Simmer Archive

Slow Cooker Cabbage Cigars

Posted 13/05/2012 By Francois

Slow Cooker Cabbage Cigars

Production: 10 – Serving
Preparation: 30 Minutes
Cooking: 8 Hours

Stuffed cabbage, cabbage cigars or roulade of cabbage are traditional dish in many countries. Generally it consists of beef or pork, seasoned with onions, tomatoes, rice and various spices. All rolled into cabbage leaves.
In Quebec, our version of the cabbage cigar is cooked in tomato sauce. It’s a bit long to prepare for busy people but the result is so comforting that it’s worth taking 30 minutes before leaving for work.

Besides being tasty, this dish is within reach of every budget. A little ground beef, cabbage, some carrots, tomatoes and tomato juice and you have a great dinner for a few dollars.

Our grandmothers use to cook the cabbage cigars in the oven, which is still possible today. However, use of a slow cooker offers two main advantages: slow cooking maximizes the flavors of food and it is safe even if you are away from home.

Today’s recipe exemplifies the type of home-cooked meal to enjoy after a long and tiring day’s work. What could be more comforting than coming home and having the flavor of this tasty dish to tickle the nostrils! It only remains to prepare the accompaniment of your choice, to put you at ease in comfortable clothes and sit at the table in front of a dish reminding us of the ones cooked with love by our mothers.

Note: You can also use a pressure cooker for the cigars. The recipe will be ready after only 30 minutes of cooking.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Cigars

Ground Beef – [1 lbs.]  (454 g.)
Cabbage (leaves)  – [10]
Rice – [1/3 cup]  (85 ml.)
Carrots – [2]
Onion (large) – [1]
Diced tomatoes  (28 oz. can / 796 ml.) – [1]
Tomato juice (19 oz./540 ml. can) – [2]

1- Heat some water in a saucepan.
2- Cut the cabbage leaves and soften a few minutes in the pan of hot water.
3- Mix the ground beef with uncooked rice.
4- Mold into cigar shaped meatballs, salt and pepper to taste.
5- Wrap each ball in a softened cabbage leave.
6- Pick each cigar with a toothpick to hold it.
7- Place in the slow cooker.
8- Cut onion into slices.
9- Wash, peel and cut carrots into strips.
10- Add the onions evenly over carrots and cigars.
11- Cover with the diced tomatoes and tomato juice.
12- Salt and pepper to taste.
13- Cook on low for 8 hours.

Pork stew with dark beer

Posted 15/04/2012 By Francois

Pork stew with dark beer

Production: 6-8 servings
Preparation: 25 Minutes
Cooking: 3 Hours

Pork, fines peppers, mustard seeds and black beer combine sublimely in this delicious stew. The perfumes are mutually supportive to produce a truly unique flavor.

Dark beer, with her pronounced bitterness and slightly sweet flavor is perfect for cooking a stew made ​​from pork. Long pepper enriches the recipe with some light fruity notes while the Madagascar pepper gives a hint of spice that adds to that of mustard seeds.

Served simply with a good country bread, this stew will satisfy the most voracious appetites and pleasantly titillate the taste buds of your guests.

The wild pepper from Madagascar is a specialty product that is only found at some spice merchants. You can replace it with good freshly ground black pepper.

Long pepper is also a specialty product but it is generally easier to find in delicatessens. You can substitute with pink pepper.

Pork stew with dark beer

Pork stew with dark beer step 1  Pork stew with dark beer step 2  Pork stew with dark beer step 3  Pork stew with dark beer step 4

Pork – [2 lbs.]  (908 g.)
Carrots – [4]
Celery (sticks)  – [4]
Onions – [3]
Small Potatoes  – [3 lbs.]  (1,4 K.)
Beef broth  – [2 cups]  (500 ml.)
Dark Beer – [3 cups]  (750 ml.)
Prosciutto ham – [1/2 lbs.]  (225 g.)
Garlic cloves – [5]
Laurel leafs – [3]
wild Madagascar  pepper (Voatsiperifery) – [1 teaspoon]  (5 ml.)
Whole Long Pepers – [3]
Mustard Seeds – [1 teaspoon]  (5 ml.)
Flour (all purpose) – [2 tablespoons]  (30 ml.)
Tomato paste – [2 tablespoons]  (30 ml.)
Olive oil – [1/4 cup]  (65 ml.)

1- Cut the vegetables (carrots + celery + onions) into chunks.
2- Peel and mince the garlic.
3- Cut the prosciutto into small dices.
4- Cut the pork into large cubes.
5- In a large saucepan, heat oil, cook the proscuitto and remove from heat.
6- Brown the pork (generously salted beforehand).
7- Remove meat from pan and set aside with the prosciutto.
8- Brown the pieces of vegetables.
9- Put the meats back into the pot.
10- Add the garlic and flour and mix well. Cook one minute stirring constantly (to brown flour).
11- Add the tomato paste, beer and beef broth.
12- Mix well.
13- Grind the Madagascar pepper + the long pepper and the whole mustard seeds and add to pan with the bay leaves.
14- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer gently for 3 hours.
15- After two hours of cooking, add the small potatoes (bells) whole.

Baked beans with maple syrup (slow cooker)

Production: 8 – 1 pint  Jars
Preparation: 30 Minutes
Rest time: 12 Hours
Cooking: 8 Hours

Dockyard menu or simply a economic but supporting meal for the family, baked beans have been present on the tables of Quebec for generations.

Despite their apparent and quite real simplicity, baked beans are an excellent meal with the generous protein from the beans. Molasses and maple syrup provide several important minerals, onions and tomato paste add vitamins and many nutrients.

Anyway, it is mostly for their unique flavor that we love them. As a main dish, with slices of toasted bread, or served with eggs or grilled meats, baked beans are always popular on the table.

Our baked beans are prepared in a large crock pot but you can also choose to bake them in the oven (traditional method) at 300F (180C) and the results will be equally interesting.

We use “navy” beans  but small white beans will do just as well in this recipe.

The only “luxury” in our recipe is the maple syrup. It adds a really unique and very pleasant taste. If you want to reduce your production costs to a minimum, replace the maple syrup with 1 cup of golden brown sugar.
Bakes beans (slow cooker)

Bakes beans (slow cooker) step 1  Bakes beans (slow cooker) step 2  Bakes beans (slow cooker) step 3

Navy dry beans – [2 lbs.]  (908 g.)
Water – [6 cups]  (1,5 L.)
Maple syrup – [3/4 cup]  (190 ml.)
Molasses – [1/2 cup]  (125 ml.)
Tomato paste (5.5 oz/163 ml can) – [1]
Salt pork bits – [1/2 lbs.]  (225 g.)
Onions – [2]
Dijon mustard – [2 tablespoons]  (30 ml.)
Salt – [1 teaspoon]  (5 ml.)
Freshly ground black pepper  – [1 teaspoon]  (5 ml.)

1- In a large bowl, cover the dry beans with water and soak for 12 hours at room temperature.
2- Discard the soaking water, rinse and drain beans.
3- Pour the beans into the slow cooker.
4- Coarsely chop the onions and add to the beans.
5- Cut the bacon and add in the cooker.
6- In a large bowl, add all other ingredients and mix well.
7- Pour contents of bowl into the slow cooker and cover.
8- Start cooking at high power for 1 hour.
9- Reduce the minimum power and simmer without stirring for 7 hours.
10- Turn off slow cooker and let stand 2 hours to obtain a perfect sauce. But if you want to eat right away, they are already tasty.

Red oignons Beef shank

Posted 06/03/2012 By Francois

Red oignons Beef shank

Production: 2 – Serving
Preparation: 10 Minutes
Cooking: 3 Hours

The beef shank is, for many, the best piece of meat for stews. Some consider it the “filet mignon” of slow cooking. It is a tasty meat which the added flavor of a nice piece of bone. For those looking to feast inexpensively, this is an ideal choice.

In our recipe of the day, we combined the taste of the shank with the rich flavors of red onions, garlic, bay leaf, chili pepper and the unique wild pepper from Madagascar.

If we had to prepare the recipe for a more formal diner, we would not have used the beef stock but created the sauce by deglazing with red wine before adding a generous helping of good home made demi-glace.

Note: If you do not have wild pepper from Madagascar on hand, you can replace it with black pepper.
Piquín chilli can be replaced by a double amount of hot chili flakes. In both cases, the taste will be slightly less fragrant but still very acceptable.

Red oignons Beef shank
To see all the steps in pictures visit our Facebook page.

Beef shank – [1 1/2 lbs.]  (679 g.)
Red Onions (large) – [2]
Olive oil – [3 tablespoons]  (45 ml.)
Laurel leafs – [3]
wild Madagascar  pepper (Voatsiperifery) – [1/2 teaspoon]  (3 ml.)
Dried Piquin Chilli – [1/4 teaspoon]  (1 ml.)
Garlic cloves – [3]
Beef consommé (10 oz can, 284ml) – [1]
Water – [1/2 cup]  (125 ml.)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1- Heat the oven to 300F (160C).
2- Peel and slice onions into large slices.
3- Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves.
4- In a dutch oven heat oil over high heat.
5- Salt and pepper generously the slice of shank then brown on both sides.
6- Remove the slice of shank and put it aside on a plate.
7- Crush the chili in the oil and then add half the sliced ​​onions.
8- Add the bay leaves, wild peppers and garlic slices.
9- Add the slice of shank and then cover with remaining onions.
10- Pour the beef stock and the water in the pot.
11- Cover and cook in oven for a minimum of 3 hours.
12- Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Pork Osso Buco

Posted 07/12/2011 By Francois

Pork Osso Buco

Production: 4 – Serving
Preparation: 15 Minutes
Cooking: 3 Hours

Disarmingly simple yet full of flavor, this slow-cooked dish is a feast for the eyes and for the taste buds.

Inspired by the classic Osso Buco Veal recipe thie “economic” version is made with Pork. For the purists and lovers of marrow the main difference of this recipe is that the pork hocks are much smaller and do not offer a tasty marrow like the veals one. On the other hand, pork adds a more pronounced meat flavor and the sauce is often much more “tasty”.

Another significant difference is the cost per serving, reduced by 2/3, which makes it a very economical recipe for large meals with family and friends.

Note: You can serve over pasta (conventionally) or with a white rice that will absorb the delicious sauce.
Note2: To comply with the classical form, you can add, on the plates, a mix of fresh chopped sage and oregano with lemon zest.

Pork Osso Buco with pasta side

Pork shank – [8]
Onion (large) – [1]
Garlic cloves – [4]
White Wine – [1 cup]  (250 ml.)
Chicken broth  – [1 cup]  (250 ml.)
Diced tomatoes  (28 oz. can) – [1]
White Sugar – [1 tablespoon]  (15 ml.)
Oregano – [1 teaspoon]  (5 ml.)
Dry Sage – [1 teaspoon]  (5 ml.)
Olive oil – [4 tablespoons]  (60 ml.)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1- Preheat the oven to 325F (160C).
2- Salt and pepper the pork shanks on all sides.
3- Finely chop the garlic and onion. Set aside.
4- In a large pan or large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over high heat.
5- Brown the meat on both sides then remove and set aside.
6- In the hot oil, add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until onions begin to brown.
7- Add the wine and stock. Mix well then add the sugar and spices.
8- Add the tomatoes (with juice) and bring back to a boil.
9- Place the pieces of shanks in the sauce.
10- Cover and place in hot oven.
11- Cook at least 2 hours (preferably 3 hours) to 325F (160C) without opening the pot.