Cook book review: Cook Slow

Not surprisingly given the weather, slow cookers have come up in conversation quite a lot recently. Though it seems we can see that putting something in the slow cooker in the morning before heading out to start the day and coming back to a warming tea is a no-brainer, very few of the people I’ve talked to actually use their slow cooker. Why? Because they don’t know what to cook beyond a casserole.

So, this review is for all of you who’ve plead for my help! I’ve learned a lot from this book and plan to expand my own repertoire of slow cooker dishes beyond making a stew or soup and stock (slow cookers are brilliant for making stock from your roast bones or veg trimmings since it simmers gently and you can leave it to work its magic for hours and hours without having to worry about it boiling – you don’t want a stock to boil as it spoils it).

In Cook Slow, Dean Edwards (remember Digger Dean from Masterchef?), has collated some achievable recipes which demonstrate that there really is more to slow cooking than casseroles. There are influences from around the world to spark your interest using ingredients that are accessible and with instructions for cooking with or without a slow cooker. I haven’t seen that in a book before and it really is useful since volumes of liquids, in particular, change depending on your cooking method.

Yes, there’s a beef stew (ragu) but also a bean chilli, mushroom and lentil cottage pie, soup, Cherry Cola ribs, the pictured duck dogs, mac and cheese, chicken ramen, Char sui beef, goat curry, smokey chorizo potato hash, whole toasted cauliflower or what about poached pears and a self-saucing chocolate orange pudding? Had you thought about cooking pudding in your slow cooker before? I hadn’t.

At the moment it’s a steal on Amazon at just £6, but if you wanted more of a taste of what to expect, take a look at this article on Asda Good Living with some top tips for using the slow cooker and a few recipes from the book.

Whether you’re a competent slow cooker user or lacking confidence, this book comes recommended.

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