Tis the Season for Low and Slow.
This is the season to break out the slow cooker or casserole dish to braise meat. During the winter, get the most out of great value cuts of meat by cooking it low and slow to obtain the most tender and juicy bites. You can opt for the traditional route of braising in wine and stock, but you can also consider braising meats in beer or adding the meat to curries to really amp up the flavour. There’s a world of possibility!
Choose the right cut:
Slow cookers are great for cooking cuts like osso buco, short ribs, beef brisket, pork shoulder, lamb shanks and many more. The more fat in the cut the better, leaner cuts like pork tenderloin tend to dry out. Likewise, dark meat chicken such as thighs and drumsticks, will remain juicier than white meat like the breast.
You can also use less meat, as slow cooking really extracts a meaty flavour that permeates the whole dish, so bulk it up with vegetables as well.
To get the best result when using your slow cooker, follow these 5 top tips for success:
- Brown your meat first
If you’re not using a slow cooker, do this in the pot you’ll be cooking in, to ensure you retain all the juices and achieve maximum flavour.
Don’t over season
When seasoning, add just a little at the start and then, if still required, adjust to your taste before serving. As slow cooking encourages the reduction of liquid, the flavours can become very concentrated.
Don’t overfill the pot
Reduce liquid when using a slow cooker. Because your slow cooker will have a tightly sealed lid, the liquid won't evaporate so if you're adapting a standard recipe, it's best to reduce the liquid by roughly a third. Have your slow cooker no more than three quarter full of liquid, it should just cover meat and vegetables.
Keep the lid on at all times
Slow cooking times require the building up of a consistent heat to cook meat and make it deliciously tender. The liquid should just tremble at the centre of the pot — not bubble vigorously.
Prepare a day early
For optimal results, you should make the dish the day before you plan to eat it to enhance the flavour and tenderness.
WINTER COOKING GUIDE: We love to eat seasonally - not only it is cheaper but it tastes that much better. There are so many delicious fruits and vegetables on offer in Winter and we have created a collection of all the wonderful Winter produce available here, be sure to download the FREE digital Seasonal Guide.
GAMEKEEPERS MEAT: Looking for premium quality beef, lamb, pork, poultry, game and more? We’re here to help! Located in Moorabbin with an online store front, we deliver high quality meat from local stock. We are passionate about what we do. Offering a broad range of cuts you can’t get at most butchers, prepared the way you like them.
DELIVERY: Check our delivery locations across Victoria, with the post code checker here.
RECIPES & INSPIRATIONS: View all cooking inspirations here.