We’ve had our slow cooker for years but until recently, we didn’t use it as much as we could have.
We use it to make an overnight chicken stock after every roast chicken dinner: Strip the carcass of meat, throw it into the slow cooker with some water, put it on low and strain in the morning. Done!
Other than that, we used to make the rare stew or curry…
But a few months ago, we started attending a weekly evening exercise class and needed options for a tasty, filling dinner that would be ready to eat as soon as we got home afterwards. We are always exhausted and starving! Since then, we’ve been cooking more stews and curries, and have also been honing our skills at throwing an adhoc selection of ingredients into the pot with growing confidence that the ingredients will all cook in the allotted time, and the volume of liquid will be neither too much nor too little.
Probably the simplest slow cooker dinner of all is jacket potatoes. Of course, we could do these in the conventional oven but that uses far more energy, which seems wasteful to cook a couple of spuds.
The potatoes go in around noon.
We buy (or make) our chosen filling and leave it in the fridge until we get home from our class:
- Our favourite filling is one of the most classic combinations; a pot of sour cream or crème fraiche and lots of grated extra mature cheddar.
- Lashings of salted butter and home-made smoky paprika coleslaw make another great option.
- And I’m rather partial to Waitrose smoked mackerel pate or unearthed’s pork or goose rillettes.
By the time we get home, the potatoes are perfectly cooked – the flesh is wonderfully fluffy; the skin is soft (but not crisp).
Slow Cooker (Crockpot) Jacket Potatoes
- 1 medium to large baking potato per person
Wrap each potato tightly in aluminium foil and place into the slow cooker pot.
Cook on low setting for seven to eight hours.
Remove, unwrap and enjoy while it’s hot!
Do you have any other slow cooker favourites to recommend?
I’ll be sharing some of our other quick favourites in coming months.