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.
Provençal Beef Daube
This gorgeous take on beef stew delivers such rich, complex flavors it may change your mind about your slow cooker. No need to relegate the convenience appliance to just your standard comfort food; it can deliver elegant, entertaining-worthy dishes like this one. Though we like to offer substitution suggestions wherever possible, we strongly suggest that you don't skip the dried porcini mushrooms here. They create an umami-rich background that makes the whole stew taste deliciously complex and meaty. If you can't find Niçoise olives, you can use kalamata or Castelvetrano olives instead. Serve over egg noodles or polenta, or with a crusty whole-grain baguette.