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.
Gingersnaps aren't just a holiday snack. In the slow cooker, they melt into a warm, spicy-sweet base for rump roast and soften the tang of white vinegar. This hands-off main requires a little planning for maximum flavor: The roast marinates in the refrigerator overnight with whole spices, sugar, and vinegar, then simmers in the slow cooker for five hours until fork-tender. Serve the tender marinated beef and sauce over spaetzle (tiny noodles or dumplings) for an authentic German feast. For a side, try braised shredded red cabbage tossed with a little apple cider vinegar.