By WENDY HARGREAVES
Memories of my mum’s burnt-orange Crock Pot run deep. From slow-cooked wild rabbit to crazy chicken chow mein, the old Crock Pot was on constant rotation in the winter months.
My new slow cook is also working overtime this winter, but sometimes all you want is for somebody else to do the cooking. Here are five of Melbourne’s best slow-cooked meals.
- 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda, (03) 9534 0211
- Sunday Roast has to be the ultimate slow-cooked meal, Every Sunday, the Espy Kitchen offers a rotating menu of wood-fired roasts with all the trimmings, plus a glass of house wine or a pot of local tap beer or a soft drink for $30. Last week they served Western Plains porchetta with organic apples, a grain mustard sauce, tummy-warming thyme and sourdough stuffing and wood- roasted sprouts.
- 427 Church St, Richmond, (03) 8419 8808 (and stores across Victoria)
George Calombaris’s “Med Diet” ($21.50) features a choice of his slow-roasted lamb shoulder, pork, chicken or a combo of all three with a side salad (choose from Greek, grain or Hellenic slaw) and a dip (taramasalata, tzatziki or eggplant). The slow-cooked meat is always succulent and full of flavour.
- Level 1, 79 Bourke St, Melbourne, 1300 274 753
- Low and slow is the name of the game at Fancy Hanks, where free-range meats from Gippsland are gently cooked in a two-tonne custom-built smoker for up to 22 hours. At lunch time, try the smoked brisket sandwich (a bargain at $13) with a house BBQ sauce, pickled green peppers and crunchy slaw in a brioche bun. Get ready to get messy with this one.
- 106 Hardware Street, Melbourne, (03) 8393 9367
- Get your Viking on at Melbourne’s own nordic-themed carvery and cocktail bar. My pick of the menu is the 12-hour braised short rib, served with chimichurri, radish, braising jus and a touch of sorrel leaf. Throw in a side of roasted cauliflower ($12) and roasted bone marrow to start ($22) and you’ll be feeling like Thor in no time. And don’t forget to order a beer in a horn.
- 238 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, (03) 9810 0050
- Why should meat eaters have all the fun when it comes to slow-cooked roasts? This is a vegan Sunday roast with all the trimmings, including a pile of roast veggies and a tasty “meat” gravy. It’s also gluten free. And if you’d like meat with your roast, the pub serves carnivores too.