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1 Way to Defeat the Drive In: Crockpot

I posted a confession last week that resonated with a few people. Yes, I tend to hit those bad places in times of need. This morning, whilst running around on my ONE day off this month, I happened to notice a contraption on sale for a hefty mark down:

28$ Canadian for a slow cooker? How can I NOT pass that up?

28$ Canadian for a slow cooker? How can I NOT pass that up?

Now, I can’t even think of why I did not pick one of these things up before? Am I too haughty as a trained chef to use one? Perhaps seeing the one on my step-mother’s counter held me back on the purchase.

Honestly, I have been working crazy hours, and my wife is not into cooking that much. My reasons for buying the contraption are purely selfish. One tires of hearing, “What’s for supper” when you are knee-deep in the juice at work, and are not coming home for a couple of hours.

This machine is supposed to solve that. The ability to set up the dish the night before, refrigerate it, then toss it into the slow cooker before jaunting off to work is something that is too hard to pass up. At the time of this writing, my house smells of simmering stew, and my belly can hardly take it. It is because of this wonderfulness:

Simple ingredients, slow cooking. Can we go wrong?

Simple ingredients, slow cooking. Can we go wrong?

What is the recipe for this? I cannot really claim it as my own, as I am doing a test from the book that came with the crock:

Crock Pot Beef Stew

(Adapted from Crock Pot Smart Pot’s Owner’s Guide)

Serves 2-4 (I halved the recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 800 grams beef chuck, diced
  • 20 grams all-purpose flour
  • to taste Kosher salt
  • to taste pepper, freshly ground
  • 600 mL veal stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 russet potatoes, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into 1 cm slices
  • 2 small onions, small diced
  • 2 ribs celery, large diced

Method:

  1. Combine beef with flour, salt and pepper.Make sure you mix well, otherwise your seasoning will suck!
  2. Place meat into Crock Pot.
  3. Add stock, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, potatoes, carrot, onions, and celery to the pot; mix everything well.
  4. Cover and set the timer for 10 hours.
  5. DO NOT lift the lid while the stew is cooking, even though you are ready to eat your partner from the delicious smell in your home.

So, what I did here is nothing earth-shaking. I just could not do the recipe in the book as written though. I had to add my touch to it, see?

Next time I plan to sear my meat first, with the flour, and try adding some currant jelly to the mix. Just another dimension.

Score: McDick’s Drive-In: 0 Crock Pot: 1

I will post a few recipes in the coming weeks that will show how I come to terms with this cool invention.

What are your favorite Crock Pot recipes?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.sippitysup.com sippitysup

    I do not own one, but I admit I have pondered it many times. I work from home and am able to monitor a slow cooking stew while I work, so I guess that’s my reason for not having one. Because I often make a slow cooked “one pan wonder” when I know I won’t feel likecooking. GREG

  • Drita

    My absolute all time favourite slow cooker recipe has to be this one from Gourmet Chef ‘Braised Beef Cheeks in Sarsparella’.
    The cheeks come out so tender, and the sars give it this really interesting flavour, but not as strong as you’d think. And I always serve it with the suggested Vietnamese Red Rice. I thoroughly recommend it!!

    http://gourmettraveller.com.au/braised_beef_cheeks_in_sarsaparilla.htm

    http://gourmettraveller.com.au/vietnamesestyle_red_rice.htm

    Drita

  • http://www.macheesmo.com Nick

    I still don’t have one of these guys! I’m putting one on our wedding registry though. It seems awesome for making dinner when you’re strapped for time.

    Good lookin’ stew!

  • http://welldonechef.com jasonsandeman

    @GREG – Oh, how I wish I was in your situation! I guess that is the best benefit of these machines is that they are truly efficient. You can set them on as you go to work, and come home to a cooked meal. You can be sure that the item will simmer properly all day.
    I can imagine how your house must smell, with all those cooking scents!

  • http://welldonechef.com jasonsandeman

    @Drita – Oh, I have to try the cheeks now. They look simply amazing. You have my vote for anything that shows a sophisticated palette, and beef cheeks taste drn good once they are done, for sure.

    Thank you for your response to this post!

  • http://welldonechef.com jasonsandeman

    @Nick – You will not be disapointed with the gift. I call it the gift that keeps on giving! Anything that makes life easier is welcome in my household.
    I even revamped my old meat sauce recipe for the slow cooker. It turned out fantastic! That is a post that is soon to come!

  • http://www.foodista.com/blog/ Melissa Peterman

    What a great post- and a fun blog too. Not sure if you heard- but Foodista has put a call out to all food bloggers to submit blog posts and recipes to the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook.
    For the next couple months, food bloggers can submit their photography, writings, and original recipes to Foodista.com. The public can view all submissions on the website and vote for their favorites. That feedback and editors at both Andrews McMeel Publishing and Foodista.com will determine 100 entries chosen for inclusion in “The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook.” More info available here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook.
    You should enter!
    Good Luck!
    You’ve got a great blog- and a great chance to win-

    Melissa

  • http://welldonechef.com jasonsandeman

    @Melissa Peterman – Aww, thank you for the great compliment. I can only hope that something that I will do will get published.

  • Denise

    Crockpots make great pot roasts. Just throw the roast (chuck roast or 7-bone) in with a bottle of good beer and leave it on low all day. You will be assaulted by the best smell ever when you open your front door.

  • http://welldonechef.com jasonsandeman

    I am going to try one today. I bought a nice European blade roast today, and I think I am going to try to make it in the style of bourguignon.

  • http://www.savoryreviews.com Rex

    Jason, I am a big fan of the crockpot. They are great for parties. They keep the food warm without burning it. They are also great for chili. Nothing sucks more than having a nice pot of chili burn on the stove because you were too busy to stir it.