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I have a layer of grease on the top of my slow cooker. The recipie is a sausage & bean hotpot with smoked paprika and red wine. My issue is that I added a little too much liquid and now the fat has separated and risen to the top. As any good cook knows, much of the flavour is in the fat, plus the fat absorbs a lot of the spices.

I'm a believer in healthy food, but don't believe that all food should be healthy. As such, I'd like to blend everything back together and see how it goes. My thinking at this point is along two avenues:

  1. Add something starchy (Cornstarch, Lentils, Mashed Potato...) to allow the oil and water to bond.
  2. Add an emulsifier (Mustard, Egg Yolk, etc)
  3. Separate the liquids from the solids, transfer the liquids to a pan, and reduce. This should concentrate the flavour while allowing the solids already in the sauce to do technique #1 for me.

Right now I'm leaning towards egg yolks, a few lentils certainly wouldn't harm the flavour I'm going for either. Has anyone tried the above techniques, specifically with regards to a slow cooker? How did it turn out?

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you wish to continue down the road of a singular dish I would recommend the emulsifier. Incorporating the fat through blending it with some of the liquid in a side pan or pot with ground mustard would be easiest and most complete. You should be able to continue cooking without further separation.

However, if you are cooking the dish too hot you may be forcing some of the fat from the meat or otherwise loosing it from too much agitation and you will want to make any adjustments necessary.

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Thanks, I'll give this a try. I think the issue was that I used cheap sausages and tried to sear them before putting them into the slow cooker. The skins split instantly and by the time there was any colour on them the sausages were cooked and fat was being released. Also, thanks for responding to my first question, unfortunately I don't have enough reputation to vote your answer up. –  Li1t Dec 13 '12 at 12:36
    
@Li1t Hmmm, if it took that long to sear the sausages, are you sure (a) your pan was hot enough; (b) your sausages were dry? –  derobert Dec 13 '12 at 16:27
    
Hi Derobert, the sausages were straight from the packet. Thanks for your input, I'll attempt to make extra sure that my sausages are dry next time, and consider using a higher heat. One of my issues may have been attempting to sear too many sausages simultaneously in the pan - I think I turned the heat down so i could keep the sausages from sticking. A better solution would probably to sear fewer sausages simultaneously and keep them moving so there's no chance of sticking. Also, I intend to get sausages with thicker skins... –  Li1t Dec 13 '12 at 17:39
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