Reader recipe competition: Slow-cooked entries
The pressure cooker, slow cooker, oven and stovetop all got a thorough workout in the Bite kitchen recently as we tested some of the many slow-cooked (or pressure cooked) recipes entered in our latest reader competition.
Caroline Longley was the deserved winner of the 8L Fagor duo Pressure cooker, valued at $349. Although not unique to Caroline, the judges loved that her winning entry drew their attention to Charmaine Solomon’s beef smoore recipe.
"We tried many delicious dishes but kept coming back to this one," they said. "This cross between a pot roast and a curry was beautiful to eat — the meat was soft and succulent with plenty of tangy, rich sauce. It can be served more elegantly than curries containing chopped meat and makes a nice change."
Caroline said: "The basis for this recipe comes from Charmaine Solomon's The Complete Asian Cookbook. I've adapted it for the slow cooker and changed the ingredients to things I find readily available from our Asian grocery shop (shout out to Lim Chour Manukau). It has minimal preparation unlike some slow cooker recipes that require pre-browning, yet turns an inexpensive cut of meat into something special. If you wish to go all-out, complete the optional frying stage in step 5 to add colour and depth, but the dish is delicious regardless."
The judges were also particularly impressed with Jose Antonio Vilamil's pork and pineapple Philippine dish, hamonado, Lpeacock's seafood risotto and Belinda441's chicken with lentils and spinach. You'll find these recipes below along with more standout dishes sure to bring a little late-winter inspiration into your own kitchens.
For more, see our Reader recipes: Slow cooked collection.
2 slow cooker meatloaves
- Stacey Mahoney says her kids just love her glazed ham and meat loaf with its sticky/sweet and sour sauce. "It's super easy, a great way to use up leftover ham," she says. "Versatile, you can have it hot for lunch or dinner, or in sandwiches the next day."
- Dawn Yores says her traditional crockpot meatloaf is a very old recipe. It uses lean mince and sausage meat and a tangy sweet sauce made from store cupboard ingredients.
For some, the pressure cooker made it quicker
- Seafood risotto (photographed above). There was no need to endlessly stir this and we loved the creamy result made from short grain rice, shrimp and salmon. L Peacock says:"Being a lazy chef, I've been delighted to discover that I can make a delicious risotto in the pressure cooker." We couldn't agree more.
- Beetroot can take an hour or more to cook and it can be messy, Anne White says, but her pressure cooker recipe makes it easy.
- Belinda441 took chicken with lentils and spinach, sweetened them with raisins and cooked it all with fragrant spices. We'll be recreating this at home. It tasted like it had spent hours in the oven but was made after-work quick. We photographed it below.
Asian flavours came out tops
- “Hamonado is a native recipe from my province in the Philippines,” Jose Antonio Villamil (who photographed it above) writes. “If you ask people from the central and northern Philippines they might confuse this recipe for hamon (ham) which is another dish we cook and prepare for Christmas. Hamonado is different as you can serve this not only on special occasions but also every day. This is a recipe I learned from my late father. Ideally use pork with skin on or a slab of pork with fat because they retain moisture (eg. pork belly, pork hock and pork shoulder). If you are after a tropical meal, this one is for you!”
- Called Haleem in India, this rich mutton (lamb) stew from Swaroopguru was originally an Arabic dish, brought to India centuries ago by the Mughal emperors. This is a traditional and royal dish prepared during Ramadan or Eid festival. Delicious and nutritious, haleem is cooked the whole day and ready to be served at sunset when the fast is broken.
Then there was slow-cooked meat ... with a little fruit
- Citrus beef: Grapefruit marmalade, fresh ginger and an Earl Grey teabag turn this shin and vegetables from margsands3 into something fresh and special.
- Cheeky slow-cooked beef: Annietrouble says her beef cheeks, cooked in red wine with two cubed apples, are so tender they melt in the mouth.
- Pork roast: Pork loves fruit and Teresa Smith's meat is cooked with port or sherry, sliced pears and pitted prunes.
- This is a great family recipe, PatCee says, and you can vary the ingredients and cook it three different ways - 1 hour pressure cooker, 3 hours stove top steaming, 7-9 hours slow cooker. This pudding is delicious and reheats in microwave or fry pan and still tastes great. You can slice it like a fruit cake, butter it like a fruit loaf, or serve hot with custard and cream.