You have probably heard of the Slow Food Movement. It is the antithesis of the Fast Food Movement. It is aimed at bringing back wholesome flavorful food. Well… what if you could have your cake and eat it too? (No pun intended!) Welcome to slow cooker vs pressure cooker.
I have to admit I love my slow cooker. I love that you can throw a bunch of ingredients together in 5 minutes and then go off to work or go about your day. If you are home you get to smell the lovely aromas as your delicious dish comes to temperature and then goes on to turn into comfort food at its best. I have two slow cooker recipes that I make again and again.
The first one – Slow Cooker Sausage and Sauerkraut is a staple in our German heritage household. You buy good quality sausage like Oktoberfest or Bratwurst and you use jarred or canned sauerkraut. We have a wonderful Mennonite market where I live in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario and I see home-made sauerkraut there that the Mennonites have made. (They are related to the Pennsylvania Dutch). But even my German mother in law who was a ‘domestic engineer ‘ in her own right did not make her own. So I am perfectly happy with store-bought sauerkraut.
The trick to good sauerkraut is you drain it well but do not rinse. You want some of the vinegar juice to give the final dish a bit of flavor. Do NOT add salt – ever, ever. There is a lot already in the actual sauerkraut.
What you do add is a finely diced onion and black pepper. Then you let the sauerkraut, onion and sausage heat through and soften in your slow cooker. 3-4 hours on high works well. If you are going to work for the day I would cook on low, add a bit of the sauerkraut juice from the jar (or beer!) and put the sausage on top frozen so they haven’t imploded by the time you get home.
Your serving options here are quite varied as well. A traditional German dinner would be with a side of boiled potatoes. Really easy and really good. Or you can serve the sausage in a bun with some of the drained sauerkraut as a topping to you sausage. Just like the street vendors!
This is a fantastic dish when you are expecting a crowd that might arrive over a span of a few hours. I make it for lunch when I am expecting my Thanksgiving crowd. It holds so well and it only takes a second to heat a bun up in the micorowave. Everyone can grab a sausage on a bun as they arrive and settle in.
There is also a recipe to make Home-made Boston Baked beans in your slow cooker. Some people don’t even realize you can make them instead of opening a can! I guarantee once you make these you won’t want to go back! Talk about feeding a crowd cheaply – for a couple of dollars and a can of tomato soup you can feed 12 people!
This sounds so good it sounds pretty hard to beat huh?
Well – enter the pressure cooker. It is a very specific appliance but nowadays with the digital cookers you can use them as a pressure cooker with all the guess work and stress taken out of the process! And many of them double as pressure cooker, slow cooker, canners even yogurt makers.
I have been in love with my pressure cooker for about 6 years now and wish I had owned one a long, long time ago!
Would you believe you can make mouth-watering back ribs in an hour or so? These Bar-B-Barn Copy Cat Ribs are to die for. Bar-B-Barn is a famous rib joint in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. After I moved away from Montreal and couldn’t get my regular ‘fix’ of these ribs I was delighted to be able to make them myself.
Nice, meaty back ribs cook in the pressure in about 45 minutes -10 minutes to come to pressure and 35 to cook the ribs to almost fall off the bone. You don’t want them to fall off the bone just yet because you are going to immerse them in the most tasty BBQ sauce ever and then crisp them up on the BBQ in summer or in your oven in winter. That most-tasty –BBQ-sauce-ever has a secret ingredient- applesauce! You can’t put your finger on it when you are eating them but it keeps them nice a juicy and moist.
If meat isn’t your passion then consider that you can make Creamy Black Beans to Mexican Refried Bean consistency in about 40 minutes. ( Shhh….you are supposed to soak the dried beans overnight but I don’t always.)
So… I am not going to choose Slow Cooking over Fast Food Cooking. That would be like asking a Mother to pick her favorite child! Fast doesn’t have to mean you compromise on any flavor or nutrition. I go with whatever appliance suits my agenda and fancy that day.
This post was written by Carolyn.
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