First came Jamie Oliver and the Naked Chef. Now let me introduce you to the sensation of the twenty-tens…the Lazy Chef.
No, this is not some gadget you find being sold on a late night shopping channel or some new TV chef personality. The Lazy Chef is all about advocating food and flavour but is somewhat lacking time and the culinary experience needed to achieve this outcome.
In short, The Lazy Chef is you, me or whoever wants to eat well without spending copious amounts of money or minutes slaving away in the kitchen.
The Lazy Chef’s favourite tool is a slow cooker. Slow cookers first achieved popularity in the US in the 1970s and are having somewhat of a resurgence.
My memory of a slow cooker is of my Mum and a winter staple: casserole with maybe a few dumplings to add that much needed stodge.
However, the slow cooker has had a makeover with televison presenter and author Sarah Wilson, among many, creating her I Quit Sugar cook book which is sold in 46 countries across the world.
Whilst I own the book I am yet to try any of the recipes; I’m not really a believer in cutting out whole food groups but some of the recipes caught my eye, so I’ll definitely be giving them a try!
Up until now I’ve only cooked a Thai Green Chicken Curry in my slow cooker. First attempt was a winner but my second and third attempts have not gone well. I’ve come to the conclusion that chicken is not the best meat to cook slowly for hours on end, as if you leave it for 7 or 8 hours it just goes mushy and stringy.
Being a lover of meat I was inspired by the BBQ delights of the restaurant Bodeans for my next shot at slow cooking. If you’ve never been to Bodeans then you really need to give it a try (if you’re veggie, perhaps give it a miss as the menu alone gives any carnivore the meat sweats!)
Deciding what to make…
Pulled pork has been cropping up on menus for a few years now. Pulled pork nachos. Pulled pork burgers. Even pulled pork sausages exist. Who knew such a thing even existed? Should they not be called pulled pork pork sausages?
So last Saturday I gave pulled pork a go in, you guessed it, my slow cooker. I followed this recipe but with one tweak at the end:
Instead of putting the shredded meat back into the slow cooker, I strained the slow cooker juices in a colander (put a bowl under the colander to ensure none of the juices go astray). I then put the shredded meat into the juice that was in the bowl to let them soak. I made this change as I thought that getting the meat out of the slow cooker juices would mean getting the chopped up onion and garlic with it and this was the ‘stuff’ I wanted to leave behind!
The Big Reveal
This was what it all looked like at the start (if like me you panic and think how on earth will this ever look like pulled pork, don’t worry I had the same initial ‘oh my god will this be edible’ moment):
Oh what a difference six hours makes:
This was it once taken out of the slow cooker (if like me you think it looks like a shriveled and diseased lung then don’t panic because it does taste good, believe me):
Shredding it was the toughest part (although I left that for my partner to do, I’m sure he enjoyed it as it’s quite a manly task):
I made the coleslaw using this recipe:
And served it up in a bun with seasoned sweet potato wedges and corn on the cob:
What a treat!