Desserts & Baking

Slow cooking pears with red wine sauce

Poaching… doesn’t that also mean illegal taking of plants and animals? Why then is a technique very often used in the kitchen also called poaching? It’s weird isn’t it? I just realized that as soon as I started writing this post… I do seem to be on a poaching roll lately as this is the third time in under two weeks that I’ve made a recipe where I am poaching pears in one way or the other. The funny thing is that all three times the end result was entirely different. I’ve poached different kinds of pears to which obviously has a big impact on the final flavor. But today I will be sharing how I fared with my brand new slow cooker!

I’ve always been intrigued by a slow cooker but up till now had never had the change to try one out in real life, so when it arrived yesterday I got all excited and started searching for recipes and on how to use this great tool in a proper way and wow, I’m impressed at the many ways you can use a slowcooker. Apparently you can even bake a bread in them or a cake! For now I figured I should start with something fairly simple. To get a feel for the machine, see what it does and how it works, before I move on to more complicated dishes. What I totally love about it, is that you can put all the ingredients in it, turn it on, leave it to do it’s thing for a couple of hours and when you come back home your meal is cooked. Now that my friends is what I call try magic!

I can’t wait to try it out with a large piece of meat and vegetables. I have just the thing in the freezer from my meat course so that’ll be interesting. But let me start by saying that these pears are totally gorgeous and the sauce that goes with it is great. Not only in combination with these pears but this is a perfect red wine sauce. Luscious and very rich. Se how it shines?

We’re not yet into the full Christmas test-cooking mode but for starters; this would definitely make a really good Christmas dessert! The recipe is originally from the Dutch blog of Levine. O and did I mentioned that this dish, together with the main still fell under the Living Leaner budget??

Slowcooker pears in red wine

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of fruity red wine
  • 150 gr sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 staranis
  • 2 kardemom pods, crushed
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open
  • one strip of lemon peel
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 kilo small pears (I used Wilder Giesseman pears)
  • juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  • Peel the pears, leave the stalk on. Cut a small slice of the bottom so they will remain standing. Put the pears through the lemon juice to prevents discoloration.
  • Pour the wine in the inside pan of your slowcooker, add sugar, honey, cinnamon, staranise, cardamom, vanillabean, lemonpeel, cloves and peppercorns. Put the lid on the slow cooker and turn on to high for about 30 minutes. Stir every now and then until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Put the pears into the pan and heat on high for about 2 to 4 hours depending on the size of your pears until they are done.
  • Take the pears out of the pan with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl. Pour the wine into a saucepan and leave to cook on high heat for about 5 to 10 minutes to reduce down. Make the sauce thicker with a little cornstarch, diluted with a bit of water. Put the pears into the liquid and leave to cool
  • Notes
  • ofcourse you can also prepare this in a regular pan but it might be going much quicker in that case. Leave the fire as low as possible.
Recipe by Levine van Doorne

Disclaimer ; the slow cooker was provided to me by Tesco but all opinions are my own!

 

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