Thanks Mum! Sumptuous, low and slow wintry 
recipes for meat lovers and vegans

Including how my love affair with slow cookers got started

My uni experience was a little different from most people’s, and it’s all down to my mum.

It all started on a warm September morning in YEAR, when I was packing my car for pastures new (well, damp halls of residence), and my mum joined me on the drive with a bulky box in her arms.

“You’re going to need to leave some room for this my dear,” she informed me.

And what was “this”?

It was a slow cooker, and it was the start of something new, something very exciting (and very delicious).

Good old mum had watched me fall in love with cooking during my teens and her instinct to give me a slow cooker now that I’d come of age was spot on.

While my housemates were learning the joys of pasta sauce from the jar, I was experimenting with home made curries, slow-cooked spag bol and my personal uni favourite: chorizo and butterbean stew.

Back then, I’d imagine it was pretty rare to see a student creating the bulk of their (delicious) meals in a slow cooker. But as the years have passed, more and more people have cottoned onto their wonders, and you’d now be hard pushed not to find a slow cooker stashed inside a cupboard in any household you enter.

Until this time of year of course – when they really come into their own, and you may as well just leave them out on the side for the duration of winter.

Richer, heartier dishes that are bursting with flavour to warm you on these cold winter nights? Yes please.

And slow cookers are so lockdown-friendly too.

No commuting means more time to do some prep and throw your ingredients in the pot before starting work (then indulge in the rich aromas that pervade your home throughout the rest of the day).

While I still like to crack out the old chorizo and butterbean from time to time, I’ve explored so many other slow cooker recipes in the years since I finished uni.

And if you’re craving a sumptuous winter warmer to spice up the cold lockdown nights, here are my two current favourites, one for meat-eaters and one for vegans.

Click on either (or both!) to grab your recipe and drop a comment to let me know how you get on. And shout if you’ve got any of your own favourite slow cooker recipes to recommend! I’ll be sure to give them a go.

Let’s do this low and slow, people.

Bon appétit!