Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Few Easy Recipes: Making friends with your crock pot

My best friend these days is my crock pot.  It's glorious.  It makes my house smell awesome and I can serve the girls a healthy dinner (that doesn't consist of chicken nuggets and broccoli), get them into bed early, and have a nice, delicious, quiet meal with my husband.  No stress, not a ton of dishes.  It's heavenly. 

My recipe for pot roast is so easy and so delicious, it ends up being a staple in our house all winter long.  I make it a few different ways.

City Mouse Pot Roast

3 Pound(s) beef pot roast (I've used chuck eye roast for this as well)
Kosher salt and steak seasoning or seasoned pepper to taste
1/2 bag baby carrots
4 Clove(s) smashed garlic
1 packet mushroom onion soup mix (I've also used beefy onion)
1/4 Cup(s) - 1/2 cup wine, beer or vermouth
1/4 Cup(s) - 1/2 cup water (I sometimes skip this and use just double the alcohol)
2 peeled & quartered onions
1tbl flour or cornstarch

Coat all sides of roast with salt and seasoned pepper. Brown in dry skillet on all sides to form a nice crust. Toss all the veggies in the bottom of the crock pot, top with meat, then add soup mix, top with liquids. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. When done take the meat out and stir in a little bit of flour or cornstarch to thicken up the sauce put the meat back in and serve straight out of the pot. 

Some people put potatoes in with their veggies.  You can do this if you'd like. OR you can serve over mashed potatoes.  Which is my favorite way to serve.  Of course this creates a little more work and a few more dishes, so if you're looking for super simple, just throw about 5 small red potatoes, washed, unpeeled and halved or quartered into the pot with the veggies.

This awesome stew recipe is from my friend, Lesa.  It's easy and delicious.  No pre-cooking required!

Harvest Beef and Veggies

2 1/2 Pound(s) beef stew meat
1/2 Teaspoon(s) garlic salt
1/2 Teaspoon(s) pepper
3 Cup(s) baby carrot
1 Pound(s) cut into chunks red potato
1 cut into wedges onion
15 Ounce(s) Italian style diced tomatoes
1 envelope beefy onion soup mix
1 Teaspoon(s) dried basil
1 1/2 Teaspoon(s) marjoram
1/4 Cup(s) flour
1/2 Cup(s) water

Place beef in slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper, toss well. Add carrots, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, soup mix, basil and marjoram, mixing well. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on low setting until beef is very tender.

If desired, thicken stew by blending 1/4 cup flour into 1/2 cup water. Stir into beef mixture. Cover, cook on high 10-20 minutes or until thickened. 

This recipe for Southwestern Pulled Brisket Sandwiches is a favorite of my husband.  Actually it's a favorite of my best friend's husband too.  It's a spicy, southwestern take on a pulled beef sandwich.  We love this with lots of pickled jalapenos and coleslaw on the side.

Enjoy taking back your day with these easy recipes!  It's another snow day here.  Shocking.  I'm considering ice skating to the store just to get out of my house!!!!!

Happy (icy) Wednesday!

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