Slow cooking your lamb in a rice cooker in Hong Kong is awesome for two reasons:
- It requires absolutely no skill.
- The only machine you need is the one you are guaranteed to find in Hong Kong in abundant supply, which means you either already own one or it is incredibly cheap to acquire one.
A traditional slow cooker will do precisely the same thing as a rice cooker, but given the transient nature of Hong Kong, it's unlikely that many brought their massive slow cookers with them when they moved here. What everyone probably does have, though, is a rice cooker. So we thought we'd share something you can easily throw together using your rice cooker.
And ovens...? Ain't nobody got taaahme (read: kitchen space) fo' dat.
The Rice Cooker Slow Cooked Basics
**note: this is a general guide. Times and textures will vary depending on the model and type/quality of meat you use**
4 things to keep in mind:
- Do not sear your meat. Though there is contention around whether searing meat is ever necessary, when it comes to slow cooking your lamb/chicken/pork/beef in a rice cooker, this technique will simply cause your dinner to be dry.
- Usually half a cup of stock will do the trick. Use any type of stock you wish!
- The same goes for aromatics. A sprinkle of rosemary and bay leaves has proved most effective for us, but we imagine sage, star anise, thyme, garlic, cumin, honey etc will be as delectable.
- Use fatty meat. This is critical. A leg is too lean and will, again, glean a dry result. Go for fattier cuts like shoulder or shank.
The basic process:
Whack your meat in the cooker with half a cup of (your choice of) stock and your aromatics. We used a couple bay leaves and a sprinkle of rosemary.
Set it to "rice cook", which cooks it at high (ish) heat for about 30/45 mins, and then the cooker automatically switches to "keep warm", which is inadvertently a slow cook setting.
We cooked it overnight and then three hours prior to serving added carrots and shallots.
You can make mash or fry some potatoes (hot tip, blanch them beforehand and then shake them in the pot once the water is drained a la Jamie Oliver's roast potatoes (sans roasting). The fluffy exterior will crisp up nicely in the pan and if you use a good quality neutral oil (canola, rapeseed, sunflower, etc.) and plenty of high quality sea salt these might be the best potatoes you make) to serve alongside your epic slow cooked meat.
All your friends are going to be so impressed, and all you did was open the lid, throw provisions into the cooker, clicked the switch to on, added veg, turned off.