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Best Slow-Cooker Recipes

Spicy Short Ribs with Lime & Basil
Scott Phillips

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough wrote the book on slow cooking. Literally. In creating over 600 recipes for The Great American Slow Cooker Book, the duo have put a fresh spin on this retro appliance. They've partnered with Fine Cooking to create these scrumptious recipes that (practically) cook themselves.

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Persian Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts

The slow cooker makes this classic Middle Eastern dish a breeze, mostly because the spices mellow slowly into a sweet, aromatic sauce. The walnuts should be finely chopped into bits smaller than grains of rice, or even ground if you want a somewhat smoother sauce. Serve the chicken over long-grain saffron rice.

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Curried Lamb with Apricots and Almonds

This sweet and aromatic curry is based on the traditional sali boti of Parsi cuisine in western India. For the best flavor, use dried Turkish apricots, which will provide a sweet, smooth finish to balance the many spices. You can also use shoulder chops for the lamb, if they are easier to find.

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Slow-Cooked Ropa Vieja

The name of this traditional Caribbean dish means old clothes, partly because of the way the beef shreds into tatters. You’ll get the right texture by cooking the beef until it’s so tender that it quite literally falls apart. Serve it on white rice and black beans with diced avocado as a garnish and corn tortillas and lime wedges on the side.

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Red-Cooked Pork with Chestnuts

Red-cooking is a traditional Chinese braising technique, so named because high-quality soy sauce is said to develop a red tint after long-cooking. Here, that technique helps pork shoulder morph into a consummate bowl of comfort food.

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Pork and Sausage Meatballs with Porcini Sauce

Meatballs from the slow cooker are truly special—the sauce permeates the meat for tender, super-savory results that are delicious even without spaghetti.

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Swordfish with Creamy Fennel-Tomato Sauce

Yes, you can cook fish in a slow cooker, but it's a little different than making a pot roast or brisket. Instead, you build a complex sauce through long, even cooking. Then slip the fish into the sauce for the last 30 minutes or so, until it's just cooked through. Meaty swordfish is perfect here, but in the summer, we also make this with fresh halibut steaks; just be sure your steaks are at least 1 inch thick so they cook in the same amount of time.

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Spicy Short Ribs with Lime & Basil

Lime marmalade gives a wonderful burst of sweet, citrusy tang to this luxurious braise.

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Asian Barbecue Chicken Wings

Even if it’s not a game day, you’ve still got game in the kitchen when you make this finger-licking, umami-laden take on chicken wings.

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Smoky Indonesian-Style Chicken Curry

Aromatic and gently spicy, this curry is a soul-warming meal on a chilly evening.

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