Yes, I do love my slow cooker. I just dump the ingredients inside and then leave it for 5 hours or more to catch up on my sleep. However I learned a few things after using it for almost a year. The food tastes better when the sauce is cooked before hand. This means, you can schedule your meals too. That is, cook the sauce, pour it in zip lock bags and then freeze it. When it is time to cook the meal, just dump the frozen stuff into the pot, set the temp. and go. That’s what I did for this one. I noticed that it made things better. You can also have an idea on what your food will taste like, this way you skip ‘tasting’ it in the end.
1 kilo beef ribs or beef shanks if you want a tastier broth
2 tbsps vegetable oil
2 tbsps soy sauce
3 teaspoons sesame oil
3 spring onions, chopped
7 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp grated ginger (better if pureed)
2 tbsps brown sugar
1 pc star anise
2 tbsps Japanese rice wine (optional)
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 spring onion, chopped
What I did:
- Saute the garlic and ginger in oil. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, wine, broth, spring onions, and sesame oil.
- Simmer for 5 minutes then transfer everything into the slower cooker.
- Brown the meat if you’re using beef ribs and beef cubes. If you’re using shanks, you can do that too. This is an optional step. It looks better when the meat is browned.
- Add meat and make sure that there’s at least an inch of space on top. Set it for AUTO if you need to be away for more than 5 hours (this sets the cooker on high for 3 hours and low after that). Set it on HIGH if you plan to eat after 4-5 hours.
- The oil from the meat will rise to the top and you can spoon this off after 5 hours.
- Toast the sesame seeds before sprinkling it on top.
- I created my own ginger paste and garlic paste. That means I cooked the garlic before hand. The ginger paste was pureed in oil. I noticed that it made everything taste better [tinola, arroz caldo]. I did this after watching a lot of indian recipe videos. I realized it also solved an issue I had with ginger – I hate biting into it when eating food. So for this one, I used 1 tbsp garlic paste and 1 tbsp ginger paste. I found the secret to the sauce though – equal amounts of garlic and ginger, star anise (it has to be just a piece for the taste to be subtle), plus chicken broth – not beef broth.
- I simmered the sauce in the slow cooker before adding the meat. What can I say? I was doing it during my night shift.
- You can add sesame oil again in the end if you wish it to be more fragrant. My son prefers that I gring the roasted sesame seeds and add it to the sauce. It makes the sauce richer and thicker. That’s how he likes it.