Meals that cook themselves, and wait for you to return from your day trip.
The last thing a Trip Avenger wants to be doing, after a hard day trekking through nature or shopping or visiting cultural icons, is to start cooking. That’s why a slow cooker is an adventure seeker’s best friend. A little effort in the morning before you set out for the day, and a hearty meal will be waiting for you when you stumble back, exhausted and ready for sustenance.
Most slow cooker recipes are very simple, and require around 8 hours on the ‘Low’ setting, which is perfect for a lot of trips. And if you are an hour or two late then the slow cooker contents will still be fine, just a little softer than the slow cooker equivalent of al dente.
For the healthy among us, all you’ll need to do at the end of the day is cook some side vegetables, or add the olive oil and balsamic (or your favourite dressing) to the salad you prepared earlier that morning.
Try this recipe from my sister Karyn: place a 1.5 kilogram bolar roast in your slow cooker, sprinkle with a sachet (or two) of taco seasoning, set to Low, walk away for eight hours (add no water, no nothing). Pure genius! After eight hours, pull the beef into strands and serve with the usual healthy Mexican accoutrements (and refried beans).
Pulled beef with barbecue sauce
If you want to get a little more creative, and slightly tastier, #starkravingmad recommends The Australian Women’s Weekly Best of Slow Cooking book (and any of the Australian Women’s Weekly recipe books are pretty much guaranteed to be spot on).
We like their “Pulled Beef with Barbecue Sauce” recipe, with a modification. The original calls for 750g beef rump. We use 1.5 kg bolar roast and double the sauce ingredients, which amounts to:
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 fresh long red chillies, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 3 cups (840g) tomato sauce (ketchup)
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 12 crusty bread rolls
This should serve you and up to 11 of your fellow adventurers (or 6 ravenous ones).
It’s rumoured that an even easier version of this is just to empty a container of barbecue sauce on the beef, rather than go to the trouble of using these fresh ingredients. But #starkravingmad has some standards to keep.
Serve your pulled beef Mexican style if you like. But we also like it with microwaved green beans or the Chinese vegetable of your choice, and a sweet potato mash (sweet potato = kumara for those hipsters out there).
This simple recipe was given to me by fellow Trip Avenger #missusthemark.
Chop 700g of sweet potato into 5cm lengths, place in microwave proof bowl. Slice one lime in half and add to the same bowl. Microwave for 15 minutes on high. After, add 3 tablespoons mango chutney and a splash of soy sauce. Mash. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
E voila! A delicious meal ready to eat.
So, consider stocking your slow cooker before you set off on your next trip. When your feet are aching at 3pm and you don’t think you can make it to the bubble bath and Epsom salts, the thought that your dinner is at home cooking itself will give you the strength to carry on.