Slow Cooker Beef Casserole
When I got married last month, one of the few wedding presents I asked for was a slow cooker. I work long shifts and my husband gets home before me. The last thing he wants to do is cook a meal for one, so he’ll end up having a plate of pasta.
To put a stop to his limited diet, I decided to make sure there would be a meal for him when he gets back from work. There is also extra for when I get home too, which is a bonus.
Using Your Slow Cooker
There are some great advantages to having a slow cooker. As well as making huge savings as you make cheap and easy meals, you can cook many different dishes.
You can cook rice, lentil or chick pea based meals, such as curries which are healthy and full of flavour. You can also make meals with any meat as the base, such as the British classic Lancashire Hotpot. This is a lamb casserole dish with sliced potatoes, and great for cold winter nights.
Desserts and puddings can be made in your slow cooker, like rice pudding, poached pears or you can even make your breakfast porridge!
What are the Benefits to using a Slow Cooker?
Making your meals in advance can save you time in the long run. You can prepare your ingredients the night before, and put everything together in the slow cooker the following morning. Leaving it on a low setting for 8 hours will cook it (but seal meat in a pan before adding to the slow cooker). You can use the high setting for two or three hours to tenderise meat and keep it on the warm setting so your family can just help themselves. If you come home from work, school or college all at different times, this is very handy.
Alternatively, put your ingredients in the slow cooker on the low setting over night, then on high for a few hours during the day. As you get to know your slow cooker, you will get to know how well things cook in it.
At weekends, I like to prepare my meals in the slow cooker in the morning before heading out for the day with my family. When we get home, we don’t have to worry about who will cook!
Because you can make so many different meals, it doesn't have to get boring. If you just fancy some vegetable soup, make it in the slow cooker!
- 400g (1 small pack) casserole beef, Cubed
- I medium onion, Diced
- 5 rashes unsmoked bacon, Chopped
- 2 medium sized white potatoes, Cubed
- 1 small sized swede, Cubed
- 3 large carrots, Chopped
- 50g button mushrooms, Sliced
- 400ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp gravy granuals
- I dash worcester sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
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- Place oil in a saucepan and heat.
- Add the onions and cook for 2 - 3 minutes to soften.
- Add the diced beef and bacon to the pan. Cook for 5 mins until browned.
- Add the stock to the pan. Add the potatoes, swede, mushrooms and carrots.
- Bring to the boil and add the tomato puree, herbs, salt, pepper and worcester sauce.
- Turn the slow cooker to its low setting and add the contents of the pan to the slow cooker.
- Place the lid and cook for 8 - 10 hours on low or 4 -5 hours on high.
- Serve with crusty bread, mashed or jacket potato and savoy cabbage.
Beef and Dumplings
As a child we would always have dumplings in our stews.
To make dumplings:
Mix 225g plain flour with 100g shredded suet and a pinch of salt.
Add small amounts of cold water slowly to the flour mix until it forms a dough.
Rest the dough for 5 minutes, then divide into balls.
Add to the casserole 20 minutes before you are ready to serve.