Post-ride meals: An ode to the slow cooker…

Whilst I may not be riding quite as much as I’d like to be at the moment, I certainly remember the feelings of hunger after a long day on the bike.

Often it would leave me reaching for the nearest takeaway menu for something really unhealthy, but what if you could set your meal up ready for when you get home? You can with a slow cooker or crockpot.

What a crock…

To the uninitiated, a slow cooker or crockpot (which you can pick up from Amazon here using our affiliate link) is an earthenware pot with a heater element under it. It slowly heats the food in it over a period of hours, making it really convenient for those with little time at the end of the day –or an unbelievable hunger.

The best thing is, these things use very little power, typically 1.44kwh in 8 hours and can cook one heck of a lot of food in one go. Better still, you can get a good one new for £25-£40.

The downside is that anyone stuck at home with it has to smell the food cooking for hours and hours.

But what can they cook?

Pretty much anything, within reason. Stews & soups, curry, porridge, goulash…there are dozens of recipe books available at Waterstones (also an affiliate link), should you wish to give it a try.

I love my slow cooker. It’s great being able to set dinner up early on and then just forget about it. It also means that I have a few meals in reserve, as you just put the leftovers into pots and stick them in the freezer.

The 3.7 litre unit I have will feed 3-4 people, but you can get them double the size of that, which is great for large families or batch-cooking for days worth of meals.

If you do try porridge though, be careful. If it dries out while you’re not looking you’ll probably be needing a chisel.

The stew

If you fancy trying the stew in the video above, you’ll need:

  • An onion (or two)
  • Garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • A swede, or sweet potato
  • Parsnips
  • Butterbeans, chickpeas…or beef/lamb
  • Cabbage and/or broccoli, fresh or frozen
  • A bottle of ale or stout…
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried bay leaves
  • Stock cube (veg stock, or meat stock if appropriate)

Directions

  1. Chop the peel and dice the root vegetables and stick them in the pot
  2. Peel and chop an onion and some garlic
  3. Fry the onions & garlic until brown and tip them into the pot
  4. If you are using meat, sear the meat until brown on the outside and stick that in the pot too. Otherwise, drain and rinse the butterbeans or chick peas (lentils also work) and tip them into the pot.
  5. Pour the whole bottle of ale into the pot and top up the rest of the way with stock.
  6. Throw in a couple of dried bay leaves
  7. Add a teaspoon of dried thyme, pepper and salt.

If you are planning a 4-hour ride, stick the slow cooker on its high setting. If you are doing an all-day (8 hour) ride, low should do it.

…and with that, we now have two recipes in our neglected recipes section.

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