I never used to see the point in slow cookers. Occasionally someone would offer me one they didn’t want anymore, but I figured I’d rarely, if ever, remember to set it going in the morning. However, when I was buying my super fancy all singing & dancing ice-cream machine it was on special offer; buy it and get a nice shiny slow cooker for free! Not a bad bargain really.
It turns out that a slow cooker is great for those days when you know you’ll be too tired or busy to cook later, and is the best way for cooking cheaper cuts of meat to tender perfection.
I rarely, if ever, remember to put it on early enough.
GoodFood Slow Cooker Favourites Edited by Sarah Cook. BBC Books, 2011.
A collection of recipes first published in the BBC Good Food magazine, most of which seem to have been adapted for a slow cooker, rather than having been written for one.
Why did you buy it?
Because I had a brand new, shiny slow cooker. I also trust BBC Good Food recipes because they are thoroughly tested, unlike many other recipe books.
Do you use it?
Yes. A few of the recipes are family favourites, though to be fair I saw them in the magazine first.
Judge a book by its cover…
Meh, it’s fine.
So, what did you make?
I tried to do something from each section, starting with breakfast:
Honey crunch granola. Nice enough, but not wildly exciting. Certainly not worth the hassle of making in a slow cooker when it would have taken a fraction of the time done the usual way. It was taking forever to crisp up; eventually I got bored and finished it off in the oven.
Apple spice tea loaf. I like a nice tea loaf, spread with butter, yummy. You were supposed to put the loaf tin INSIDE the cooker. Nope, didn’t fit. Who has a slow cooker that big anyway? Decided to cook it in the main ‘bowl’ (?). To cut a long story short, it was not a tea loaf, it was a pudding. We ate it with custard.
Duck and pineapple red curry was very good, well suited to slow cooking, as was the sticky spiced lamb.
The easy kedgeree was horribly stodgy; that, and the haddock with chorizo (which was nice but not cooked properly) would both have been better off being cooked in a pan.
For dessert we had hot chocolate mousse and banana rice pudding. Rice pudding is fine done in the slow cooker, but you can’t walk off and leave it; there’s a very fine line between al dente and overcooked, you need to be there to support it during it’s transition.
Is it worth buying?
There are several excellent recipes in this book, but they tend to be the ones that cook slowly in the first place, rather than those that have been adapted. There are certainly worse books on the market.
Is it still in print?
It’s still available second hand or via kindle, though I believe the books were rebranded a while back so might be available under a different name.