I’ve written before about how much I love my slow cooker, and it’s certainly perfect for this time in September. I’m not just talking about its ability to turn out really warming, comforting things like stews. Given the lack of Indian summer, that is definitely a good thing. It’s also about its ability to transform cheap ingredients into something amazingly delicious.
It’s easy to take fillet steak or chicken breasts and make a quick dinner. It’s not the cheapest option ever though. And sometimes it’s lovely to come home to something ready to go.
These are my favourite options currently, which you’ll find on my Pinterest board, Break Out the Crock Pot for Slow Cooking.
This seems to be more widely available now, but still a very reasonably priced cut for steak. At Ocado, it’s currently £11.98 per kg, versus about £20 per kg for sirloin. I really love this recipe for Slow Cooker Garlic Cumin Skirt Steak. The recipe creates a rather lovely gravy, and this works well with roasted vegetables. If you really want to go all out comfort, then I would suggest a big pile of mashed potato too.
To be fair, any kind of pasta. I know, it’s not exactly the most difficult thing to cook, but a good macaroni cheese does take a little while. There’s a great recipe for a slow cooker bacon mac’n’cheese over at The Kitchen is My Playground. It’s simple, and one of those that would be brilliant to come home to on a miserable evening.
I love things like dhal, and pulses are definitely budget friendly. Dhal is such a comforting food; I love the mix of warming spices. I love it even more when you can turn out a fabulous bowl of dhal without all the stirring and keeping an eye on it. Four hours on high in the slow cooker and you’re good to go.
Something I make a lot of at this time of year in the slow cooker. Not just because it’s heading into soup season, but also because of the many vegetable gluts there are around. Definitely a time to be heading to the greengrocer and see what’s cheap. Or quite a good way to use up stuff that’s going a bit dodgy in the veg box. I love this recipe for a sweet potato soup, perfect autumn flavour combinations.
Because it’s the right time for rice pudding. And the slow cooker makes the best, in my view. Other than maybe a standby tin of Ambrosia. There are lots of recipes for slow cooker rice pudding, try any of them when it’s a cold, wet miserable day. Perfect comfort food, very economical.
So, flavour doesn’t take a big budget when a slow cooker is there to work its magic. It just takes a bit of planning ahead. Love to know if you love your slow cooker too, and what’s your favourite budget dish to make in it?