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My top secret recipe for crock pot BBQ ribs

My top secret recipe for crock pot BBQ ribs

I went shopping at the Iggle while hungry again. Which means I bought a slab of meat on impulse again. This time it was pork ribs, and I didn’t even realize until I got home that they were boneless ribs, which means that they don’t really seem like ribs but they are ribs. I’ve been all about comfort food lately (am I ever not about comfort food?) and crock pot BBQ ribs sounded awesome.

And it turns out, they were awesome.

Crock Pot BBQ ribs

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but here is my TOP SECRET crock pot BBQ ribs recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Ribs
  • BBQ Sauce

Directions:

  1. Put ribs and BBQ Sauce in crock pot.
  2. Cook on low all day.

Fantastic.

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Just in Time for Passover: Amazingly Easy Crock Pot Brisket

Just in Time for Passover: Amazingly Easy Crock Pot Brisket

I went to Costco hungry last week, what of it?

You know what happens when I go to Costco hungry? I BUY A GIANT BRISKET.

At least brisket is tasty, and makes my decision very easy when I had to figure out what to try for my next crock pot meal. I didn’t even look for a recipe, brisket is one of those things you just make. So make it I did. All that being said, brisket at Costco is enormous because it is Costco, but do briskets any smaller even exist? Like, if there was no Costco around, how would people even get a brisket big enough to feed all their Passover guests? In any event, there IS a Costco nearby, so this is a baseless worry.

This whole brisket took me a whopping 5 minutes in prep time and about 7 hours in cooking time. The only downside to this recipe is that because the brisket is inevitably so big (Costco!) there isn’t much room for all the potatoes, onions and carrots that usually accompany the brisket. There is a lot of juice left behind in the crock pot afterward, so you can always roast more vegetables separately and ladle the brisket juice over them generously.

Crock pot brisket

A-May-Zingly Easy and Tasty Passover Brisket:

-Big-giant brisket

-A couple of onions, chopped (or for an even easier approach, frozen chopped onions, use 1/2 to 1 bag)

-4-6 cloves garlic, minced (or again, to make things even easier, a couple of spoonfuls of minced jarred garlic)

-4 or 5 potatoes, peeled and quarters

-A few handfuls of baby carrots

-Low sodium beef broth

-Kosher salt and pepper

-Worcestershire sauce

To make this delightful dish, put the onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes in the bottom of the crock pot. Lay the brisket on top, with FATTY SIDE UP. This means that as it cooks, the fat will drip down through the meat, flavoring it. Pour several shakes of Worcestershire sauce over the meat, as well as some salt and pepper. Pour in a bunch of beef broth in, so that the meal does not dry out during cooking. Set on low to cook, and let cook about 7 hours.

When the cooking time is up, take the brisket out and let it rest for a few minutes, then slice the meat against the grain. This brisket is not only perfect for Passover dinner, it can also be sliced thinly and used in au jus sandwiches (and the juice left behind in the crock pot is perfect for that), or even as filling for some creative tacos.

Quite honestly, this came out just as delicious as if I had cooked the brisket in the oven. Even though that method isn’t too difficult, this one is so incredibly easy, that I think I’m never going back to my old methods.

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All kinds of catch up

All kinds of catch up

This week has been a busy one, what with making presentations, writing presentations and all kinds of additional things going on at work. Even though I try to post 5 times a week, sometimes there is a week like this, where I post on Monday and then it’s radio silence until the weekend. Over the last several weeks I have made several crock pot meals, but haven’t gotten around to posting all of them.

Several weeks ago, after having an enthusiastic chat with the butcher at Marty’s Market, I bought a 1/2 rabbit and tried my hand at rabbit stew. The butcher recommended the Robert Irvine recipe from Food Network, which I modified a little to make in the crock pot. The stew came out pretty good, but it did need a little tweaking, because the wine flavor was fairly overpowering compared to the other flavors. The whole family did like it, but did not love it enough for me to go out and drop another $20 on rabbit. If, however, I end up with some butchered rabbit for free, sure I’ll try it again.

Rabbit Stew Ingredients

Rabbit Stew

I made crock pot stuffed peppers that were SUPER easy, I’ll never make stuffed peppers in a stove again. I can’t find the recipe I used online, but it needed a few tweaks anyway because it turned out kind of bland. Here’s how I would try making it next time:

4 bell peppers, cored

1 lb ground turkey

2 cups instant brown rice (it sounds like a lot, but it works out)

1 cup V-8 Juice

1 can diced or stewed tomatoes, preferably with some kind of flavoring (italian style, with green chiles, etc. depending on how you want it to taste)

4-6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bag frozen diced onion

some salt and pepper

1 jar of pasta sauce, whatever flavor you like.

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients except the bell peppers and pasta sauce. Fill the peppers with the mix. Pour a little pasta sauce on the bottom of the crock pot and placed the stuffed peppers inside. Pour the rest of the pasta sauce on top. Cook on low for like 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

I tried my hand at barley mushroom risotto. The recipe tasted good, although barley has a chewier texture than arborio rice. Risotto is just so easy to make, and you had to cook the veggies separately ahead of time with this recipe anyway, so I didn’t consider it to be much of a timesaver. It tasted good and made a decent dinner, but was no revelation.

barley mushroom risoto

This week, we tried “The Very Best” Chicken & Biscuits from Ella Claire Inspired. The recipe was good, but needs some tweaking before I can agree to the “Very Best” title. There wasn’t enough liquid in the pot and the flavor was too mild for my family’s taste. This recipe was easy enough that we’ll likely try it again, but we will throw in a lot more chicken broth and a whole bunch of garlic. Every recipe in this house has to involve nearly a whole bulb of garlic, what can I say?

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I went shopping at Costco this week while hungry, which resulted in me buying a giant brisket because WHY NOT. Looks like that giant slab of meat will be my crock pot project for dinner tomorrow night. I have to say that doing one night of crock pot cooking a week has made a world of difference for our family. The meal is already done when we get home (instead of not getting to eat until nearly 8pm), and there is usually enough to last 2 or 3 nights. The small added task of picking and prepping recipes has had an unexpectedly wonderful payoff.


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32 before 32– Simple slow-cooking: Split Pea & Ham and Vegetarian Lentil Soup

With spring refusing to show up, my crock pot endeavors have continued to be all soup, all the time. I’ve been keeping up with my recipe-a-week goal, but since the last two weeks have been pretty hectic, I’ve gone back to some super-simple recipes.

I love split pea soup, and have always made it as a vegetarian soup. I wanted to try it out this time with some ham for extra flavor. I probably should have just used smoked hamhocks, but I went all out and got a big old smoked ham shank.
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This soup turned out so incredibly good. I generally followed the recipe on the split pea bag, and threw the ham shank in there. After the slow cooking, the meat fell off the bone. There were big chunks of salty ham throughout the soup, and the soup had a rich, salty flavor. Mr. Beez is not into split pea, but the ham appealed to him, and he specially requested I try my hand at making a ham and bean soup. That sounds good to me!

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This week I also went for a basic lentil soup. I included celery and carrots just because I happened to have them, but I almost always put kale in lentil soup.

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I had some crusty bread that ended up stale, so I tried my hand at homemade croutons. I had fresh parsley but not dried, so I figured I’d just throw fresh parsley in there. Next time, I wouldn’t bother with fresh parsley. Dried parsley would actually stick to the croutons, but the fresh parsley barely did. I drizzled the bread chunks with garlic powder and olive oil, baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and they came out quite nicely.

Homemade croutonsI’ve made lentil soup a million times before, and it usually turns out amazing. Unfortunately this time, I didn’t have a heavy enough hand with the seasoning. I only put one veggie bouillon cube in there and did not include tomatoes. The soup is pretty good, but doesn’t have the usual awesome flavor. It turned out OK but not great. I may strain some of the liquid, blend it with more spices and make a vegetarian pate with it.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

I’ve got this week’s crock pot meal cooking right now, Rabbit Stew. I’ve never made rabbit before, but the butcher at Marty’s Market assured me that this recipe’s a good one. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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V-Day Miscellany

Happy Valentine’s day! Or as I like to think of it: Happy Chocolate-Has-No-WW-Points day! In the Beez family, we are celebrating the holiday with take-out from Szmidt’s, because nothing says LOVE like lovingly made sandwiches and pierogies. For serious, I am looking forward to dinner tonight big time.

Last week I failed to make a crock pot meal, so I did two this week. The first was Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore from Skinnytaste. I dumped a bunch of dried red pepper flakes in there, which made the dish even more appealing to Mr. Beez. It was too spicy for me, but I evened that out with a hearty dollop of sour cream. On the whole this recipe rated “Good,” meaning I’ll keep it handy as something to make now and then and mix up the variety, but it hasn’t been one of our absolute favorites.

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

The second crock pot meal was Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup from Baked by Rachel. This recipe was supremely easy, and Mr. Beez declared it to be “amazing.” I don’t think he’s ever called anything I’ve made “amazing” before. Not even our kid. He was all sheepish about wanting to eat all the soup, and I was like “listen, it takes like 2 minutes to throw together, and I have all the ingredients to make another pot. Chow down.” Needless to say, this recipe is going to stay in heavy rotation, especially with all these polar vortices we keep having.

Slow Cooker Fully Loaded Potato Soup

Am I the only one who thinks today for whatever reason is a perfect day for ROD STEWART ALL DAY LONG?