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Our top 5 slow-cooked meals to make you smile this winter

The benefits of slow cooking meat are well known. Cooking meat “low and slow” not only improves the flavour and texture of meat, but it’s a fuss-free, time saving and healthy way to cook too.

 

Slow cooking is often associated with cheaper cuts of meat. But cheaper certainly doesn’t mean poorer quality. Cuts such as shoulder, brisket, flank, and shin are some of the best to slow cook because they are made up of harder working muscle and fat which lends itself perfectly to this way of cooking. These cuts often aren’t as readily available in supermarkets but at Douglas Willis – because we cut all our meat with precision and care, we can offer these cheaper cuts in whatever quantities you need.

 

We want to share with you our top 5 ways to create slow cooked, simple, warming meals this winter. Plus, we’ve included one of our favourite recipes for a tasty midweek dish that you can create with minimal effort.

 

Stews & Curries

 

Adding diced Welsh beef shin to a slow cooker with spices, vegetables, pulses and a small amount of liquid, can magically transform within a few hours into a delicious bowl of goodness to enjoy after a busy day at work or a long walk. Best eaten from a bowl, curled up on the sofa.

 

Pot Roast

 

Beef brisket offers a cheaper and easier alternative to traditional roast beef. By cooking the beef in a small amount of stock or alcohol you will achieve succulent, melt in the mouth meat for your roast and you can then use the juices to create a rich gravy. Cheaper than a sirloin or topside roasting joint but still as delicious. Finish in the oven for beautifully browned meat that’s best served with fluffy Yorkshire puddings and creamy mashed potato.

 

Pulled Meat

 

Slow cooked pork shoulder can be turned into the ultimate soft, mouth-watering meat. Pulled pork is sweet, sticky pulled-apart deliciousness. Searing the meat first adds a rich, caramelised flavour and added vinegar will help to tenderise the meat even further. Pulled pork is perfect for sandwiches, tacos or even on pizza.

 

Batch Cook Convenience

 

Perhaps you love cooking from scratch, but you don’t always have the time to stand and make family favourites like chilli or bolognese? By combining the ingredients as normal on the hob, and then transferring to the slow cooker for a few hours instead, you’ll give yourself time to do something else whilst the meal cooks. Add less liquid than you normally would as a slow cooker condenses liquid rather than evaporating it. Also, with leaner meat dishes, keep the cooking time less and temperature low as there is less fat to keep the meat moist.

 

Dry Heat

 

Roasting slowly with dry heat is an alternative to traditional “quick” roasting with hot fat, and to slower pot-roasting with moisture. Instead, slow cooking the meat and vegetables together in the oven with a dry heat will add to the flavour, and in particular the texture, of a roast. You’ll still get the lovely, caramelized outside, but with guaranteed silky soft meat inside.

This dry-heat method is great for one-pot meals that capture all the flavour without any of the fuss. So, here’s one of our favourite recipes for a winter warmer meal you can make any day of the week…especially if you’re working from home.

Just pop in the oven and forget about it until dinnertime.

 

Slow-cooked Welsh Lamb shoulder

To serve 8-10 people (but can scale down accordingly.)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 large waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch thyme, leaves picked
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 whole lamb shoulder – preferably bone in. Approx 2.5-3kgs
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled and separated into cloves
  • 568ml/1 pint chicken stock
  • cooked French beans (or other green vegetables), to serve

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 130C/275F/Gas 1.
  2. In a bowl combine the sliced onions & potatoes and the thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Layer the potato and onion mix in a roasting tin and place the lamb on top, skin-side up.
  4. Using a small knife, cut little incisions in the lamb and push the whole garlic cloves into the holes. Make sure they are pushed well into the meat to prevent them burning.
  5. Pour the chicken stock over and place in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until the potatoes are crisp on top and soft inside.
  6. Once cooked, remove the lamb from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and set aside to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  7. Serve with French beans (or any green vegetable of your choice).