After a long day, coming home to the scent of a slow-cooked meal, ready to tuck in to, is a comforting thought. Whether you prefer hearty stews, chunky soups or perhaps gently spiced curries, there are endless slow cooking recipes to select from to suit all tastes and dietary needs. But, when it comes to slow cooking meaty fare, which are the best cuts of meat to use?
The good news is, most types of meats soften up nicely when slow cooked – creating melt-in-your-mouth meals ideal for wintry seasonal feasts; yet, there are some cuts that come out on top.
Here are the cuts of meat that become the most tender, and absorb flavours best, when left to cook in your slow cooker:
- Beef cheeks: beef becomes its most tender when allowed to slowly cook for hours at a time. Try this cut with Asian-Style Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks with Mushroom, Moroccan Inspired Beef Cheeks with Preserved Lemon Yoghurt, or Braised Beef Cheeks in Red Wine.
- Lamb shanks and shoulder: a favourite during the cooler months, lamb shanks and shoulders are cuts of meat that don’t need to be a laborious weekend cooking project – simply pop them in your slow cooker using one of these recipe ideas and arrive home on a weekday to a delicious dinner. Try Lamb Shanks with Ragu, Greek Style Lamb Shanks, Slow Roasted Harissa Lamb Shoulder, Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Asian Flavours, Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate and Dukkah, and Slow Cooked Indian Lamb Shanks to get you started.
- Diced trim pork: those who love a flavoursome pulled pork dish will know the virtues of slow cooking pieces of pork that can be used for a wide variety of meals during the week. Pork shoulder is one of the cuts of meat that performs particularly well for slow cooking. Sink your teeth into a Pork Satay Hot Pot, Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sliders, and Carolina Pulled Pork, for example. Fill tacos, wraps, buns and sandwiches with your leftovers.
- Chicken thighs: chicken is a no-fuss slow cooking ingredient; you can leave the bone in your chicken thighs and watch the meat slide off it once cooked. Get slow cooking chicken with these recipes: Italian-style Chicken, Slow Cooked Chicken with Olives and Pancetta, Braised Lebanese 7 Spice Chicken with Burnt Eggplant, and Easy Peasy Chicken Curry.
Of course, there are also a number of vegetable-based slow cooker recipes to try too: think Kale and White Bean Soup, Stuffed Artichokes, Ratatouille, and Ribollita Toscana. Happy slow cooking! Check out our preparation guide to kick off your slow cooking plans.
*DISCLAIMER: Breville is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Breville and our own opinions. Find out more information about the Breville Slow Cooker.