Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Crock Pot Saute Slow Cooker

Root Vegetable and Lentil Casserole Recipe for a Slow Cooker.

As a busy vegetarian mum with a hungry family to feed, I'm constantly on the look out for ideas for making good, wholesome meals (in the most labour saving way possible!) So I was over the moon to be offered a Crock Pot  4.7 litre Saute Slow Cooker to test out Inside the Wendy House.

The Crock Pot Saute Slow Cooker comes with a gorgeous 4.7 l removable earthenware pot in a lovely grey slate colour. This is plenty big enough for a family of five. It can be used on the hob for sautéing, in the oven, in the microwave, in the freezer and in the fridge.  It is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.  It has two heat settings and also a setting for keeping the cooked food warm. The inside has a stick resistant coating.  The Crock Pot comes with a recipe booklet containing 15 original recipes from Phil Vickery.

I've not had any previous experience with Slow Cookers but I've heard so many good things about them.  I was excited to see how well it would cook my root vegetable and lentil casserole.

4 carrots
1 leek
1 swede
3 parsnips
4 sweet potatoes
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
4 oz red lentils
1 pint of organic veggie stock
1 carton tomato passata
teaspoon of rosemary
teaspoon of thyme
ground pepper

I chopped it all up the night before and next morning I threw it all in the pot and added the liquid.

The ingredients ready to be cooked.
I popped the lid on and set it to high at 8.30am before the school run began.  At lunch time I turned it down to low and then went out.  I was a little nervous leaving something cooking while I wasn't home, because I'd never dream of leaving anything on the hob unattended!

I arrived home at 4pm post school run.  I wish I could convey how good it smelt when I opened my front door.  The smell of delicious, rich stew was so homely, welcoming and comforting.  I gave it a quick stir and allowed it to continue cooking until we had dinner at 5.30pm.

The cooked stew.
I served up enough for three adults, one teenager, one 8 year old and baby Freddy.  There was ample.
The vegetables were soft but had all retained their shape.  The sweet potato usually disintegrates when I cook it on the hob, so it was nice to actually taste it as an individual vegetable rather than have it smooshed up!
Testing the end result.
Messy but yummy!
The family tucked into their stew.  Ella said, "It was cooked to perfection".  Kizzy said, "You can taste all the individual vegetables in it. The taste was like it had come from a five star restaurant!"  Freddy tucked into his bowlful with gusto!

Next time I think I will finish it off in the oven with cobbler on top, because I did miss having my cobbler!  As the dish is ovenproof it will be really easy just finishing it off at GM6 for 20 minutes. I am reliably informed that you can cook perfect suet dumplings in with the stew!  The Crock Pot would also be brilliant for making soups, curries and chillis, which would be ready to eat at the end of a busy day with the minimum of fuss.  This Crock Pot Saute Slow Cooker is definitely going to revolutionize my's an impressive, stylish and very useful addition to my household!


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