Imagine walking in the door following a long day at work or after spending a cold and wet evening on the sidelines of the footy field watching your kids train, to find a warm, hearty and delicious meal ready to serve. Welcome to the world of slow cooking; A cooking method that was popular in the early 1970s and is now regaining favour among home cooks, who not only appreciate its ease but the mouth-watering flavours that can be achieved with minimal fuss.
“A huge benefit to slow cooking is the best results come from your cheaper cuts of meat. The longer you cook the more the muscles and sinews break down. There really is nothing better than slow cooked pulled shoulder of pork, beef cheeks or chuck steak Indian curry on a chilly winter’s night,” says Ms Stevens.
While once seen as an easy way for a mid-week meal, slow cooking is increasingly being seen as a perfect option for those cozy winter dinner parties.
“Slow cooking is a completely stress free method of entertaining because the process does not need to be continually monitored. You can chat to your guests, enjoy the party ambiance, all the while knowing that dinner is taken care of and ready when you are,” says Ms Stevens.
The first step to slow cooking is to seal the meat on the cooktop at a very high temperature. This allows the surfaces of the meat to be sealed and fewer meat juices to escape, while also helping to form the aroma. The next step is to choose your slow cooking appliance.
“Miele Ovens are accurate in their temperature settings and guarantee an even steady cook with great results,” says Ms Stevens.
“In our accessory range we sell what we call a Gourmet Oven Dish. It is the perfect vessel for slow cooking. It is heavy and deep for all the stock, large cuts of meat with an optional lid to seal in the moisture,” she says.
Another option to perfect slow cooked meals is Miele’s Warming Drawer.
“Miele’s Warming Drawer can be set at 85 degrees celsius. This is perfect to slow cook a lamb shoulder rubbed with Middle Eastern spice mix and some stock. Cook for 10-12 hours – the result is a wonderful fall off the bone dish,” says Ms Stevens.
“By adding a bowl of couscous and a green salad it’s a very easy no fuss dinner.” Miele’s Steam Ovens are another way to slow cook.
“Steaming lamb shanks with an Italian tomato base at 95 degrees for a few hours means that the liquid will never reach boiling point and ensures the meat is kept tender,” says Ms Stevens.
Friend of Miele, Maggie Beer, is also fond of slow cooking and developed Maggie Beer’s Slow Roasted Scotch Fillet with Vino Cotto and Rosemary – a dish that guarantees to have even the most fussy foodie clambering back for more.
Maggie Beer says: “Depending on what end of the scotch fillet you are using, there may be more or less sinew and fat. If there is a large amount of sinew this can take longer to become tender at low temperatures. If this is the case, the cooking time can be increased up to 12 hours without overcooking the meat.”
Another exciting recipe is the Slow Cooked Spiced Shoulder of Lamb with roasted baby carrots , with more slow cook recipes available from Miele here.