September’s arrived, bringing with it cooler weather, darker evenings and, of course, the High Holidays. Even if you’re not going back to school, autumn gets busy fast and those quick summer grilling dinners are no longer an option. It’s time to put away those tongs and pull out the autumn supper savior: the slow cooker.
Also known as a Crock-Pot, slow cookers use low heat to cook food for long periods of time. Frequently used for soups and stews, you can use a slow cooker to make all sorts of things, some not even food-related! Just prepare your ingredients the night before or as you’re getting ready in the morning, make sure to turn it on (the easiest mistake to make) and you will have a delicious meal ready when you get home that evening.
The High Holidays are a perfect time to test out your slow cooker skills. A staple for many High Holiday meals is brisket; this juicy, tender roast only gets better with the low heat and long hours of a slow cooker. Starting with this basic brisket recipe, you can make whatever adjustments you want based on your own favorite brisket. The key component here is to start it the day before, because a good brisket needs a good rest, plus you may want to refrigerate the cooked brisket overnight, skim the fat off the following day and then reheat and serve.
Beyond brisket, cholent and tagines, for Rosh Hashanah, the slow cooker is a great way to bring out the sweetness of apples. Slow cooking works magic on all types of apples, not to mention that it’s a great way to get your home smelling like fall. My slow cooker apple butter is delicious slathered on challah, on top of a roast or stirred into oatmeal the next day (also made in a slow cooker).
A more non-traditional approach to the slow cooker is to use it to roast a bunch of potatoes. This is great for planning out meals for the week and can be used for other root vegetables as well. The slow bake leaves the potato extra creamy, and if you happen to be home during the last half hour of cooking you can unwrap the foil to get a crispy skin.
With these recipes and tips, you are ready to say farewell to summer and welcome in fall with some delicious, comforting food. Enjoy the High Holidays this year stress-free thanks to the slow cooker. Unfortunately, it won’t make fasting any easier.