Our slow cook Heroes: What are the best cuts to use for slow cooking success!
So what’s the appeal of a slow cook? When the weather’s cold and gloomy, like it so often is here in Lancashire, there’s seldom nothing better than coming home to something, warm, comforting and delicious! Dishes that have been slowly blipping away for hours, intensifying in favour, becoming sticky and delicious are a sure fire way to hit that comfort food sweet spot.
At Honeywell’s we love a slow cook recipe, it’s the meals that made our childhood! Mum and Dad had been busy at work in the shop all day leaving no time to cook, so our evening meal was always prepped early in the morning, before work! Coming in from playing out all day, it was always lovely to walk in to a delicious smell.
The beauty of a slow cook recipe is that you can use cheaper cuts of meat and you don’t really need to worry about over cooking! So long as you make sure there is enough liquid in the slow cooker or dish and set the heat to a low enough temperature, you can leaving your dish ticking away all day and it won’t take any harm, in fact, in our opinion it only improves with time.
So what are the best cuts to use for slow cooking?
Beef Shin, Beef Skirt and Beef Cheek are amongst our favourites in the beefy slow cook category! All these can either be diced into smaller chunks for dishes like stews or curries or cooked in larger, whole pieces, perfect for pulled beef dishes! Beef Shin on the bone otherwise known as Osso Bucco, is one of our family favourites! We use this to make a delicious traditional Italian style slow cooked dish, using whole slices of Beef shin on the bone. Leaving the meat on the bone allows the deliciously rich marrowbone to render out into the dishes garlicy, and tomato based sauce, adding a deliciously silky texture and amazing flavour! (Recipe blog for this coming very soon!) All these cuts are also great value for money, especially if you choose to make pulled beef dishes, you’d be surprised how many portions you can get out of a modestly sized piece of slow cooked beef, once it’s been pulled, making them the perfect choice if you’re trying to cut down your food bill but still enjoy delicious meaty dishes!
Beef short ribs are an increasingly popular cut! Many of the restaurants we supply already have them on the menu as they are such a versatile and delicious cut that can be prepped in advance and left to cook for hours without taking any harm! These delicious ribs gain a wonderful flavour from the bone and from the yummy fat marbling through the meat. We love to BBQ ours, low and slow for at least 6 hours for mouth-wateringly tender, fall off the bone meat! You can of course oven cook these too for a delicious result, but we love the smoky flavour you get from cooking on the BBQ!
Lamb shoulder and Lamb shanks are the perfect slow cooking heroes of the Lamb variety! Lamb shanks are that little bit of luxury and are just perfect dinner party or even Sunday dinner material! They make a great impact on the plate! I think it’s that caveman in all of us that’s drawn to a big chunk of meat on the bone! Again these are so versatile and because of the rich, flavoursome meat they can take on some pretty punchy flavours really well! We love slowly braising lamb shanks in red wine, rosemary and garlic and adding a good dollop of red currant jelly to the cooking liquid to create the most incredible gravy that will knock your socks off! Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe coming soon!) Lamb shoulder is the perfect budget friendly Lamb option! We love using diced Lamb Shoulder to make a deliciously spicy Lamb Tagine! http://www.honeywellfarmshop.com/lizs-slow-cooked-lamb-tagine/
Pig’s cheeks and Pork shoulder are our slow cook heroes of the pork variety! Pig’s Cheeks are enjoying a revival at the moment! Once you try them, it’s easy to see why! They require a long cook on a low heat, we’re talking about 6 hours + to produce a lovely tender, juicy result and deliciously flavoursome meat! Pork shoulder is a classic slow cook hero and makes just the perfect Sunday roast or delicious pulled pork sandwiches! It is extremely good value for money, making it a very economical option for feeding the masses! It also makes incredible left overs too! We always cook more than we need purely for the left overs the next day! Check out our delicious slow cooked pork shoulder recipe here http://www.honeywellfarmshop.com/how-to-make-the-perfect-slow-cooked-pulled-pork/
Chicken thighs in our opinion are highly underrated! They are considerably cheaper than chicken breast and lend themselves to a whole range of dishes! The reason they are one of our slow cook heroes is that after a long, slow cook, they still remain deliciously tender and full of flavour as opposed to chicken breast which has a tendency to dry up a little and go unpleasantly stringy if it’s cooked for too long! One of the ways we love to use chicken thighs is in our wonderfully summery and spicy pulled chicken Taco recipe! http://www.honeywellfarmshop.com/chicken-taco-recipe/