I got excited when I first saw this 5 in 1 multi-cooker on the Kitchenware Direct website. Yes, I know it’s lame that I get excited over such things but I mean look at it, not only is it a slow cooker but it’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer and soup maker too! It seemed that I wasn’t the only one excited by this appliance, it’s one of their most popular slow cookers. Now that I’ve reverted back to poor uni student status, I was debating whether or not to buy it; it wasn’t a necessity, I just wanted to have it one day. When it was out of stock, I took it as a sign to not purchase it and decided to wait until I had more funds to splurge. However, my downfall came when I received their newsletter saying it was back in stock, so acting on impulse, I just had to get it, despite still being poor..
Winter is a time for hearty and comforting food. Slow cooking is the way to go. There’s simply limited time to do things during the day and the last thing I want to do is slave away in the kitchen. Every time I cook for the family, I have to cook for 8 mouths. Therefore I like to make things that requires minimal effort and can be cooked in one pot/baking dish eg risotto, curries, pasta etc The first thing that came to mind to christen this cooker with was ossobuco.
Ossobuco is an italian dish originating from Milan. A tomato-base braise of cross-cut veal shanks cooked with vegetables, white wine and broth. Traditionally it’s served with gremolata and Risotto Milanese. I know the gremolata wouldn’t go down too well with my family so I decided to serve the ossobuco with plain couscous, to keep with the theme of fuss-free cooking.
As I was preparing the ossobuco, I noticed that I was running out of time to get the dish ready for dinner so I decided to use the pressure cooker function to speed up the process. So instead of slow cooking it for 6 hours, I pressure cooked it for 30 minutes and then slow cooked it for an extra 3 hours to make the meat extra tender. That seemed to work a treat as the meat fell off the bone and shredded apart effortlessly with a nudge of a fork.
Some of the things that I liked with this cooker are:
- the option to brown off meats and saute onions/vegetables; so essentially you could just use the one device to do all your cooking in
- the automatic “keep warm” function which turns on after the cooking process is complete
- the ease of washing the cooker; the non stick cooking bowl and even the lid are removable
- the removable condensation collector and detachable rice serving spoon holder
- the fact that I can do so much with it with all the functions available.
Now thanks to the lovely people from Kitchenware Direct, they are giving this cooker away to one lucky reader. This competition is open to Australian residents only and ends at 11:59PM (AEST) on the 31st of July 2011. You may enter as many times as you want, once daily, just as long as each entry is different. All you have to do is tell me what you’d cook with this cooker.
Congratulations to Adrian on winning the prize. The Kare Kare sounds very interesting, I would like to know how it turns out when you’ve cook it. You know, I don’t hold any responsibilities for you getting bigger because of the increase in food consumption that you’ll be doing instead of slaving over the stove.
Amended from The River Cafe Classic Italian Cook Book by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers
6 pieces of veal shin (about 2-3cm thick)
salt and pepper
50g (1/3 cup) flour
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 celery heart, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup white wine
4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or oregano) (or 1 tsp of dried equivalent)
1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 150C (300F). Arrange the wire rack to the bottom shelf.
- Season the veal and dust with flour, shaking off the excess.
- Heat oil in pan over a moderately high heat and brown the meat. Remove meat from pan and set aside.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed lidded ovenproof casserole dish over low heat and gently fry the onions, garlic, carrot and celery for 10-15 minutes.
- Pour in wine, bring to boil, and simmer until volume has reduced by half.
- Place meat into the casserole dish, making sure the bones are placed upright so that the marrow doesn’t fall out during cooking.
- Add the thyme/oregano, tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaves. (The liquid should come halfway up the pieces of meat, if not, add more stock or wine.)
- Bring just to boiling point, cover with greaseproof paper and the lid.
- Cook in oven for 2-2.5 hours, the meat should fall off from the bone and be tender enough to eat with only a fork.
- Serve the veal with the sauce and vegetables with plain couscous, mash potato or (traditionally) gremolata (recipe follows).
Using a pressure cooker or slow cooker
Pressure cooker – Cook the ossobuco for 30 minutes at high pressure.
Slow cooker – Cook the ossobuco for 5-6 hours.
2 lemons, finely zested
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Combine the ingredients.