Category Archives: slow cooker

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I know that Spring has sprung but there is still a chill in the air and it still feels a lot more like winter than spring. This is what I like to call Winter’s last breath time of year.  Being I am so much more of a morning person than a night person I love to cook in the morning, not elaborate breakfasts mind you but Dinner. I prep , chop and set up my slow cooker and it’s all in by 8 a.m. I cooked this on low for 8 hours and then on high for 2. You can do it on high for 6-8 as well. Almost fool-proof and you’ll love the benefits. When you enter your home at the end of the day your house will smell amazing, your dinner will be almost ready and you’ll have one pot to clean after dinner! Wow! Now of course you’ll have a bit of a mess in the morning but that’s OK because you’ll have more energy in the morning . Shop ahead and have all your ingredients ready and you’re set . I love slow cooker meals.

This is what I did:

Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes — the butcher usually has this meat already cut up. You can add an extra lb. of meat if you have more people.

5 medium size carrots, sliced into chunks

1 lb. baby potatoes — they come in a bag and are perfect just the way they are. Of course you can cut up larger potatoes if you wish.

1 small white onion–diced

3 cloves garlic–minced

3 cups Beef Broth

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Italian Seasonings–dry and available in most spice sections

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 cup Flour

2 cups Frozen Peas– I used frozen peas you can also add frozen corn if you like or use both.

Directions:

Take out the meat and dry it off with a paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper on all sides. Heat a skillet with a little olive oil and sear on each side for a few minutes just to get a crust on the meat. You will not be cooking the meat just searing.

I spray my slow-cooker with cooking spray (Pam) and then add the meat, the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic.

Add the beef broth , tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, italian seasoning, and I added about a 1/2 tsp. of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill (6) . You can taste at some point and always add more.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or High for 6-8 hours. An hour before serving, I take out about a cup of gravy from the beef stew and whisk with 1/4 cup flour. Then stir into the stew along with the frozen peas. Stir and taste for S and P at this point.

I let it cook on high for 2 more hours. You should let it cook for at least 1 more hour after the addition of the flour. The flour will thicken the gravy, so you’ll want to cook for at least 1 more hour on high setting.

Enjoy! a loaf of crusty bread would be in order on the side.

Lasagna in the Slow Cooker

I have to say when I first heard about lasagna in the slow cooker I was sort of skeptical.  My friend Cathy told me about it; she said she had made it for her family and I should give it a go.   The original recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld, who sneaks vegetables and healthy stuff into her food. I did make a few changes from original recipe , I used more sauce and a little more salt , I used fresh spinach which can easily be substituted for ground turkey, sausage, or any type of meat you like.  Next time I make this recipe I will be using meat because it really was quite easy and pretty quick even by slow cooker standards. It cooked in 3 1/2 hours, looked amazing and tasted delicious. I am still a little surprised by how good it was. The spinach wilts down and almost looks like basil in there. Even if you don’t like spinach, don’t worry because even though you start out with 5 ounces (which looks like a lot),  you hardly taste it at all but for those of you who do like it, it’s an added bonus. This lasagna was moist, cheesy and hearty.   So get out your slow cookers and give it a go. This is especially great for a big crowd. It easily serves 6 people.  We of course had a chicken dish alongside, because no amount of prodding could get Joel to try the lasagna, once he saw the spinach. Oh well, what are you going to do? He doesn’t know what he’s missing.  Thanks Cathy for the great idea, and of course, Jessica Seinfeld.

Ingredients:

I used 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes (the recipe original calls for 3 14 oz. cans but I thought it needed a little more sauce and I used 2 large cans which are app. 28 oz. each . You can always use homemade sauce if you have it already made and want to use it. Just make sure you have enough.)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp. dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

*1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (use as much or as little of this, whatever you like)

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 containers (15 ounce each) ricotta (Fresh is awesome, but not always available. Use whatever you’d like. I used part- skim ricotta.)

2 cups grated mozzarella (again use whatever you’d like, package is fine. Just don’t use fat free, it doesn’t work well.)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

12 lasagna noodles (about 3/4 of a 1 lb. box) don’t cook them*see note at bottom

5 ounces (or 6 cups) of baby spinach (1 package in the produce section is 5 ounces)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper and black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan.

In the bottom of a 5 – 6 quart slow cooker (which I sprayed with Pam first), spread a thin layer of sauce. Top with 3 of the noodles (breaking to fit as necessary). Spread about 1 cup of the sauce over the noodles and layer with 2 cups of the spinach and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture. Repeat twice more with the noodles, sauce, spinach and cheese mixture. Top with the remaining 3 noodles, sauce and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.

Cook on low, covered, for 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Noodles should be tender in center by then, mine was. I then switched it to warm until we ate it. I served it from slow cooker with a big spoon, you don’t get those neat little squares but it really held together quite well,  I left some in fridge for leftovers and froze the rest for another time.

*I broke the side noodles in 1/2 and just angled them a little, keeping the center one intact. Once it’s all cooked it doesn’t matter that they were broken, it really came out perfectly.

Happy Cinco de Mayo–Set it and Forget it Chicken Taco Chili

This is a good way to mark Cinco de Mayo!!! Super easy recipe and will cook in the slow cooker on high in 6 hours! So set it and forget it. This is a re-blog from last October so if you missed it you get another shot at it and if you already made this recipe here you go again.

Slow cookers make for perfect cooking all year round. Nothing better than setting it and forgetting it! Making life easier and less clean up after dinner. I bought all my ingredients yesterday and went to Soul Cycle this morning , came home and by 10 am this was cooking in the slow cooker. I actually put it to high cook for 6 hours and I am sitting here smelling all this deliciousness . I happened to have a package of Taco Seasoning Mix in the house so I used it along with cumin and chili powder. I used dark meat and white meat chicken, you can use whichever chicken you’d like. Just set it and forget it and come home to this delicious meal of chicken . If you don’t own a slow cooker this may be a good time to buy one!

Ingredients:

1 small yellow onion , chopped

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained-you don’t have to rinse the organic beans. If you already have them in the house and they’re not organic just rinse them with water and drain.

1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained -you don’t have to rinse the organic beans–same instructions as above

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

10 oz. package frozen corn kernels

2 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes with chilies –available in the Mexican Food aisle in the supermarket

4 oz. can chopped green chili peppers, chopped–also available in the Mexican Food aisle

1 packet Taco Seasoning- *if you don’t like using Taco Seasoning see note below

1 tbsp. cumin

1/2-1 Tbsp. chili powder

Kosher Salt to taste–if using the package of Taco Seasoning you may not need extra salt , wait till 6 hours of cooking are over and taste for salt . I sprinkled a little bit at the end of seasoning to taste.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts and I added 6 small skinless , boneless chicken thighs and if you cannot find boneless don’t worry because the meat will fall off the bones and you can remove all the bones from the chili before serving.

I don’t know the nutrition information but I have to believe that this is a fairly low-fat , low caloric way to go. I added the dark meat so maybe not as light as you can make it. Enjoy!

*handful of fresh cilantro – chopped if you would like

Directions:

Combine drained beans, onion, chili peppers, corn , tomato sauce, diced tomato, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and mix well.

Nestle the chicken in to completely cover and cook either on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 4-6 hours. I did it on high for 6 hours.

App. 1/2 hour before the cooking was over I thought I would shred the chicken, when I opened the slow cooker and started to stir the chicken it all just fell apart on its own!!! This was so amazing how I didn’t even have to do that. I guess it cooked so long that it just fell apart! This was just perfect and tasted so delicious! If that is not your experience and you only cook for 4 hours you may want to shred the chicken yourself about 1/2 hour before finished. But mine really did shred itself as I stirred it with a wooden spoon.

Top with fresh cilantro and your favorite chili toppings! I also serve with soft corn tortillas. You can use crunchy taco shells or whatever you’d like, this is totally optional. And some avocado never hurt anyone!

Yum!!!

*to make your own seasoning follow this

1 1/2 Tbsp. Cumin

1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bree’s Slow Cooked Skirt Steaks

Skirt Steak and Brody Birthday 004Skirt Steak and Brody Birthday 006I originally posted this recipe back in January of 2013 and it has gone on to be a staple in not only my house (one of Joel’s all time favs) but so many friends and family have added this wonderful and easy recipe to their menus.  It really is an easy recipe and it frees up your oven for other things you may want to cook making it a perfect addition to Holiday and Party meals.

This is how it started , my friend Karyn was raving about this simple but awesome recipe after she stayed at her Son and Daughter in Law’s house . I knew I had to make it, just sounded so good. I am always looking for new ways to use my slow cooker and Joel loves skirt steaks, so this was a win win. There are certain people in your life you just trust when it comes to food, Karyn is definitely one of them. I spoke to Bree and she said she never measures it out but was able to give me some guidelines. Now that I’ve made it for myself I get it, and it really couldn’t be easier. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best . Again Thanks to Bree for your back and forth emails and mostly for your recipe. I love it when the young cooks turn me on to new recipes! Keep ’em coming. Joel absolutely loved it!!!!  I served with roasted cauliflower and brown rice, but you know he didn’t touch the cauliflower which was so delicious.

* I used 1.39 lbs. of meat for the 2 of us and there wasn’t a single morsel left. Increase all ingredients as you need them.

Ingredients:

*this should be good for 3 people

2 lbs. of skirt steak

Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki

1 Orange ( app. 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice) if no fresh available use concentrate

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

I pat my meat dry with paper towels, then I salt and pepper both sides. I lightly sprinkled because of the sauce which contains salt. I sprayed my slow cooker with Pam to make clean up easier on Joel. Placed steak in slow cooker, covered with enough Soy Vay just to cover , as Bree told me it doesn’t need to swim in it just to cover. Added fresh OJ, moved steak around a bit to mix up all ingredients, turned on slow cooker for 6 hours on low! Awesome! Thanks so much to Bree for sharing this recipe.

Happy Cinco de Mayo–Set it and Forget it Chicken Taco Chili

This is a good way to mark Cinco de Mayo!!! Super easy recipe and will cook in the slow cooker on high in 6 hours! So set it and forget it.

Slow cookers make for perfect cooking all year round. Nothing better than setting it and forgetting it! Making life easier and less clean up after dinner. I bought all my ingredients yesterday and went to Soul Cycle this morning , came home and by 10 am this was cooking in the slow cooker. I actually put it to high cook for 6 hours and I am sitting here smelling all this deliciousness . I happened to have a package of Taco Seasoning Mix in the house so I used it along with cumin and chili powder. I used dark meat and white meat chicken, you can use whichever chicken you’d like. Just set it and forget it and come home to this delicious meal of chicken . If you don’t own a slow cooker this may be a good time to buy one!

Ingredients:

1 small yellow onion , chopped

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained-you don’t have to rinse the organic beans. If you already have them in the house and they’re not organic just rinse them with water and drain.

1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained -you don’t have to rinse the organic beans–same instructions as above

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

10 oz. package frozen corn kernels

2 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes with chilies –available in the Mexican Food aisle in the supermarket

4 oz. can chopped green chili peppers, chopped–also available in the Mexican Food aisle

1 packet Taco Seasoning- *if you don’t like using Taco Seasoning see note below

1 tbsp. cumin

1/2-1 Tbsp. chili powder

Kosher Salt to taste–if using the package of Taco Seasoning you may not need extra salt , wait till 6 hours of cooking are over and taste for salt . I sprinkled a little bit at the end of seasoning to taste.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts and I added 6 small skinless , boneless chicken thighs and if you cannot find boneless don’t worry because the meat will fall off the bones and you can remove all the bones from the chili before serving.

I don’t know the nutrition information but I have to believe that this is a fairly low-fat , low caloric way to go. I added the dark meat so maybe not as light as you can make it. Enjoy!

*handful of fresh cilantro – chopped if you would like

Directions:

Combine drained beans, onion, chili peppers, corn , tomato sauce, diced tomato, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and mix well.

Nestle the chicken in to completely cover and cook either on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 4-6 hours. I did it on high for 6 hours.

App. 1/2 hour before the cooking was over I thought I would shred the chicken, when I opened the slow cooker and started to stir the chicken it all just fell apart on its own!!! This was so amazing how I didn’t even have to do that. I guess it cooked so long that it just fell apart! This was just perfect and tasted so delicious! If that is not your experience and you only cook for 4 hours you may want to shred the chicken yourself about 1/2 hour before finished. But mine really did shred itself as I stirred it with a wooden spoon.

Top with fresh cilantro and your favorite chili toppings! I also serve with soft corn tortillas. You can use crunchy taco shells or whatever you’d like, this is totally optional. And some avocado never hurt anyone!

Yum!!!

*to make your own seasoning follow this

1 1/2 Tbsp. Cumin

1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Brisket–Super Easy

Featured Image -- 8316I am always on the look-out for a brisket recipe and it seems like everyone is always asking me for a good brisket recipe. If you ask me brisket is the ultimate comfort food, it’s old fashioned pot roast slowly cooked with just a small amount of ingredients.  This is a great recipe for the Jewish New Year because you can cook it ahead of time . My friend Susan gave me this recipe for a slow cooker brisket and I actually made it the night before in the slow cooker .  I cut up the onions , seared the brisket and got it all together in about 1/2 hour and put it in the slow cooker by midnight! When I woke up in the morning the house smelled amazing and the brisket had cooked for a full 8 hours! I then took the whole insert with cover and refrigerated it till later that day when I would remove any and all congealed fat that had naturally gathered in the pot. I highly recommend doing it ahead of time so that you can remove any unwanted fat from the brisket. You can even do it a week ahead and freeze the brisket, or a few days ahead whichever works best for you. The recipe is from the website Kitchn and Susan had already made it so I knew it would be good. So easy and so good.

This is such a wonderful recipe I highly recommend for the Jewish Holidays or any time you’re in the mood for good comfort food.

I also recommend an electric knife as it is the best tool for slicing a brisket thinly and getting the most out of the meat. I love my electric knife and it is great for cutting all roasts. Ingredients are simple and you probably have most of them in the house already.

*If you are freezing it, you can slice up and then put it in the freezer. Take out of freezer and re-heat the way I did.

* a 4 lb. Brisket with side dishes should serve 6 people

www.kitchn.com original title Slow-Cooked Brisket and Onion

Ingredients:

3 1/2 to 4 lb. Brisket

1 tablespoon olive oil

app. 2 large onions, sliced into half moons (not too thinly)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 cloves garlic , minced

2 cups beef broth

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce ( reduced sodium is fine here)

Directions:

Heat a deep sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and cook on medium-low to medium heat, stirring frequently for app. 20 minutes or until the onions have caramelized lightly. This means that the onions will lightly brown up and completely wilt.

Remove brisket from its packaging and pat it dry, season the meat with salt and pepper generously.  While the onions cook if you have another large skillet or sauté pan heat it up over medium-high heat and turn on your vent or fan. Sear the brisket until a golden brown crust appears on both sides of the meat. Remove and place in a slow-cooker insert fatty side up.  I would spray the insert with cooking spray first. If you don’t want to dirty  2 pans wait till the onions are cooked and then just add brisket to that pot to sear.

Sprinkle the minced garlic over the meat. Pile the sautéed onions on top and around the meat. Mix the broth, Worcestershire Sauce and soy sauce and pour into the slow-cooker insert.

Cover and cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 6-8 hours or until the brisket is very tender. I did 8 hours because it depends on the size and shape of your brisket. This brisket was about 4 lbs. and pretty thick in spots.

Now the thing about cooking ahead was that I could refrigerate it right in the insert . The next day I removed from refrigerator mid afternoon and scraped off the congealed fat.

To reheat: First I slice the brisket if I haven’t already done so. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Transfer the brisket and all the juices to a baking dish and cover tightly with a lid or two layers of aluminum foil. Warm in the oven for at least an hour till brisket is completely warmed through. Of course the timing will depend greatly on the size and shape of the brisket; once it’s sliced it will re-heat faster which is why I always do so.

If you don’t have a slow cooker and don’t want to buy one you can cook in the oven instead. You’ll need a dutch oven ( Le Creuset type) with a lid. Or a baking dish covered  very tightly with foil. Follow instructions as above but cook in the oven at 325 degrees for about 4 hours for a 4 lb. brisket. You may need to cook longer depending on the size and shape of your brisket.

Cooking Time varies for how you prefer your brisket. If you want a more formal presentation you’ll probably stay within the 8 hours . If you like it shredded and more like pulled beef you may want to increase cooking time by another hour. We sliced it after 8 hours and then re-heated it and it was perfect! Sorry I didn’t take more pictures.

IMG_6380

Slow Cooked Brisket–Super Easy

Featured Image -- 8316I am always on the look-out for a brisket recipe and it seems like everyone is always asking me for a good brisket recipe. This past New Years my friends and I were making dinner and wanted something we could do quickly that wouldn’t require a lot of prepping etc. My friend Susan gave me this recipe for a slow cooker brisket and I actually put it in the slow cooker Tuesday night before New Years. We came home from dinner and I cut up the onions , seared the brisket and got it all together in about 1/2 hour and put it in the slow cooker by midnight! When I woke up in the morning the house smelled amazing and the brisket had cooked for a full 8 hours! I then took the whole insert with cover and refrigerated it till later that day when I would remove any and all congealed fat that had naturally gathered in the pot. I highly recommend doing it ahead of time so that you can remove any unwanted fat from the brisket. You can even do it a week ahead and freeze the brisket, or a few days ahead whichever works best for you. The recipe is from the website Kitchn and Susan had already made it so I knew it would be good. So easy and so good.

This is such a wonderful recipe I highly recommend for the Jewish Holidays or any time you’re in the mood for good comfort food.

I also recommend an electric knife as it is the best tool for slicing a brisket thinly and getting the most out of the meat. I love my electric knife and it is great for cutting all roasts. Ingredients are simple and you probably have most of them in the house already.

*If you are freezing it, you can slice up and then put it in the freezer. Take out of freezer and re-heat the way I did.

* a 4 lb. Brisket with side dishes should serve 6 people

www.kitchn.com original title Slow-Cooked Brisket and Onion

Ingredients:

3 1/2 to 4 lb. Brisket

1 tablespoon olive oil

app. 2 large onions, sliced into half moons (not too thinly)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 cloves garlic , minced

2 cups beef broth

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce ( reduced sodium is fine here)

Directions:

Heat a deep sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and cook on medium-low to medium heat, stirring frequently for app. 20 minutes or until the onions have caramelized lightly. This means that the onions will lightly brown up and completely wilt.

Remove brisket from its packaging and pat it dry. While the onions cook if you have another large skillet or sauté pan heat it up over medium-high heat and turn on your vent or fan. Sear the brisket until a golden brown crust appears on both sides of the meat. Remove and place in a slow-cooker insert fatty side up.  I would spray the insert with cooking spray first. If you don’t want to dirty  2 pans wait till the onions are cooked and then just add brisket to that pot to sear.

Sprinkle the minced garlic over the meat. Pile the sautéed onions on top and around the meat. Mix the broth, Worcestershire Sauce and soy sauce and pour into the slow-cooker insert.

Cover and cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 6-8 hours or until the brisket is very tender. I did 8 hours because it depends on the size and shape of your brisket. This brisket was about 4 lbs. and pretty thick in spots.

Now the thing about cooking ahead was that I could refrigerate it right in the insert . The next day I removed from refrigerator mid afternoon and scraped off the congealed fat.

To reheat: First I slice the brisket if I haven’t already done so. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Transfer the brisket and all the juices to a baking dish and cover tightly with a lid or two layers of aluminum foil. Warm in the oven for at least an hour till brisket is completely warmed through. Of course the timing will depend greatly on the size and shape of the brisket; once it’s sliced it will re-heat faster which is why I always do so.

If you don’t have a slow cooker and don’t want to buy one you can cook in the oven instead. You’ll need a dutch oven ( Le Creuset type) with a lid. Or a baking dish covered  very tightly with foil. Follow instructions as above but cook in the oven at 325 degrees for about 4 hours for a 4 lb. brisket. You may need to cook longer depending on the size and shape of your brisket.

Cooking Time varies for how you prefer your brisket. If you want a more formal presentation you’ll probably stay within the 8 hours . If you like it shredded and more like pulled beef you may want to increase cooking time by another hour. We sliced it after 8 hours and then re-heated it and it was perfect! Sorry I didn’t take more pictures.

IMG_6380

Slow Cooked Brisket–Super Easy

Featured Image -- 8316I am always on the look-out for a brisket recipe and it seems like everyone is always asking me for a good brisket recipe. This past New Years my friends and I were making dinner and wanted something we could do quickly that wouldn’t require a lot of prepping etc. My friend Susan gave me this recipe for a slow cooker brisket and I actually put it in the slow cooker Tuesday night before New Years. We came home from dinner and I cut up the onions , seared the brisket and got it all together in about 1/2 hour and put it in the slow cooker by midnight! When I woke up in the morning the house smelled amazing and the brisket had cooked for a full 8 hours! I then took the whole insert with cover and refrigerated it till later that day when I would remove any and all congealed fat that had naturally gathered in the pot. I highly recommend doing it ahead of time so that you can remove any unwanted fat from the brisket. You can even do it a week ahead and freeze the brisket, or a few days ahead whichever works best for you. The recipe is from the website Kitchn and Susan had already made it so I knew it would be good. So easy and so good.

This is such a wonderful recipe I highly recommend for the Jewish Holidays or any time you’re in the mood for good comfort food.

I also recommend an electric knife as it is the best tool for slicing a brisket thinly and getting the most out of the meat. I love my electric knife and it is great for cutting all roasts. Ingredients are simple and you probably have most of them in the house already.

*If you are freezing it, you can slice up and then put it in the freezer. Take out of freezer and re-heat the way I did.

* a 4 lb. Brisket with side dishes should serve 6 people

www.kitchn.com original title Slow-Cooked Brisket and Onion

Ingredients:

3 1/2 to 4 lb. Brisket

1 tablespoon olive oil

app. 2 large onions, sliced into half moons (not too thinly)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 cloves garlic , minced

2 cups beef broth

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce ( reduced sodium is fine here)

Directions:

Heat a deep sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and cook on medium-low to medium heat, stirring frequently for app. 20 minutes or until the onions have caramelized lightly. This means that the onions will lightly brown up and completely wilt.

Remove brisket from its packaging and pat it dry, season the meat with salt and pepper generously.  While the onions cook if you have another large skillet or sauté pan heat it up over medium-high heat and turn on your vent or fan. Sear the brisket until a golden brown crust appears on both sides of the meat. Remove and place in a slow-cooker insert fatty side up.  I would spray the insert with cooking spray first. If you don’t want to dirty  2 pans wait till the onions are cooked and then just add brisket to that pot to sear.

Sprinkle the minced garlic over the meat. Pile the sautéed onions on top and around the meat. Mix the broth, Worcestershire Sauce and soy sauce and pour into the slow-cooker insert.

Cover and cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 6-8 hours or until the brisket is very tender. I did 8 hours because it depends on the size and shape of your brisket. This brisket was about 4 lbs. and pretty thick in spots.

Now the thing about cooking ahead was that I could refrigerate it right in the insert . The next day I removed from refrigerator mid afternoon and scraped off the congealed fat.

To reheat: First I slice the brisket if I haven’t already done so. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Transfer the brisket and all the juices to a baking dish and cover tightly with a lid or two layers of aluminum foil. Warm in the oven for at least an hour till brisket is completely warmed through. Of course the timing will depend greatly on the size and shape of the brisket; once it’s sliced it will re-heat faster which is why I always do so.

If you don’t have a slow cooker and don’t want to buy one you can cook in the oven instead. You’ll need a dutch oven ( Le Creuset type) with a lid. Or a baking dish covered  very tightly with foil. Follow instructions as above but cook in the oven at 325 degrees for about 4 hours for a 4 lb. brisket. You may need to cook longer depending on the size and shape of your brisket.

Cooking Time varies for how you prefer your brisket. If you want a more formal presentation you’ll probably stay within the 8 hours . If you like it shredded and more like pulled beef you may want to increase cooking time by another hour. We sliced it after 8 hours and then re-heated it and it was perfect! Sorry I didn’t take more pictures.

IMG_6380

Sweet and Sour Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker

photo 1photo 1 (36)photo 4 (20)photo 5 (19)This Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker has been on my to do list for a long while and last week I finally figured out a recipe that worked out wonderfully and I am going to share it with you.

When it comes to slow-cooking, browning the meat is an optional step. I almost always brown my meat first because I prefer it that way and I think it just tastes so much better that way. It’s up to the individual and it’s all about the texture you’re trying to achieve, with roasts and stews I almost always sear it first.  This roast was just luscious and I highly recommend searing it first. It will form a nice crust on the outside of the meat .

Braising , or slow-cooking in liquid, is the easiest way to tenderize any meat and bring out it’s flavors. A braise is not the same as a stew. A braise refers to a large cut of meat cooked in a small amount of liquid, while a stew is meat that is cut up into small pieces and cooked in plenty of liquid. Searing the meat locks in the flavor and forms a crust around the meat.

I used ingredients from the fridge and pantry and came up with this combo.

Ingredients:

one 3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible and patted dry

1 16 ounce can tomato sauce

1 16 ounce can whole cranberry sauce

1/4 cup dry red wine

3 shallots, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon dry mustard powder

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper and 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for searing meat.

Directions:

1. In the slow cooker, stir together the tomato sauce, cranberry sauce, wine, shallots, celery, vinegar, olive oil, horseradish and mustard. Cover and turn to HIGH: cook for 30 minutes. While this is cooking continue to next step to sear meat.

2.  I patted the roast dry with some paper towels. I then rubbed a little olive oil all over the roast with my hands. I then generously sprinkled the roast with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides. I heated up about a tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet till oil shimmered. Placed roast in pan and seared it on all sides. You will let it sit for a few minutes on each side, you just want it to brown up on each side and form a crust.

Place the roast in the slow cooker and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 – 10 hours.

To serve: transfer the meat to a cutting board and I used my electric knife to make beautiful slices. If the sauce is too thin ( which mine was not) continue cooking sauce for a few more minutes while you slice meat. Serve meat with vegetables and sauce .

Slow Cooking Beef Stew–Ten Hours

photo 1 (31) photo 4 (15)All I can say is A-mazing! I have to admit I was a doubter the morning I put this together . I didn’t think I had enough liquid and on my way home I picked up Beef Broth but when I walked in the door and the aroma hit me I knew it was right. So right and I am so excited because I used what I had in the house and am delighted with the results. It’s always weird when you’re wearing your pajamas at 8 a.m. , you’re on your second cup of coffee and slicing and dicing vegetables and braising beef cubes on the stove. I doubt I’ll ever get used to that but what a pleasure it is to walk through the door at the end of the day to this!!!! Yum is all I can say. I really did cook for 10 hours. I completed my prep and turned on slow cooker by 9 a.m. and we ate at 7 p.m.

If you’re looking for a more conventional method of Beef Stew, go to my website and enter Sunday Night Stew on a Tuesday Night.

This will serve 4 people generously. You can adjust for less people.

Ingredients:

4 lbs. stewing beef. ( I buy from the butcher at Whole Foods or at any butcher) It’s usually chuck roast cut into cubes.

2 medium size yellow onions, thinly sliced

4 carrots , peeled and sliced . I like a decent size carrot chunk so cut into decent size chunks. Or you can use baby carrots. ( app. 2 – 3 cups ) and leave them whole.

I used red and white potatoes because that is what I had in the house, any potatoes you’d like to use. Peeled or not, I don’t peel. I quartered them. Just don’t make them too small because they will disintegrate.

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup red wine

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup boiling water

*Beef Broth on hand to thin out if necessary.

*2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary–if you have in the house and want to use it , it adds a great punch of flavor.

*you will be searing the meat first, so that’s where I used Salt and Pepper. ( see directions) and it was enough for us.

Directions:

First:

I placed about a 1/2 cup of flour into a shallow bowl and added about a teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. I lightly coatedphoto 5 (16) the meat with flour, then dumped out excess flour and prepared my Le Creuset for browning the meat. I heated up 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and when oil is hot (not smoking) I added meat in batches to brown them. I had to add a little bit of olive oil to second batch. I put meat on a paper towel lined plate to drain a little bit before adding to slow cooker. Spray slow cooker insert with Pam cooking spray first for easier clean up, then add meat to bottom of slow cooker. Add all of the vegetables on top.

In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, wine, Worcestershire sauce, Rosemary and boiling water. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Cover and Cook on LOW for 8 – 10 hours.

You really don’t need noodles or rice with this because you have the potatoes. If you’d like omit the potatoes and serve over rice or noodles. Your choice.

I served in large shallow bowls.

A nice crusty bread would be nice served alongside to sop up the sauce.