In recent years, the principles of slow cooking have really made a come back, even competing with the more time efficient 15 minute healthy stir-fries.
Slow cooking takes me back to childhood memories, of mouth watering aroma’s coming from my grandmother’s kitchen. Over time I’ve come to appreciate the reasons why I think she may have favoured this method of cooking..
1. It’s healthier for you – why? One of the many reasons being the temperature used in slow cooking retains more of the vital nutrients from vitamins, minerals and enzymes that other cooking methods involving high temperatures do not. The cuts of meat suitable for slow cooking, are more nutrient dense in comparison to lean cuts of meat. The wisdom for retaining nutrients, has been applied by our elders throughout all primitive cultures, using techniques such as slow braising, fermenting and preserving. Today more than ever, we are embracing these cooking methods as a way of improving our health and wellbeing.
2. It saves you money – why? The best cuts of meat used in slow cooking, are always the less expensive cuts closer to the bone. My grandmother used to say, “people think it’s the poor mans choice, but little do they know the flavour and nutrient value is superior”, I never really understood this until now.
3. It saves you time – how? In my grandmother’s day, slow cooking meant using the oven to braise at a low temperature for several hours, and regularly tending to this throughout the day. However, with modern technology, we have slow cookers we simply plug in, switch on and away you go. A slow cooker will cut preparation time by at least half. No slaving over a hot stove after a long day, simply place all ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a meal that is ready to serve!
These are just some of the benefits of slow cooking, if you would like to learn more about how you can incorporate slow cooking principles into your lifestyle and family, then you might like to join us for our cooking class ‘Slow Cooking For Fast People’ on Saturday August 26th.
For more details click here
In the mean time here is one of my favorite winter slow cook recipes to try.
Kashmir Lamb Shanks
6 lamb shanks
150ml chicken stock
1 large knob ginger
4 cloves of garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp. each of cumin, ground turmeric
1 tsp each cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom seeds (no husks)
3 dried chillies crushed
1/4 cup each of soaked cashews and crushed pistachio
Blend all marinated ingredients together to form a paste and rub over the shanks. Marinate for 2 hrs. or overnight.
Place marinated shanks in the slow cooker with chicken stock and cook for 6-8 hrs. on low.
Alternatively place in the oven on 170 degrees’ fan forced for 2 hrs. until tender, remove the lid 20 minutes before to brown the shanks.