Slow cookers

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by General_Layabout, Feb 5, 2013.

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  1. I did a search and got 177 hits which I'm not about to trawl through so if this is a repeat you all have my appologies!

    I am a big fan of slow cookers but Mrs G_L isn't, only because she prefers a thicker gravy/sauce than they produce.

    Is there a way of thickening the liquid after cooking and prior to serving?
     
  2. what are you cooking firstly, beef when left in for 8 or so hours melts and crumbles so that it leaves a think sauce as in beef boginuff, currys are good. sausage stew using the ready made stew packs are great aswell er in doors reckons it thins it out if you keep taking the lid orf to check on it aswell.
     
  3. Stick a bit of cornflour in and give it a stir before letting it continue to simmer for a bit maybe?
     
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  4. or just freeze it thatll thinken her right up
     
  5. 1. Go easy on the liquid
    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. Liquid should just cover the meat and vegetables. Don't overfill your slow cooker or it may start leaking out the top and food won't cook as well. Half to two thirds full is ideal and certainly no more than three quarters.

    2. Thickening
    Just as the the liquid doesn't reduce it also doesn't thicken. You can roll meat in a little seasoned flour before browning it, then add the remaing flour to the meat juices before adding it to the slow cooker or use a little cornflour at the end. If you want to do the latter, take a teaspoon or two of cornflour, mix it to a paste with a little cold water. Transfer the contents of your slow cooker to a saucepan and heat on the hob, stirring in the cornflour. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened.
     
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  6. It won't thicken in the slow cooker so make the gravy thick first or at the end. As mentioned cornflour try two teaspoons dissolved in equal quantities of water, add more if needed
     
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  7. Or ground arrowroot powder, which is a bit more neutral and will not alter the flavour.
     
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  8. I only put enough gravy/stock in to just cover the meat and leave it - a check in between to make sure it's still ok. After the required time, I then add the par boiled veg etc. top up the gravy to the appropriate thickness and level, then leave it to finish.
     
  9. More gravy granuals will do it
     
  10. Slow cooker you say?
     

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  11. on the subject of slow cookers, which cooker would you guys suggest as a good buy?
     
  12. I had a slow cooker once, thick as mince it was so away it went to the slow cooker farm in the sky....i'll get my coat
     
  13. A lot less liquid is the key.... just cover the ingredients with a stock, I like Bisto powder, not the granules, plus an Oxo cube or even better a M P White stock pot.

    If it still looks runny at the end, you could always mix up some dumplings and throw them in for the last hour, that will absorb some of the liquid.

    Jarrod gave a good tip a while ago which I've used ever since.......to make a stock from beef or chicken bones, cover in water, bring to the boil in a pan, together with some onion, carrot, celery and some herbs, then transfer to the slow cooker for the day.

    Ultra safe, not so long ago, I went rushing off to a job about 12 miles away, did it, then just as I got in the van...... WAAAAAAH!

    Remembered I'd left a pan of stock on the stove, drove like crazy home..... kitchen full of smoke, a pan that took ages to get the black off.

    My tip, when the stock is done, pour it through a large sieve into a pan and discard bones etc.

    Then, split a large tissue in half and lay in the sieve.

    You then pour the hot stock through, the stock passes through, while the fat floats on top (sometimes the tissue can get blocked halfway though, so use another tissue to finish.)

    The stock can be reduced if you want, then bagged, sealed and frozen for later use.
     
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  14. If (when) I get the gravy too thin, I bring to the boil and add potato flakes until thickened. Tastes better than cornstarch / cornflour ...
     
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  15. Stupid question time.......I take that this is after, you've removed the bones and fat?