Anyone have any really simple Crock-Pot recipes (the fewer ingredients the better)? I just bought one and have never used one before... and I have no idea what type/cuts of meat are best suited for one.
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We keep our crock-pot on our kitchen counter, as it is on at least half of the time, either making a meal or a batch of bone broth. I have figured out a few guidelines that seem to make everything come out delicious.
-Always brown or sear the meat before putting it in the crock-pot (the taste is drastically improved with this step).
-Cover the meat at least halfway with liquid.
-A bit of fat in the meat is definitely necessary, but for melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness, use cuts with connective tissue still intact (think oxtails, bone-in chicken thighs, lamb shanks) and cook until it is silky.
My basic recipe that I use with any meat (especially delicious with pork butt and bone-in leg of lamb) is:
-Any meat seared/browned in ghee/tallow/coconut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
-Place in the crock-pot and tuck onions and garlic all around it
-Pour enough red wine in to come 1/2-2/3 of the way up the meat (or wine+broth)
-Add more salt and pepper as desired
-Set to "low" and cook until it melts deliciously (check every few hours to make sure it doesn't dry out, adding liquid as needed)
(works best to do it first thing in the morning, then you will have delicious dinner waiting for you!)
Any cut of meat with a good amount of fat will work, stay away from lean cuts, they just dry out. I like to make my own Paleo BBQ rub:
1/3 cup ground paprika 1/4 cup ground cumin 2 tablespoons ground coriander 2 tablespoons kosher salt 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon dry mustard
Mix all together and store in the pantry.
To make a great pulled pork, use any fatty pork roast, rub about two or three tablespoons of honey on, then liberally coat in the dry rub. Place in slow cooker, pour water or beef stock or chicken stock to come halfway up the roast. Sprinkle more rub in the water. Add some hot sauce or worcestershire to the water as well. Cook on low all day, 8+ hours or on high if you only have 4 or 5 hours. When it is done it should pull apart very easily, and you can reduce the drippings for a sauce.
My most recent post is for a crock pot!! It's the simplest and most delicious recipe! Look here: http://www.sweetcheekshq.com/2010/07/monkeys-in-kitchen.html
Here's an older post for another awesome crock pot recipe too: http://www.sweetcheekshq.com/2010/03/personal-chef.html
I buy the cheapest chunk of pork I can find - rub some spices on it (depends on what kind of mood I'm in). Put it in the crock pot with nothing else - no liquid or anything - leave it on low all day while I'm at work and when I come home there's the most wonderful smelling pulled pork ready to eat!
2lbs of oxtails 5 sticks of celery 1 onion 2 cloves of garlic 2 large carrots water to cover, salt, pepper
10 hours later, love comes out.
All the recipe books I read in the 70's said cover meat with water or stock. I didn't like this approach.
Then I read to add liquid - wine, stock or cider, say - to halfway up th meat. This was better, but still way too wet.
Then I found that hardly any liquid is needed - a chicken, six or eight bay leaves, some sea salt and a glass of wine, with loads of butter smeared under the breast skin and an onion in the cavity.
Or a small shoulder of lamb with garlic, rosemary and the juice of 2 lemons.
Now I love my crockpot.
I may be too late here, but I am working on a blog about just this:
Add meat, vegetables, and spices turn on. After several hours, eat.
The rest is details.
If you have an I-Phone or I-Pod Touch this is a great app. Covers many crock pot recipes. http://www.crock-pot.com/CustomerService.aspx?id=ipa
I <3 my crockpot.
Cook on Low all day while at work:
Chicken breast + salsa.
Any cut of beef + onions + broth.
Ground beef + tomatoes, onions, peppers, chili spice = chili
Crockpot thai curry: http://raspberrycoconut.com/2011/07/13/crockpot-thai-red-curry/
I like to put a rasher or 2 of chopped up bacon in with any meat that's going in the slow cooker. It infuses the whole thing with a wonderful smoky aroma!
I like Osso Bucco beef shin crosscuts (the one with the huge marrow bone in the middle:)
Chuck a few of those in with a chopped up onion and 2 chopped up rashers of bacon. Sprinkle with paprika, salt, pepper. Leave on low for about 9 hours, done!
simplest of all: put in some chicken quarters. (They have some of the gizzards in them.) Cover and turn on. When you can smell it through the room, it's at or near done. Spice at table, I often use Louisiana hot sauce. Eat until full, especially if you've lifted weights and have 'earned your protein' for the day.
If you've added no water, etc, then the topmost exposed pieces will actually get browned (if you're not worried about the Maillard Reaction).
Or do the same with a boneless pork roast or country ribs. I have done chicken tenders this way, too.
You can also put in yams, etc - but they take less long to cook, so you add them later than you added the meat.
The most effort required is cleaning the crockpot.
Throw any cut of meat in the crockpot with some onion and broth and you will be good to go!!! oh wait, maybe not steaks or bacon, but anything else ;0) I LOVE my Crockpot! Just did my first Roast in it... turned out awesome! My daughter actually requested the leftovers for dinner tonight.