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Autumn is the perfect time to warm up with these easy slow cooker ideas.

The leaves are falling, the nights are cooling, and every day seems shorter than the last. We’re craving comfort foods – warm, hearty meals that are filling and easy to prepare. More importantly, they also need to pass the kid’s taste test!

With something for everyone, these ideas will warm up the house while also being freezer-friendly.

Meatball Stew

Kids love meatballs, so if you can serve up a favourite and save cooking time it’s a win/win! This recipe is incredibly simple, so the kids can even help with preparation. It’s also incredibly easy to swap the root vegetables for the ones most popular in your family, making it incredibly versatile. Grab some dinner rolls from Top Ryde Bakers House to make this dish next level.

What you’ll need

  • 4 potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn 
  • 1kg meatballs or small rissoles
  • 1 jar passata
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Rice or dinner rolls, to serve

What to do

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes, carrots, and celery into 1cm cubes, and place them into a slow cooker.
  2. Peel and dice the onion, placing them in the slow cooker along with the corn and meatballs. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the passata, water, vinegar and basil, then pour over meatballs.
  4. Cook, covered, on a high heat for 4 hours or a low heat for 8 hours.
  5. Serve with boiled rice or warm dinner rolls, and watch the smiles!

Beer Braised Pot Roast

This is no ordinary recipe – but then again, Sunday dinners aren’t your ordinary dinner! This gorgeous roast, rubbed with coffee and braised in beer, takes time, but trust us – it’s worth every glorious minute.

What you’ll need

  • 500g baby carrots, peeled 
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed (approx. 2 kgs) 
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 750ml stout beer 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves 
  • 2 beef stock cubes 
  • 1kg pearl onions
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

What to do

  1. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper, then rub coffee over roast before letting it stand for 10 minutes. 
  2. Sear roast in hot oil in a large frypan over medium to high heat until browned, then place in the slow cooker.
  3. In the same frypan add tomato paste and garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Slowly add beer, whisking constantly. Add beef stock and thyme, bringing to a boil until reduced to about 3 cups, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour beer mixture over roast before topping with onions and carrots. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until roast is fork-tender. 
  5. Transfer to a serving platter, shredding into large chunks and discarding any large pieces of fat, then spoon vegetables around roast.
  6. Skim fat from cooking broth then transfer to a large saucepan. Whisk in vinegar. 
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water until the mixture is smooth. 
  8. Add to the pan, letting the mixture simmer for 1 minute on a low heat or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Serve sauce with roast and vegetables.

Lentil Bolognese

Whether you’re vegetarian or it’s Meatless Monday, this bolognese is jam-packed with flavour. Best of all, it makes a generous serving – so your leftovers can be frozen or served on roasted sweet potatoes in a few night’s time! All the produce for this recipe can be picked up at The Growers on level LG2.

What you’ll need

  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 500g bag dried lentils, rinsed 
  • 2 400g cans crushed tomatoes
  • 5 cups water
  • 8 cubes vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon flaked salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pasta, to serve

What to do

  1. In a large slow cooker, mix the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to your slow cooker and stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until lentils have softened and sauce is thick.
  4. Serve on a bed of pasta.

Beef and Bean Chilli

There’s nothing better than a generous serve of beef and bean chilli atop boiled rice or flatbread. This is a meat lover's delight, protein-packed and full of flavour! Pryde Meats can help with the mince and chuck for this recipe.

What you’ll need

  • 300g mince 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 400g chuck steak, cubed 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 
  • 1/4 cup crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoons salt 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper 
  • 400g dried red kidney beans 
  • 800g can crushed tomatoes 
  • 200g tomato paste 
  • 1 litre reduced salt chicken stock 
  • Desired toppings: grated cheese, fresh jalapeños, sliced radish, chopped avocado
  • Boiled rice or flatbread from Bakers Delight to serve.

What to do

  1. Brown mince in hot oil in a large frypan over medium heat, stirring often, then transfer to a slow cooker. 
  2. Add steak to your frypan and sauté over medium heat until browned, then transfer to a slow cooker. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir in the stock.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours, or until the beans are tender. 
  5. Serve with desired toppings.

If you find yourself in need of any supplies,Woolworths, Aldi and Coles at Top Ryde City have everything you need. 


Be sure to share your creations with us on Facebook and Instagram – we love seeing how your kitchen rules!

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