The best slow-cooked recipes

Updated on 25 September 2017 | 0 Comments

There's something magical about dishes that have been gently bubbling for hours.

As winter draws near we're digging out our favourite comfort-food recipes. Slow cooking is ideal for embracing the changing seasons: not only is it straightforward, it's also a great way to make the most of cheaper cuts and add rich flavours to simple ingredients. 

These recipes were devised to be made in the oven or on the stove. If you're using a slow cooker, you'll need to extend the cooking times. As a very rough guide, allow dishes to cook for around four times as long. 

1. Beef casserole with carrots and turnips

There is something very comforting about Kevin Dundon’s rich beef dish. It is ideal for home entertaining and, as with lots of casserole-style dishes, it is even better the next day. If you are dicing the beef yourself then first trim off the fat to prevent the meat becoming tough during cooking. 

Kevin Dundon/Recipes That Work

2. Daube de boeuf

This French beef stew requires advance preparation, as you need to marinade the meat overnight, but it's worth the effort. Serve on its own or with creamy mashed potatoes.

 French Regional Food

3. Celery, chorizo and bean stew

This warming winter stew combines shallots, chorizo, garlic, celery, smoked paprika, beans and fresh herbs. If you’re catering for veggies, just omit the chorizo and make sure you use vegetable stock. Serve with buttered sourdough or rice.

Genevieve Taylor

4. Venison stew with orange

A wonderfully rich venison stew from Tom Kitchin. The meat is flavoured with orange, bouquet garni, garlic, onions, juniper berries, parsley and bacon lardons, then topped with homemade thyme, orange and cheddar dumplings. 

Orkney Cheddar/Tom Kitchen

5. Persian lamb stew

“The earthy smell of saffron evokes the windy souks, sweet mint teas, colourful spice markets and beautiful mosques that inspired me to make this wonderful Persian stew,” says John Gregory-Smith. “The saffron and cinnamon are all you need to provide a real depth of flavour.”

Mighty Spice Cookbook

6. Beef and lentil stew

Chef Tom Aikens uses banana shallots in his simple beef stew, which also calls for smoked bacon lardons, puy lentils, red wine, chicken stock, chopped thyme and plenty of butter for a velvety texture. It's best served with road vegetables.

My Secret Ingredient/Tom Aikens

7. Slow-braised lamb with sweet potato mash

This recipe uses chumps of lamb, which are best cooked low and slow to release their flavour. It pairs particularly well with buttery sweet potato mash.

Ben Purton

8. Tom Kerridge's perfect pulled pork

Pulled pork isn't just for summer barbecues. Serve it warm in crusty bread rolls with a winter slaw, or use it to fill tacos and top tostadas.

9. Slow-cooked Spanish chicken

"Whenever I cook with paprika, garlic and saffron, I think of Spain and all its fabulous, fragrant dishes”, says recipe author Pippa Kendrick. “Here, the slow-baking of the chicken produces melt-in-the-mouth meat that simply falls off the bone.” Serve with bread to mop up all the lovely juices.

The Intolerant Gourmet

10. Chicken, mushroom and green olive casserole

Bring some Mediterranean flavours into your winter repertoire with this warming dish. It's best served with flatbreads and Greek yoghurt.

11. Slow roast chicken

“The slow roast chicken is an old favourite - it is a Sunday evening supper for us at home,” says Gary Kingshott. “We served it in the pub for many years and started adding potatoes about 10 years ago. It will sit in the oven and wait for you to be ready and is even more delicious when it’s a day old."

Gary Kingshott

12. The Hairy Bikers' spicy bean hotpot

Pick the right ingredients, and slow cooking works just as well for vegetarian dishes as it does for meaty ones. If you use a slow cooker for this recipe, finish it in the oven to crisp the potatoes.

The Hairy Bikers' Perfect Pies

13. Lamb stew with chilli and dates

Chef Paul Mercurio devised this spicy stew when filming a TV show in Kenya. With dates, chilli, paprika, cinnamon and Belgian ale, it blends culinary influences from around the world.

Kitchen Mojo

14. Sausage cassoulet

This heart French classic only needs a peppery green salad on the side. If you don’t want to soak the beans yourself, or can’t start the night before, replace them with 2 tins of drained beans on the day.

Cooking for Real Life

15. Vegetable stew with cheese dumplings

You might be surprised by the secret ingredient in this vegetarian stew: the recipe uses coffee to add richness to the sauce. Top with cheddar and parsley dumplings and you won't need to serve anything else on the side.

New Vegetarian Kitchen

16. Baked rice pudding

Slow cooked dishes don't have to be savoury. This golden and creamy rice pudding takes just over two hours to cook.


You might also like

Top 10 stew recipes 

Slow roasted pulled pork 

Lamb shank with cheddar mash


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