There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
Pork, sauerkraut, cabbage, and caraway seeds are authentic to German comfort food, and also just plain delicious. Ground pork sausage and rice gently cook in the cabbage leaves, a steamed effect produced by the slow cooker’s low temperature. Sweet and sour is a popular flavor combo in Eastern European cuisine; here, brown sugar balances the kraut and the slightly acidic tomato sauce. Serve with spaetzle, a doughy German egg noodle, or with simply cooked egg noodles and a side of steamed or roasted carrots. To drink, what could be more fitting than a lager-style beer?