I bought my first slow-cooker a few years ago. A friend had recommended it, saying I should give it a go. When I heard I could just throw everything in, turn it on and let it bubble away during the day when I was at work, returning home to find a home cooked meal…wow! I thought that would be perfect! I use my slow-cooker most weeks, especially during these cooler months to create winter-warming meals easily any day of the week.
So what kind of things can you cook in a slow-cooker you’re probably wondering!?
There are so many lesser known cuts of beef that are perfect for slow-cooking and I encourage you to get cooking with these at home. Try something new with a secondary cut! My favourites to throw into the slow-cooker include brisket, topside, silverside, chuck, blade, round and shin (gravy beef). These are all well suited to low and slow cooking methods, creating deliciously tender beef that falls apart in your mouth.
Living in Australia we’re very lucky to have access to such a wide variety of high quality beef. However there are so many cuts and cooking methods for each that it can be confusing if you don’t know what to buy. If you’re ever un-sure when you’re at the supermarket, it’s always a good option to head to your butcher and ask them. They’re full of knowledge and will be able to tell you what cut is best for your recipe, how to cook it, along with their own cooking tips and tricks to really impress your family or guests.
Beef has always been a part of my diet and in moderation I think it’s essential. I remember, as a young child my Dad often coming home with these large steaks because in his mind it was the only way I could cure my recurring low iron levels. This issue with iron levels reared it’s ugly head during my pregnancies too and again doctors said, “include beef in your diet, it’s one of the most absorbable forms of iron.” Now, I know it’s not the only way, but Australian beef is still known for being one of the most nutrient dense proteins available.
I guess my Dad’s views have stuck and rubbed off on me, because beef is now my favourite choice of red meat. This brings me to the slow-cooked recipe I’m sharing here. This recipe comes from a traditional family dish that we make all the time. It’s a cross between a chunky soup and a stew that is eaten with rice. Here I have altered the recipe to make it perfect for my slow-cooker.
Now I know I said earlier that I loved the idea of being able to ‘throw everything in, turn it on and forget about it.’ You can do this if you’re really short on time but if you just add a bit of effort in preparation, it will take the final result to a whole new level. Browning the meat, cooking out the flour and combining it with the liquids before adding to slow cooker will all work to create an end result of falling apart, extra tender meat that is just oh so full of flavour!
- 1.2kg beef (gravy or chuck) cut into 5cm chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ cup plain flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 can diced tomato
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons baharat (middle eastern spice mix – you can buy this in the spice section at the supermarket)
- 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 celery stick, thinly sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- Rice, to serve
- Season the beef generously with salt and pepper before cooking. Heat olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, work in batches to seal and brown all sides of the chunks of beef. Set beef aside.
- In the same fry pan turn the heat off and add ½ cup of stock and 1 tablespoon of flour to create a smooth paste. Heat to medium and add remaining stock to the pan and continue stirring to remove all lumps. (I find it best to use a whisk here). Take the pan off the heat.
- Add tomato paste, can of tomatoes, spices and garlic to the pan. Mix until combined.
- Add onions, browned beef, stock mixture, celery, carrots, potatoes, cinnamon stick and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
- After 6 hours remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Stir in the frozen peas, re-cover and let the stew stand for 15 minutes. Serve the stew in bowls on top of cooked rice.
Serve the stew in bowls on top of cooked rice. You can find my recipe for perfectly cooked Lebanese rice here
*This post is in collaboration with and sponsored by Australian Beef. Opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Find more info about Australian Beef on Facebook, Instagram or their website .