Posted by Allie and Jess from One Handed Cooks at June 27 2016, 1:26pm
There’s nothing more welcoming than getting home after a cold winter's day to a gorgeous hearty meal simmering away, leaving a mouth-watering aroma drifting through the house. Here’s our guide to slow-cooking for the family and some recipes to get you started.
Three reasons to love slow cooking:
1. Saves time with minimal preparation, especially during ‘witching hour’
2. You can prepare in the morning and it’s ready for you by dinnertime
3. Save money by using cheaper cuts of meat, which are often used in slow cooker recipes
Three nutritional benefits of slow food cooking:
1. May make the food tastier and more flavourful encouraging your children to accept and enjoy it
2. Slow-cooking breaks down parts of a food (legumes, meat, vegetables) that are otherwise not digestible
3. Slow cooked food is often easier to chew for young children
Jess assures me that slow cooking some vegetables can actually increase the bioavailability of some nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are good for our health and wellbeing. But we just love the taste!
Listen to Jess on Kinderling Conversation:
Here's some of our favourite slow-cooked recipes for families to try:
Fish chowder in edible bread bowls
This fish chowder is creamy, hearty and mild enough for the kids. The whole family should enjoy it and the kids will love eating their bowls at the end.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3:30 hours
- 500g firm white fish filets, boneless
- 100g smoked ham, roughly chopped
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
- 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups fish stock
- 2 cups salt reduced chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs thyme
- ¾ cups thickened cream
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 4 bread rolls
1. Cut fish fillets into 2cm cubes and thoroughly check for and remove all bones. Cover and place in the fridge until needed.
2. Place the ham, potato, leek, garlic, stock, bay leaf and thyme in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours, or until the potato is tender.
3. Add the fish and cream. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Stir through the lemon juice and parsley.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Place bread rolls on a baking tray and bake for around 10 minutes or until the outside of each roll is crispy.
5. Slice the top of the bread rolls off and pull out around half of the bread inside. You want to leave enough to pad out the bowl so it doesn’t leak.
6. Spoon the warm chowder into the bowls. Sprinkle the adults version with salt and pepper and enjoy.
Lamb Shanks with Mash Potato (served three ways)
Lamb shanks are a flavourful, winter warmer for the whole family and are rich in iron and zinc helping to keep the immune system strong and the colds and flu at bay.
Servings: 2 adults, 2 toddlers, 2 babies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
- ½ cup plain flour
- 4 frenched lamb shanks
- 3 tbsp rice bran oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 cups salt reduced beef stock
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sheets mountain bread (toddler only)
- 3 large potatoes (baby/adult only)
- ¼ cup hot milk (baby/adult only)
- 1 tbsp butter (baby/adult only)
1. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Coat the lamb shanks lightly in the flour and shake off the excess.
2. Heat 1tbsp of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb shanks until golden, and transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.
3. Lower the heat in the frying pan to medium. Add the remaining oil and add the carrot, onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the tomato paste, stock, thyme, bay leaves and leftover flour.
4. Place the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker. Arrange the lamb shanks so they are completely submerged in the sauce. Put the lid on and cook on low for 6-7 hours (the meat should fall off the bone). Remove the bay leaves and thyme stem.
5. To make the mash, peel potatoes and roughly cut into cubes. Cook in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain potatoes well. Using a potato masher, roughly mash potatoes. Add butter and hot milk to potatoes and mash until fluffy.
Remove ¼ cup of cooked lamb meat and ¼ cup vegetables (check thoroughly and remove any small bones). Combine with a few tablespoons of mashed potato and blend until you have desired consistency.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut the mountain bread to fit into small ramekins or a muffin tin – two layers per tin. Cook in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until crisp. Spoon the cooked lamb meat and vegetables into the mountain bread shells and serve (check thoroughly and remove any small bones).
Serve the lamb shanks over a bed of fluffy mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper.
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