I love using my slow cooker. I love the ease of putting a few things in it, turning it on, and forgetting about it. At least, forgotten until a mouth-watering aroma starts drifting through the house.
I purchased my first All Clad, seven-quart, programmable slow cooker several years ago. Seven quarts can hold just about anything I want to cook. I guess one of the things I like the most about it is that I can place the insert directly on the stovetop and sear or partially cook whatever I’m preparing, and then just pop it into the cooker to finish cooking. This is great for searing roasts.
So here is my slow cooker story. The non-stick lining of the first one I had started bubbling up and peeling off after a few years, which really aggravating, as the cooker was not cheap by any means. However, I thought it was something I must have done, so I bought another one. Unfortunately, the second one started doing the same thing.
During a recent visit to Williams and Sonoma, I was eyeing a new cooker, just like mine, wondering if I should purchase another one or go with a different brand.
I went to the counter to pay for my other items, and while I was checking out, I told the clerk my story. She instructed me to contact All Clad and explain the problem to them. It was possible that, if they determined it was faulty craftsmanship, they might replace it. She gave me the website address, telling me it was worth a try.
By the time I got home, the slow cooker issue had completely left my mind. However, the next time I wanted to cook a roast, I got it down and inspected it closely to see if maybe it was still usable, which it wasn’t. So much of the lining had either bubbled up or peeled off that I was afraid to cook with it.
That sent me to my computer looking up All Clad’s website. I sent an email to them telling them of the problem, but not expecting to get much of a response for a few days – or at least getting one that would probably say, “If you don’t have the receipt, you’re out of luck.” However, that’s not what happened.
Within an hour, I had a response asking for model numbers, etc., and pictures of the insert. I took pictures and sent in all the information but still not expecting much to come of it. I expected they would say it had been misused, which it had not been, but I was wrong again.
The next day I received an email asking me to send my mailing address so they could send me a replacement insert, and since the newer models were designed differently around the top, a new lid.
I have to say I was extremely surprised to get a new insert in the mail within the next week. The service I received from All Clad was exceptional, and they made me a very happy camper! And cooker!
I know one instance of a woman who tried to get in touch with Breville about one of their products but never succeeded. She finally just gave up. I was delighted with the service I received from All Clad.
My only complaint with All Clad is that when hubby and I purchased a new induction cook top for the kitchen, none of my old All Clad pans would work on it. However, I guess that really isn’t All Clad’s problem but mine for getting an induction cook top. It was quite expensive replacing almost all of my pots and pans. While I was in Williams and Sonoma last week checking out a griddle, I found that their brand will not work on induction cook tops, either.
I have since found some of All Clads newer pots and pans (but not their good-looking new griddle) that work on induction cook tops. My cookware now consists of Le Creuset and All Clad. Le Creuset is colorful, fun, extremely durable, and cooks great, but since being made of cast iron, it’s so heavy! The nine-quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven I have (and use at least once a week) weighs 16.5 pounds – without food! However, I’m not complaining; I love the way it cooks.
Speaking of slow cookers, today’s recipe is for yummy Beef Stroganoff (one of my very favorite dishes) prepared in the slow cooker. So easy! And so tasty!
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into one-inch cubes
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, halved
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. butter or oleo
1 cup beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg. (16 oz.) egg noodles, uncooked
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Sauté mushrooms, onions, and garlic in small skillet until tender. Place in slow cooker and put meat in skillet to brown. Place meat in slow cooker.
In medium bowl, mix together beef broth, soup, Worcestershire sauce, and flour. Pour over meat in slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on LOW for seven to eight hours, or on HIGH for four-and-a-half to five hours.
Stir sour cream into ingredients in slow cooker until blended. Cook, covered, on LOW for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook noodles as directed on package.
Place drained noodles in large serving bowl. Top with meat mixture and, if desired, sprinkle with parsley.
Kay Bona is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.