Friday, February 29, 2008

Know Your Slow Cooker

Due to popular request I tried another slow cooker recipe this week. This time I used a book that was living on the floor under a pile of clippings. It had been there a long time and it was about time that I used it! Good old Betty Crocker. Her Slow Cooker Cookbook is full of good old recipes. I had a pot roast in the freezer and I wanted a recipe for it. There were several that I could have tried in this book. I really wanted to try the Caramelized Onion Pot Roast but that darn Compadre drank up all the beer in the house! I was sure there was one waaay back in the refrigerator but nooo, he found it and it’s gone. I’ll have to go out and buy more beer and try this one some other day because it looks so good. But never fear Betty had a recipe on the previous page that looked good too and so I tried Savory Pot Roast. The thing about making a slow cooker recipe while you’re home is that it smells so good for so long that by the time it’s close to dinner you’re just starving. So the Compadre called to tell me that he was on his way and I said hurry home, I’m starving. Here’s where the part about knowing your slow cooker comes in. We were ready to dish up and I discovered that the vegetables were still too firm and the meat was not quite done. Sigh. The recipe said to cook on low for 8-10 hours. My cooker has a dial with 1-5 on it and so I started at 3 to get the temperature up but turned it down to about 1 ½ for the rest of the time so that the meat would tenderize well. Obviously my 1 ½ is lower than the low that the recipe called for. Since I have a two piece cooker that has a metal pot I just finished cooking it on the stove. Cheating, I know, but what are you going to do when you’re starving?

So here’s Savory Pot Roast adapted from Betty Crocker’s Slow Cooker Cookbook

2 to 2 ½ pound beef roast (I used chuck roast)

Olive oil for browning the roast

2 -3 potatoes peeled and cut up

2 ½ cups baby carrots

1 can (4 oz) mushrooms

About ½ cup sliced celery

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt to taste

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes with juices

2 T. Beef Soup Base and 1 ¼ cup water, or 1 can broth (10 ½ oz)

½ can of V8 juice (12 oz size can)

¼ c. flour

Brown the meat in the olive oil in a skillet. Put the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, celery, beef base and onions in your slow cooker (it should be at least a 4 qt. size). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Put the beef on top and then pour the water, tomatoes, and V8 juice over it. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until beef is done and vegetables are tender.

The flour is to thicken the juices if you want. I didn’t do this step and then the juice (there’s a lot) is like hearty soup. But if you want you can thicken it.

We really enjoyed this down home, basic meal. After I finished cooking it on the stove of course. It was enough to food the two of us for several meals and at the end I shredded the remaining beef and we ate it as soup with homemade bread.

I also tried another recipe this week. This one is from one of my favorite foodie blogs The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I tried her Sherried Tomato Soup and it was heavenly! But I'll warn you if you try it you better not be on a low fat diet. 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream make this a creamy wonderful soup but I don't even want to know how many calories it is! Rumor has it that Marlboro Man's favorite sandwich is amazingly great too. I'm going to try that one as soon as I get the ingredients.


Compadre said...

For those of you keeping score at home, we bought a 12-pack of Fat Tire beer in Colorado last July. We shared it with relatives over various holidays. Ok, so I drank the last one.

Also, I think I deserve at least a minor attribution as the breadmaker in the house.

Miss T said...

The Compadre is definitely entitled to a beer. Is it on the shopping list?