Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce

Here in the outback, you make do with what is on hand and waste as little as possible.  Even the liquid from pickle jars has potential.  I think my use of it is quite innovative.

Fresh tomatoes are not usually an option for making sauce due to the cost.   As I did for my Plum Sauce I opted for canned tomatoes, this time supplemented with tomato paste concentrate.

Of course, I could just buy a bottle of sauce from the shop, but Wattie’s is not available, and there are no others here to my liking.

At this time, I still have no stove or oven so I thought I’d try making sauce in the slow cooker.  It works!

This combination of spices I had on hand works well for me and produced a pleasantly spicy “warm” tomato sauce which may even be an improvement on Mr. Wattie’s.


  • 2 (400g) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 250g jars Tomato paste
  • Enough water to rinse out the cans and jars – about a cupful.
  • ½ cup of Cider vinegar
  • ½ cup vinegar/brine from pickled onion and dill pickle jars  As these were already salty I added no more salt. They also already contained peppercorns and mustard seed.
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. Mace
  • ½ tsp. Ground star anise
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cardamom
  • 5 or 6 Cloves
  • ½ tsp. Chipotle chilli powder  (or use cayenne)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • A dash of Bitters


  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Cook for six hours or so on low
  3. Remove bay leaves
  4. Blend well with a blender wand
  5. Cook another half hour and bottle in sterilised bottles or jars

The recipe above filled these two bottles plus a pickle jar.  Just over 2 litres.


I tried it out as soon as it had cooled.  It was good.  It will improve even more as it matures


Posted in accompaniment, barbecue, chilli, sacred food, sauce, slow cooker | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Cashew Curry

Slow-cooker Chicken, Cashew and Coconut Cream Curry

Really, really pleased with this one. It is very simple and can’t burn because it is done in a slow cooker. I would put this up against the best I have tried from Little India. No added water so the beautiful yellow gravy is nice and thick.



• 400g boneless chicken thighs, cut to bite size pieces
• 1 onion, quartered
• Enough garlic
• 1 cup unsalted cashews*
• 1 cup coconut cream
• 1 pod stock concentrate (chicken or vegetable)**
• Curry powder to taste
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• 2 tsp turmeric
• 2 tsp garam masala
• Salt and pepper*to taste
• A squeeze of lime juice
• 2 or 3 curry leaves
• Optional: add a few chillies for a hotter curry
• A splash of sesame oil
• Peanut oil for browning the chicken


1. Brown batches of chicken pieces in hot oil and transfer to the slow cooker
2. Splash with a dash of sesame oil and a squeeze of lime juice
3. Sprinkle the spices except the garam masala over the meat
4. Toss in the curry leaves
5. Blend the the onion, cashews, garlic and coconut cream to a smooth paste and pour over the chicken pieces
6. Cook for about 4 hours on low, stirring occasionally
7. When the chicken pieces are well cooked, stir in the garam masala and cook another 10-20 minutes.

Serve with naan and rice

*If using salted cashews, try to sieve off excess salt and be cautious about adding more. It is easy to over salt.

** My new favourite form of stock is made by Continental and comes in pods of jelly concentrate each of which makes 500 mL stock in hot water, but which are also great just to toss into a recipe undiluted.

Posted in chicken, chilli, curry, fusion, Indian | Tagged | Leave a comment

Portuguese Two-Onion Curry



This is a hot curry, and traditionally uses pork. However chicken or beef works well.

This recipe uses gravy beef and is cooked in the slow cooker.


  • 400-500g gravy beef cut into largish cubes 2-3cm.
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. chilli
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala
  • Oil for frying



  1. Mix the spices, vinegar, garlic, minced onion and oil and add to the meat, stirring to ensure each piece is well coated.
  2. Cover, refrigerate and leave to marinate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Brown the sliced onion in hot oil and transfer to the slow cooker
  4. Add the bay leaves
  5. Brown the meat in batches and transfer to the slow cooker
  6. Cook until the meat is tender



Posted in Beef, chilli, curry, fusion, Pork, Portuguese | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Outback Linguine and Meatballs


A standard Italian dish with a subtly delicious outback twist.   Lemon myrtle.

The sauce is prepared in a slow cooker.


  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 capsicum, chopped
  • 1 pod of chicken or vegetable stock concentrate
  • 1 Tbsp Italian mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper
  • a dash of bitters
  • 1 Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.


  • 300g minced beef
  • 200g sausage meat
  • 1 finely grated carrot
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp lemon myrtle
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, cover and leave to stand in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
  2. Roll a heaped teaspoonful at a time into balls.
  3. Just before cooking the pasta, fry in olive oil until brown and cooked through
  4. Drain on paper towels before transferring to the slow cooker.


  • Pasta of your choice
  • lemon myrtle
  • grated cheese
  • Parmesan
  1. Cook the linguine (or tagliatelle or spaghetti) until al dente.
  2. Drain and sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of lemon myrtle.
  3. Mix before serving.

Serve portions of pasta onto a plate,  Add some grated cheese then cover it with meatballs and sauce. Top with Parmesan

Posted in Beef, cheese, Con-fusion cooking, fusion, Italian, sauce, slow cooker | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smoked Cod Fish Cakes



For these fish cakes I recommend using instant mashed potato, for the very simple reason that it allows you to make full use of the smoked fish flavour by making the mash with the milk used to cook the fish.   Preparing everything the day before and keeping it in the refrigerator until needed will make the fish cakes easier to form and keep their shape when frying.

  • 2 cups instant mash flakes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 fillets of smoked cod
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • a grind of black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a pinch of mace
  • a nob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or polenta
  • oil for frying
  1. Put the milk, fish, bay, mace, zest, pepper, and curry powder into a pot and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat,
  2. Stand for ten  to twenty minutes then remove the fish,  break it up and extract any bones
  3. leave fish to cool
  4. Bring the milk back to the boil, remove the bay leaves and mix the hot milk with the instant mash potato and butter and mix well.
  5. Leave to cool or refrigerate overnight
  6. Mix the potato, onion, fish, parsley and egg and form into cakes
  7. roll in breadcrumbs or polenta to coat and fry in oil until golden both sides

Nice served with a spoon of caper cream mayonnaise: 

  • 1/4 cup “Best” brand mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients and chill in the refrigerator until needed.


Posted in Breakfast, Con-fusion cooking, entree, fish, fritters, potato, seafood | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potato~top Mince Pie

Some might call this a cottage pie.

I don’t.

  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, one grated, one sliced or diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp mushroom soy sauce
  • 1 packet of mushroom Cup-a-Soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp each of sage, rosemary and thyme
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • olive oil forcooking
  • olive oil spray
  • a sprinkle of paprika
  • 3 cups mashed potato made with a nob of butter and 2 Tbsp sour cream.
  • 1 tomato, sliced.
  1. Fry the onion in the oil until translucent
  2. add the mince and brown
  3. turn down the heat
  4. add the carrots, sauces, tomato paste, and herbs,
  5. stir in the soup powder and add the water.
  6. stir and bring to a simmer
  7. Simmer on low for 20 minutes
  8. preheat oven to 170C
  9. stir in the frozen vegetables and transfer the mixture to a baking dish
  10. lay slices of tomato on top then carefully cover with the mashed potato
  11. rough up the surface of the potato with a fork so there will be crumbly bits that can go crisp in the oven
  12. spray the potato lightly with olive oil spray and sprinkle with paprika,
  13. place in the oven at 160 – 170 C and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is brown and crisp.


Posted in Beef, Corn, Cottage, fusion, Mince, pies, potato, Sweet & Sour, Traditional, vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment