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on September 1, 2010
I, too, bought this book when I got my slow cooker at Crate and Barrel and have since given this book to every person I know who has complained that they don't know what to make in their slow cookers and because a lot of the recipes they have found on-line or in other cookbooks are unappetizing, full of ingredients like ketchup or mushroom soup, which is fine but not the point of cooking in the slow cooker, which draws out the natural flavor of food. This cookbook is fantastic. Sometimes the prep takes me longer than the specified 30 minutes, especially if you are including cleanup, etc... but nothing has taken more than 45 mins to an hour and the results are truly amazing. The first thing I made was the Osso Bucco Milanese and it was so delicious I could not believe I had actually made it. I have since made about 10 recipes and they have all been great. I have noticed that, if possible, it's better to do the poultry dishes on the high/fast setting option because when cooked super slow, the bones really fall apart and that is not my preference for duck and chicken. That said, it's still very tasty. Most of the recipes follow the basic structure of braise meat, sautee veg, add broth and throw it all in the pot and slow cook. This is pretty manageable. The vegetable soup is incredible. The only thing I wasn't blown away by was the chocolate chili and that was just because everything else has been so good. I have made both bread puddings and the cheesecake as well, all great. Because of this book and the slow cooker, I have started to entertain again and surprised myself every time with the results. Is it terrible for a host to say about her own food--This is so good!?? I have also purchased the Williams Sonoma slow cooker book but haven't even done any of those recipes yet because they seem more of a time commitment and a little intimidating. This book is nicely written and has some inspiring photos.
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on February 19, 2009
Andrew Schloss has created some slow cooker recipes that really up the flavor interest. I agree that this is not the best collection for someone who wants to dump ingredients and then head off to work. Reading his introduction, Mr. Schloss makes a point of explaining why some of the prep cooking, such as browning meats or veggies before adding them to the crock, develops their sugars and that browning is more than a color --it is also flavor. A crock cannot brown on its own.

He has also been careful in what he chooses to use the slow cooker for, ie cuts of meat that benefit most from slow cooking and some twists on conventional dishes. For example, his brisket recipe is luscious and very tender. That one took me about 20 min total prep, but then the cooker was on its own for 9 hours. Lots of time to spend my day being elsewhere. We also love the mushroom risotto recipe that uses pearl barley instead of rice - wonderful complex flavor made all the more interesting by using dried mushrooms as well as fresh, wine and adding fresh Parmesan at the end. The Teriyaki Chicken is not to be missed.

Most of his recipes call for a 5 or 6 qt cooker, but for just the two of us we found the recipes can be cut in half and they do well in a 3 or 4 qt cooker. The West Bend 3 qt oval slow cooker has done very well with these recipes.

For others like us who are cooking for only one or two, I would also recommend Beth Hensperger's "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two" Both these books emphasize flavors that can only be developed with slow technique and raise slow cooking to gourmet delights.Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two: For the Small Slow CookerWest Bend 84343 3-Quart Oval-Shaped Crockery Cooker
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on October 5, 2011
I've been using this book for two years now. The recipes I have tried have all been very good and not hard to make. I get it all going before heading out for the afternoon and when we get home---its yummy dinner time! I love this book.
The stellar ones that stand out are:
Beef Carbonnade- very comforting on a cold winter day
Braised Sweet and Sour Brisket- awesome flavor and oh so tender
Pork Sirloin Braised with White Beans, Rosemary and Sage- used thick boneless loin chops and it cooked in less time 4-5 hrs, good recipe
Slow-Cooked South Carolina Pulled Pork- delicious! We love it and the kids gobble it all up. I add a little liquid smoke and it makes it even better.
Marrakech Chicken Stew with Preserved Lemon and Olives- not for the faint of heart-- strong flavors - we like it!
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on January 9, 2015
This is a wonderful collection of recipes from which I've made many people very happy over the last couple of years. There's no compromise here for these being slow-cooker dishes. The only drawback is that chicken breasts tend to get over-cooked; I'd suggest adding white meat towards the end of the cooking time, when possible, or maybe using thighs instead.
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on December 19, 2013
I made a dozen recipes from this book already, and every single one of them turned out amazing. I wanted a crockpot cookbook that involved more sophisticated recipes than just dumping a bunch of cans in a crock and cooking them "until the flavors blend" like nearly every recipe in Set It and Forget It does. The Art of Slow Cooker does that: the recipes are original, delicious, and almost none of them involve cans. The steps in the directions are easy to follow, the illustrations are stunning, even the paper feel luxurious, thick and glossy. Some recipes call for "prep" work, and it is indeed more work than merely opening a can, but the taste at the end is well-worth it. I am now giving this book as a Christmas Present to my foodie friends. Happy Cooking!
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on October 29, 2011
Got the book and a new slow cooker together. So far tried one recipe but browsed through the book. The recipe came out so great that my husband keep taking pieces of chicken out of the refrigerator like a little boy. Today we are trying a desert recipe to entertain our guests. There are so many recipes we are eager to try in this book--they are mostly based on simple and easily available gradients, usually just what you normally store in your refrigerator. This is different from many other good recipe books that I have. You don't need to go out to the store to buy 20 small gradients to make a wonderful dish. Some recipes in this book do take a bit work, as other people commented, but they definitely worth the work. When you come home after a days of hard work, the smell coming out of the slow cooker is the smell of home! It is like a magic transformation.
Highly recommend this book and, thank you Andrew!
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on January 28, 2016
I came across this book accidentally at the library and am so happy I did. I have made 3 dishes so far and they are fabulous!
I just made the Teriyaki Chicken which we loved. Also, I made the Chunky Applesauce which is a breeze and have frozen a bunch for a hot summer day. The best dish (to die for!) was the Slow Baked Pears and Apples. Andrew Schloss has done a great job creating and testing these recipes out. They are NOT your regular slow cooker recipes. This is not a "throw some ingredients in" and walk away. There is a lot more flavor and goodness going on here.
His technique of putting a folded dish towel under the lid to absorb some of the condensed moisture is brilliant and kept the dish like a real compote. You would have thought that a lot of time and effort went into it had you been served this. Lots of subtle flavors.
I am buying this book even though it is 8 plus years old. I don't buy slow cooker cookbooks as a rule as they are usually a disappointment.
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on July 9, 2013
I have now cooked the Moroccan red lentil soup, the teriyaki chicken, the braised turkey thighs with posole and lime, the barbecued pork ribs, the fennel braised with artichokes, and the caramelized brown betty. I have been consistently pleased with the results, as have my guests. If you don't have a grill, the barbecued pork ribs really replicates your experience (as it appears the red meat recipes do, though I haven't tried them yet).

I'd say that it's a bit more time-consuming than the standard set-and-forget recipes that you often get in standard recipe books, but the results are really worth it.

One suggestion: The second time I made the barbecued pork ribs I doubled the sauce, and I preferred the results.

Highly recommended.
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on October 11, 2015
I bought this cookbook four years ago and I still use it regularly. These recipes are GOOD. They're also pretty easy. They do require some prep and pre-cooking sometimes, but it's usually a maximum of 30 minutes. I would have to do that anyway if I was cooking without the slow cooker, but this way I can do it earlier in the day and when it's time for dinner, there's nothing left to do but eat! Our favorite recipes are the Thai ribs (I use pork instead of beef, which is harder to get from my grocery store), the Boullabaise, and the Chocolate Chicken Chili Soup. The dessert recipes are also very good.
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on February 22, 2012
I'm a bit ... nervous ... in the kitchen when it comes to cooking big meals. This book, however, has made the impossible attainable! I actually whipped up the "Beef Carbonnade" last night to rave reviews from my girlfriend (and I swapped out the Ale / Lager for an Oatmeal Stout - YUM.) AOTSC would've gotten five stars from me if it had pictures for every recipe. Look, I'll just say it-I'm a neophyte.

I went to Whole Foods and asked for a particular cut of veal shank; the Butcher didn't know what the description meant, and of course I had no picture to show him (even though I had the book on my phone), so I ended up using another recipe. It wasn't a huge loss, but I could avoid these awkward moments with pretty pictures.

All in all-a brilliant book that's got me excited about cooking again!
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