Is it for you?
I have not discovered a slow cooker recipe book that is as good as this one. If you are wanting one slow cooker recipe book to cook all your recipes from then this is the one for you. I love having multiple cookbooks to use and try things from, but I honestly love this one so much that the other cookbooks get neglected anyway. This cookbook is really easy to follow, and makes slow cooking even easier than it already is. There are really good instructions in the front for slow cooker use and freezing of meals as well, as well as a description of various ingredients used in the recipes, common breads and uses for different knives
The Cooking Experience
When my new slow cooker arrived (early 2016) I thought I would buy a couple of slow cooker cookbooks to sit alongside it. Also it is always good to have a bit of inspiration and a starting point to learn how to use a slow cooker. I have a Breville slow cooker that can do everything from steam veges, cook rice or slow cook. We really only use the slow cooker function and have yet to do a roast, dessert or soup in the slow cooker as I am still learning. This cookbook literally taught me how to use my slow cooker and to date I haven’t even used the other slow cooker cookbook that I purchased. This cookbook has literally become my slow cooking bible, and I think is my most utilised cookbook of all the cookbooks I own. Do not let the magazine look, or thickness of this cookbook deceive you, it does change lives.
The first recipe I ever cooked out of this cookbook was the Lamb and Potato Stew with Spinach and it continues to be my favourite recipe in this cookbook. You know a cookbook is good when you can successfully master, and I mean master, the first recipe you try. That does of course mean this cookbook is not challenging. If you are looking for a cookbook that will challenge the frontiers of your cooking this probably isn’t it for you. This cookbook will make you fall in love with your slow cooker (even more than you probably already are) and the ease at which slow cooker meals can be prepared. The recipes are reliable, delicious and the perfect winter meals.
Tuesday nights for my partner and I are hectic. We both have to be out the door by 7pm for various sports we are involved in. With my hour commute and his longer hours at work both of us often aren’t home until near to 6pm. A couple of times we have each had to go straight from work to sqaush or badminton. Because of this we do not have time to cook but also need something that will sustain us through the competition games we play. Slow cooking has been perfect for us. Because of this we also need recipes that are very unlikely to go wrong while they are in the slow cooker as we are not around to check that everything is going alright. Also as we have to compile everything on a Monday night after cooking dinner for that night it is also not too fun having to put together a very complicated dish. All of the recipes we have tried out of this cookbook have been amazing, have had a good consistency (the casseroles are not runny) and have been quick to throw together.
Each recipe will specify if it is suitable for freezing, I quite like this as I have always been unsure with slow cooker dishes. Some are very watery so won’t freeze well for that reason, while others I have frozen seem to lose all their flavour in the freezer and just do not reheat well. Make sure you read through the recipes, I have made the mistake a couple of times of throwing everything in at the beginning only to find out later I should have added the peas right at the end. Alot of the recipes, particularly the curries, have ingredients to add at the end. Where it specifies to sear the meat first, do this, it adds a more developed flavour to the dish, and really adds to the flavour of the casserole dishes in particular.
Was it for me?
I absolutely love this cookbook for the main reason that it makes slow cooking easy and affordable, and let’s be honest isn’t that the two reasons that everyone decides to do slow cooking. I know that Australian Womens Weekly have a lot of other slow cooker magazines and maybe one day I will collect them. For now, this slow cooker cookbook is actually all I need to be able to use my slow cooker. There are a variety of recipes to try, and a variety of way to tweak the recipes when god forbid one day I discover I have cooked every recipe in this cookbook.
Recipes I’ve tried
- Chilli con carne
- Veal and rosemary casserole
- Italian beef casserole
- Morrocan lamb with kumara and raisins
- Simple beef and vegetable casserole
- Red wine, beef and mushroom stew
- Lamb and potato stew with spinach
- Chorizo, chilli and bean stew
- Lamb tagine with harissa and green olives
- Chicken, lentil and pork curry
- Creamy vegetable and almond korma