Slow cooking

Slow cooking how to's with ingredients you have on hand
Comforting and savoury, slow-cooked dishes can usually be found simmering away in Quebec kitchens. So how can you create your own recipe for a slow-cooked soup or stew with what you have in the fridge? Use three basic ingredients and unleash your creativity!


  1. Sear the meat over medium-high heat without moving it around too much, so it browns nicely. 
  2. Add the vegetables and chosen aromatics, and then cover with broth. 
  3. Simmer over low heat until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Three essential ingredients

1) Choose the meat

Opt for slow-cooking meats (stewing meat, blade roast, beef bourguignon cubes, osso buco). In addition to being an economical choice, they become very tender when cooked slowly.

2) Choose a variety of vegetables

Root vegetables like parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, and potatoes are ideal for slow cooking. Add them at the very start. More fragile veggies, however, like snow peas, beans, and spinach, should only be added for the final 30 to 45 minutes of cooking.

3) Add aromatics

It's aromatics that will add the most flavour to your dish. So add fresh herbs like a bouquet garni, aromatic roots like ginger, or even dry spice blends. More delicate fresh herbs like basil and cilantro are best added at the end to retain their full flavour.

In the slow cooker

You can use the slow cooker for your favourite recipe by following these three essential rules:
1) Reduce the amount of liquid by half. Liquids don't evaporate in slow cookers, so less is required!
2) Do not remove the lid of the slow cooker. Removing the lid, even quickly to stir the ingredients, results in major heat loss and prolongs cooking time.
3) Increase cooking time over traditional cooking times.

Conversion table for traditional and slow-cooker options


Slow cooker (low temperature)

Slow cooker (high temperature)

15-30 minutes

4-6 hours

1½ 2 hours

30- 60 minutes

6-8 hours

3-4 hours

1-3 hours

8-12 hours

4-6 hours