Slow-Cooking Recipes Slow-cooking is a technique that means what it says: Foods are slow cooked, generally for several hours, to create the finished product. The slow-cooking can be done in the oven, on a barbecue grill, or in a crock pot. The following are recipes you will find on GourmetRecipe for slow-cooked foods.In the OvenSlow-cooking in the oven is usually referred to as “roasting”. Foods are roasted toeither dry them out and make them crisp or to make them tender, depending onthe recipe. An example of a food that is slow-cooked to dry it out would be oven-dried tomatoes. However, this Coffee Pot Roast is roasted for four hours in a 325degree oven to insure the meat will be tender and juicy when it is cooked. Themeat is soaked overnight in vinegar to make it even tenderer. Cuban Roast PorkShoulder requires a cooking time of three hours and 30 minutes, also in a 325degree oven to cook it to perfection.On the GrillSlow-cooking can be done on the grill, either with gas or with charcoal. The secretis to cook the meat a long time at a slow heat. Grilled Whole Chicken, chickenseasoned with cloves of garlic, is a whole bird slow-roasted in the center of thegrill for about 1 1/2 hours to ensure the meat is tender and juicy. The ribs in thisHoney and Onion Ribs recipe are rubbed with a dry mix of brown sugar, cumin,garlic powder, pepper, paprika, then chilled for 2 hours, grilled for at least 1 1/2hours, and then served with a spicy sauce of olive oil, onion, tomato sauce, beer,honey, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce for a mouth-watering zest andtenderness.
In a Crock PotA crockpot is often used to slow-cook foods for a long period of time, like all dayor overnight. The ingredients for a dish can be put into a crock pot, left to cook forup to 14 hours (depending on the recipe), and it will be ready without any morefuss or bother. It’s a great way for busy cooks to prepare meals. For instance, apot of Slow-Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage can be prepared in less than fiveminutes. Just combine all the ingredients – beef brisket, onion, cabbage, pepper,vinegar, sugar and water – cover and cook. That’s it! Then enjoy it when it’s doneat the end of the day. The filling for Pulled BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwiches can beprepared in 10-15 minutes, and left to cook all day, 5-8 hours, depending on theheat level. The result will make 5-6 sandwiches to feed your hungry family. Youcan make soup for lunch or for the whole family with this Vegetable Beef Souprecipe. It will make enough for 10 servings, but if you don’t want or need thatmuch, you can cut the ingredients in half for a smaller batch. Either way, it will beready in about 8 hours.Slow Cooking Slow cooking allows amateur or professional cooks to toss ingredients in a pot and walk away – often for hours. It saves time in the kitchen and is an easy way to create moist, delicious food. Slow Cooker vs. Crock Pot Although the terms “slow cooker” and “crock pot” are often used interchangeably, there is adifference between the two. Slow cookers typically only have heating elementson the bottom, whereas crock pots have heating elements on the sides of the pot,too. However, the term “slow cooking” applies to any cooking method that cooksfood in a slow manner. This includes not just crock pots and slow cookers, butalso stewing and roasting.
Slow Cooking BasicsThe basic method of using a slow cooker is to place the food in the bottom of thecooker, putting any vegetables on the very bottom, followed by any meat. Liquidgoes in last. Depending upon the quantity and type of food that’s prepared, itstays in the slow cooker for about 4 to 12 hours. This allows the cook to leave thekitchen and tend to other things; it’s even safe to leave the house. The food willnot burn because the slow cooker remains at a low temperature of 200 to 300degrees F, depending upon which setting is used. Preparing the Food One of the strong points of slow cooking is that it’s far easier to take tougher, less expensive cuts of meat and make them tender. Slow cookers remain covered during the cooking process, allowing steam to build up in thepot. This not only keeps the food moist, but it helps melt the collagens in tougher cuts of meat, making themeasier to chew. For the best flavor, it’s smart to pre-brown meat - but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Ground meats should be pre-cooked or the meal will end up o very greasy. To ensure even cooking, cut meat, poultry, or vegetable chunks into pieces of approximately the same size. If cooking a large piece of meat(like a roast or small poultry), make sure it fits into the slow cooker easily. If it’scrammed into the pot, it won’t cook evenly.The Finished MealSlow cookers are best used with recipes designed for crock pots or slow cookers.However, it’s possible to adjust recipes to make them suitable for slowcookers. Please refer to our article on crock pots for details for information onhow to do this.
Do remember foods that cook for a long period of time tend to lose their color. Tobrighten up a slow cooked meal, be sure to add some chopped herbs orseasonings shortly before serving. For example, one minute before turning off theslow cooker, you might add chopped chives or parsley. Be sure to also taste themeal before serving, adjusting the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.