Slow Cookers And Cheap Cuts
So I regularly use a slow cooker to cook cheaper cuts of meat - beef shin, chuck, tongue, tail, cheek, cheaper lamb cuts like breast, neck, scrag end etc. - I'm on a tight budget so I look to cut costs in any way I can.
I'll chuck the meat, and some chopped carrots, leeks, herbs, salt into the slow cooker before bed so it's ready for the next day for lunch and dinner, or I'll put it on in the morning before I go to work so it's ready for dinner. In both cases I'm cooking on low for about 10 hours - only adding butter once I serve it up with some steamed veg.
A few questions:
1 - I'm assuming cooking the meat and veg all fully submerged in water is more bulletproof that leaving some of it exposed to the air?
2 - If I do cook it all fully submerged, what kind of risk is there with oxidising fats?
3 - How does this method compare to the Upgraded Chef style of braising - for 10/20 minutes but having to use slightly more expensive and tender minced and diced meat and steaks?
5 - Is it worth shelling out a little bit more for more tender cuts and cooking them for less time (at least now and again)?
6 - If the 10 minutes braising method is better, are there any up-sides to longer slow cooking for tougher cuts - more gelatin, collagen, minerals etc?
7 - Anybody got any tips for optimising cooking in the slow cooker? Regardless of the outcome I'll still be doing at least some cooking in the slow cooker - it's just too convenient and tasty to give up all together!