You love a warm, comforting braise (who doesn’t?) but don’t have time to babysit a dish on the stove top or in the oven for hours (who does?). And when it comes to cooking in general, you like to keep it simple.
Assemble ingredients in a slow cooker early in the day and then let dinner cook itself.
• Tough, inexpensive cuts become meltingly tender in a slow cooker. Try pork shoulder (as here), beef brisket, or lamb shanks.
• To modify a favorite stew recipe for a slow cooker, a rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of liquid by half -- the crock traps moisture, so you don’t want to start with too much stock or water.
• If you want the cooking to take even longer, put the ingredients in the crock and chill it overnight. Then add an hour to 90 minutes to the cooking time.
• No peeking! Every time you lift the lid, you release heat, and that slows down cooking.
Now try this divine hands-off recipe:
Slow-Cooker Marmalade-and-Vinegar Pork
The power couple behind this slow-cooker braise is orange marmalade and red-wine vinegar. They give the dish a tanginess that’s the perfect complement to rich pork shoulder. Serve the stew over couscous -- maybe the simplest accompaniment ever. Peppery watercress adds a fresh, crisp finish.