Melanie’s Slow Cooker Italian Beef

TRH Melanie's Slow Cooker Italian Beef.jpgMy boys don’t know what hit them for supper tonight because I didn’t make the normal in the week supper and put in extra effort with SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BEEF, POTATO AND MUSHROOM GRATIN AND HAWAIIAN SALAD Continue reading

Melanie’s Pickled Brisket


So Saturday I went to Chinese New Year Festival and only came home at 1 a.m.
I thought there was no way I’m going to prance around early making Sunday lunch, so before I went to bed I just put a Pickled Brisket in a slow cooker on low for 7 hours and went to sleep!
I carried on with the veggies later with surprising results and plenty praises for what I called my healthy boiled food!  Continue reading

Melanie’s Slow Cooker Chimichurri Beef


I’m so tired of the same old midweek beef stew with peas and carrots or beef curry.
I’m also tired of buying my herbs in those plastic thingies, using some and forgetting to freeze the other.
This time I decided to use the other and chuck it all in a blender and make a chimichurri paste with it. Continue reading

Gail’s Barley Soup in Slow Cooker

TRH Gail's Barley Soup in Slow Cooker

800g cubed soft shin ( no bone )
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup pearl barley washed
2 leeks chopped
Large bunch chopped soup celery including leaves
5 medium carrots chopped into bite size pieces
5 small potatoes, scrubbed with skin on and chopped into bite size pieces
1 x medium can diced tomatoes
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Knorr vegetable stock pots and 3 beef stock cubes dissolved in 8 cups boiling water
Salt to taste
Black pepper
Chopped parsley
Brown shin in a skillet with olive oil.
Transfer to slow cooker. Add all ingredients to pot including the stock.
Add seasoning and thyme.
Cook on High for 4 1/2 hours.
Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with homemade bread

Prepared, tried and tested by: Gail Haselsteiner

Melanie’s Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

TRH Melanie's Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

750 gr ground beef, 250 gr pork (or all ground beef)
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 ½ celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 tblsp garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
100 gr chopped bacon (optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried Italian spiced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon all spice
¼ teaspoon dry chili flakes
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 cup red wine (or beef stock)
3 tomatoes diced in processor
2 bay leaves
½ jar tomato basil pasta sauce

To serve:
Spaghetti cooked el dente
Shredded Parmesan cheese & parsley

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook until the onion is translucent and all the vegetables have softened.
Add the garlic and the tomato paste, and cook until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the beef, breaking it apart with wooden spoon and cooking until it is just browned. Add the bacon.
Stir in 1 teaspoon salt along with the other herbs and spices. Add the tomatoes and wine/stock cook 10 minutes.
Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the pasta sauce and the milk.
Add the bay leaf to the slow cooker and stir everything together. The mixture should have a thick, saucy consistency, neither overly soupy or too dry.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours. The finished sauce should be thick and creamy.
Serve the sauce over pasta with Parmesan sprinkled on top.
(This sauce also freezes very well).
I added mushrooms 20 minutes before finishing time.

I’ve always maintained (and was taught) that a good authentic Bolognese sauce must be cooked long and slow. So I made mine in the slow cooker, served with Spaghetti. Enjoy.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar

Comforting Chicken & Noodles

Comforting Chicken & Noodles ~ Crock Pot

1 x 24 ounce package – frozen egg noodles
2 – 14.7 oz cans – cream of chicken soup – sometimes I use 1 can chicken and 1 can cream of celery
1 stick (1/2) cup butter – cut into pieces

Salt & pepper chicken breasts and place in the bottom of crock pot.
Spoon soup over the chicken.
Cut butter into several pats and place pieces evenly over soup.
I whisk the bouillon with the broth and pour over soup.
Place lid on pot and turn to low. Cook for 6 hours.
Remove chicken and tear into pieces. Add back to pot.
Now add noodles and if adding veggies add now.
Cook for another 2 hours or until noodles are desired tenderness.
I stir a few times during last 2 hours. (You may want to add more broth to thin out at the end of cooking, as the home made noodles thicken the broth, which we like.)
Sprinkle with parsley and mix in, if using at the end of cooking.
Salt & pepper if needed and Serve. Yum!

Source and recipe credit: Recipes And Cooking Guide

Melanie’s Oxtail Curry

TRH Melanie's Oxtail Curry1TRH Melanie's Oxtail Curry2

600 gr oxtail cut rinsed and patted dry, fat trimmed
2 onions sliced
2 Tblsp coconut oil
2 bay leaves
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp jeera seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cloves
4 green cardamom
1 black cardamom (2 if they really small)
1 star anise
1 large cinnamon stick
1 TB ground garlic and ginger
Green chilies (according to own heat needs) sliced into rings
2 Tblsp lemon juice
2 TB garlic and ginger paste
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
½ sachet of tomato paste (2 Tblsp)
2 tsp jeera powder (divided)
2 tsp garam masala (divided)
1 tsp dhania powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 Tblsp Kashmiri chili powder
2 Tblsp Kashmiri masala
1 Tblsp garam masala
1 Tblsp kosher salt
5 potatoes (4 quartered, 1 grated)
3 sprigs curry leaves
Bunch of coriander leaves, half chopped with stalks, leaves for garnish

Toast all seeds (except bay leaves and cinnamon stick) in a dry pot and then coarsely grind. Add all ground seeds and spices (reserve 1 tsp jeera powder and 1 tsp garam masala), curry leaves, garlic and ginger and lemon juice to oxtails and marinade over night.
Add sliced onions, chilies and quickly caramelize in 2 TB coconut oil in a small pot.
Add to bottom of slow cooker with bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
Place marinated oxtails on top. Mix together tomatoes and tomato paste.
Pour over oxtail.
Cook on high for 4 hours. (I first checked the tenderness of the oxtail – note that the smaller pieces will naturally be much softer).
Add potatoes, 1tsp jeera powder and 1 tsp garam masala, and chopped coriander.
Give a quick stir and cook another 2 hours.
Added a can of butter beans (optional – or frozen peas) and cook another 10 minutes. Garnish with extra coriander leaves.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar

Gail’s Tarragon Chicken in Slow Cooker and Savoury Rice

TRH Gail's Tarragon Chicken in Slow Cooker and Savoury Rice

Tarragon Chicken in Slow Cooker 
1 whole chicken washed and trimmed, OR 12 chicken portions
60 g butter
1 lemon rind or orange rind placed in the cavity of the bird.
I used the lemon cut in strips and threw into slow cooker.
2 cloves minced garlic
1 onion sliced
2 teasp dried tarragon
2 tsp paprika
Salt and black pepper
1 glass dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh cream

Mix butter with garlic, salt, pepper, tarragon and smear inside the chicken and smear extra butter on the breast portion if you doing the whole bird or just smear the chicken portions with the butter mix.
Place onion in the slow cooker, add chicken portions or whole chicken, add wine and stock and cook on high for 4 hours.
Stir in the cream, remove chicken and make a gravy with the liquid in the slow cooker. Thicken with a little cornflour, cook on high for a further 7 mins.
Serve with your choice of vegetables on the side.

Source: Crockpot Cooking

Savoury Rice
Cook 1 cup long grained rice, wash and steam. Set aside.
In a frying pan take
2 tbsp olive oil and sauté 1/2 chopped onion,
1/2 each diced green and orange peppers,
5 sliced white mushrooms,
1 clove minced garlic until tender.

Add 4 rashers of chopped bacon and continue cooking until bacon crisps up.
Add 1/4 cup sweetcorn kernels.
Add salt, black pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp mixed dried Italian herbs.
Add mixture to rice and stir through.
Garnish with chopped parsley, serve with tarragon Chicken.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Gail Haselsteiner

Melanie’s Pickled Brisket with Cabbage and Carrots

TRH Melanie's Pickled Brisket with Cabbage and Carrots

1 kg pickled corned (salt) beef
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 large carrots – halved
1 celery rib, cut in three
10 cabbage leaves (peeled off the cabbage)
10-15 peppercorns
4 cloves
4-5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp mustard powder
2 bay leaves
1 chicken stock cube
Enough hot water to cover corned beef ¾ of the way (from the tap is fine)

Rinse beef thoroughly under cold water.
Place onion, celery, garlic and cloves in slow cooker.
Place corned beef on top.
Add peppercorns, mustard powder and bay leaves on top of brisket.
Crumble stock cube over and brisket.
Pour water around the sides of beef but don’t cover (about until ¾ of the way). Peppercorns, bay leaves and stock should be visible on top.
Cook on high for 5 hours – halfway through turn brisket around.
Tear the cabbage leaves in half and add together with carrots and cook for another 2 hours. In between check that cabbage is all submerged in the liquid.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar