick slices of pork tenderloin which she would slow cook in the oven. This is my interpretation of her dish adapted to the slow cooker. 

You can use any cut of pork for this, I tend to use shoulder. You do want a small amount of fat so it doesn’t dry out when you are cooking it over a few hours. I like to brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker because this means it keeps together when cooking. If you don’t brown the pork, it has a tendency to break up more which isn’t what I wanted for this recipe. 

Mustard and cider go perfectly with pork which is what makes this recipe so delicious. My Mum used to add onion and apples to hers, but I have left them out. I haven’t hidden the fact that I don’t like onions. I know they add flavour and when I think they are a benefit I do include them. With this recipe the leeks provide a similar flavour so I have left the onion out; but feel free to add an onion if you fancy it. 

I chose not to add apples because I thought they would just turn to mush after cooking for a few hours. You could always cut up some apples and add them towards the end of the cooking time; maybe for the last 30 minutes or so. You still get the delicious apple flavour from the cider so you won’t miss them. 

As with a lot of my slow cooker dishes, I tend to add a little bit extra liquid to ensure it doesn’t all cook off. This is especially handy if you are leaving your slow cooker on overnight so you won’t be there to check if it needs a bit more liquid. Because of this, you may want to thicken it slightly. You can either do this by taking the slow cooker lid off and allowing some of the liquid to evaporate. But if you don’t have as much time, add a small amount of cornflour mixed together with some water and stir that through the dish. Leave it for 5-10 minutes and your sauce will have thickened. 

I also add a bit more liquid because I freeze a lot of my dishes and they seem to always loose some liquid once they have defrosted. I’m sure someone could explain this, but I don’t know why it happens! So if I have a thinner sauce when I freeze the dish, my thinking is I will still have plenty of sauce when I defrost it and reheat it. I can then thicken it if needed. 

I think this Slow Cooker Pork & Mustard Stew goes really well served with a jacket potato and vegetables. However I tend to eat a large bowl of this with just vegetables. If you are eating it like that I would say this probably feeds two people whereas if you are serving it with potato it could be stretched to four people.  

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Slow Cooker Pork & Mustard Stew

Tasty and tender pork slow cooked with mustard, herbs and cider – what’s not to like? My Slow Cooker Pork & Mustard Stew is perfect for a winter’s evening. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword Slow Cooker, Pork, Crock pot, Cider
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 386 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 450 g pork diced
  • 200 g leeks sliced
  • 1 ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 150 ml water
  • Vegetable stock pot or stock cube
  • 250 ml cider
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried mustard powder
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs
  • Spray oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with water optional

Instructions

  1. Cut the pork into chunks. Brown the pork in batches in a pan or in your slow cooker on the hob (if your slow cooker allows this) using some spray oil

  2. Once all of the pork is browned, add it all back into the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients to the pork 

  3. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 

Recipe Notes

I use a 3.5L slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Pork & Mustard Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 386 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 1304mg 54%
Potassium 458mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 16.7%
Vitamin C 8.2%
Calcium 5.3%
Iron 12.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew

Chicken and chorizo in a rich tomato sauce with a subtle warmth. This Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew is perfect for a cold winter night served with rice or tortillas and salad and a dollop of soured cream.             

My love of Mexican food is no secret and I am constantly thinking of new recipe ideas. Whether it is adapting traditional recipes, or using Mexican flavors to come up with yummy dishes of my own. This Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew is by no means traditional. It borrows some delicious Mexican flavours to make a comforting and tasty dish. 

Which cut of chicken is best to use?

There are always chicken thighs in my freezer and chorizo in my fridge. I love chicken thighs because they have so much flavour. I must admit I prefer leg and thigh meat on a roast chicken. Breast is very tasty but has nothing on thigh meat in my option. Thighs are also great in slow cooker dishes because they don’t dry out as easily as breast meat can. 

With the chorizo, I am lucky that my parents often bring me a delicious ring back from their trips to Fuerteventura. You can buy a normal or spicy chorizo, so buy whichever you fancy. The rings to tend to have a papery covering so make sure you peel this off before you cut it up. 


Even though I have quite a collection of chilli powders, I realise that not everyone does. So with this recipe I have tried to keep it to chilli powders and flakes that I have seen in supermarkets. If you still can’t find them, it isn’t the end of the world and you can just substitute it with any chilli powder you have. Bear in mind to use less if it is hot and more if it is very mild. I love to use Mexican oregano because it has a citrus flavour but again, if you don’t have this normal oregano will be great. 

As I haven’t browned the chicken off before adding it to the slow cooker, the chicken will shred really easily and become almost part of the sauce. If you would prefer the chicken to remain in chunks, either skip the shredding step or cut the chicken up and brown it at the same time as the chorizo. 

How do you serve this?

I like to serve this Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew with rice, soured cream and some tortillas on the side. Another way to serve them is as my Chicken & Chorizo Nachos – you’ll love them!

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Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew

Chicken and chorizo in a rich tomato sauce with a subtle warmth, this Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew is perfect for a cold winter night served with rice or tortillas and salad and a dollop of soured cream.  

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Slow Cooker, Chicken, Chorizo
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 433 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 100 g chorizo
  • 3 peppers sliced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500 g chicken thighs deboned and skinless
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ancho chili flakes
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water

Instructions

  1. Remove the 'skin' from the chorizo and fry either in a dry pan or in your slow cooker basin on the hob (you’ll know if your slow cooker has this function). You just want the chorizo to get slightly browned and release its oil

  2. Add the sliced peppers to your slow cooker along with the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic and water and stir everything together

  3. If they aren’t already, debone your chicken thighs and remove the skin. 

  4. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with the oregano, paprika, chile flakes, salt and pepper and then lay them on top of the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker

  5. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 on low before removing the chicken. Shred the chicken before adding back to the slow cooker and stirring everything together
  6. If you want the sauce to thicken, add the cornflour and water mix and stir through
  7. Cook for a further 30 mins and serve either with rice, salad or tortillas and sprinkle with chives or spring onions and some feta

Recipe Notes

I use a 3.5L slow cooker 

Even if I buy chicken thighs de-boned and skinless, I always check them over to trim of any excess fat, remove any veins and check for any small bones that may have been missed

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 46%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 144mg 48%
Sodium 1138mg 47%
Potassium 755mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 17.4%
Vitamin C 99.6%
Calcium 7.4%
Iron 17.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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