Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat


Adventures in Slow Cooking. Meet my new friend.

My parents very kindly gifted T & I with this compact slow cooker for Christmas,as both T & I have kinda crazy schedules, we had been slipping a bit with getting dinner organised, and as the temperature has plumeted here in East London- and a white blanket has covered us, we've been trying all sorts of goodies in it. This is a great tool if you are out of the house for long periods, and also great for budgeting as it makes even the cheapest cuts of meat very tender AND it gives a great flavour to any dish as it cooks so slowly.

Today- Turkey with leeks and bacon- and if you don't have a slow cooker, you could very easily adjust the timings on this to make on a day off, over a low heat in a standard sauce pan.

Also *disclaimer* this is an adapted recipe from a book we were gifted along with the cooker.

You will need: 
Turkey Thigh, a pack of. Usually about 400/500g
A leek
Vegetable stock
Plain flour
Seasoning to taste

1. Chop leek into roughly even rings- I reckon the should be about 1cm thick, roughly chop an onion, cursh or finely chop garlic, roughly chop bacon into strips- leave the fat on the bacon, unless you following a low fat eating plan, in which case you'll need a splash of something- olive oil, low cal spray etc...

2. Heat a heavy base frying pan, and add your bacon in, as it starts to pale with cooking, throw in the leek, onion and garlic. Be aware that you might need an extra splash of oil to prevent sticking, or if you have trimmed your bacon, you will almost certainly need a fat/fat substitute to ease everything about. 

3. Once the bacon is cooked and the leaks and onions are soft, put the lot into your slow cooker or into a large sauce pan. Try and leave as much fat/oil/substitute in the pan as possible. 

4. Into a bowl, or receptacle (I an old ice cream tub...) pour a small amount of flour- 3-4 table spoons to start, maybe a touch more. Season to taste- I added LOADS of black pepper and some thyme... give the flour and seasoning a bit of a shake to mix, and dump your chopped turkey thigh into the flour, mix about until all the turkey is lightly covered in flour. 

5. Make sure your frying pan with it's fat is good and hot, and add your turkey to the pan, be cautious, it will spit. Keep the turkey on the move until it's browned all over, then add it to the large pan with your bacon and leek goodness. 

6. Provided your kitchen is not covered in a heavy coat light dusting of flour, and if it is, thank goodness it isn't just me, make up around 250-275ml of vegetable stock using a cube or paste or whatever you like. I use oxo or my own homemade version with T likes to call the ├╝bercube. 

7. Pour the stock over the bacon, turkey, leeks etc etc so that the whole lot is almost cover with liquid- the liquid should be level with the rest if the contents of your pan/slow cooker. 

Getting steamy in the kitchen.... No not like that you filthy, filthy bunch.

8. If using a slow cooker- cook on high for around 6 hours or low for around 10. If you're doing this in a pan on the hob... Well.... I'm guessing, but I would say approximate 5-6 hours on the lowest heat, with a lid covering. The mix should be bubbling gently, and hot all the way through. The stock you poured in should have become a gravy-like consistency. If anyone has a go this way, please hit me with tips and timings, as I'd love to share some of these recipes for anyone who doesn't have a slow cooker. 

Serve with vegetables and carbs of your choice. We had ours with roasted potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic and lightly grilled courgette, but it would also work very well with rice or wedges, spinach, fried leeks, mashed potatoes.... 

And eat. 



Leanne Cornelius said...

This sounds delicious. I love my slow cooker, like you said it is perfect for when you're working all day. Nothing better than coming home to some nice comfort food ready to eat. x

Kirsty said...

Oooh, looks tasty! I don't have a slow cooker but I've been coming round to the idea of one for ages because I'm always so busy and knackered at the end of the day to cook! Or maybe I'm just lazy? This seems like the obvious way forward. All hail the slow cooker!xx