Slow Cooker Recipes

Busy? Fire up the slow cooker with these recipes! Just a little bit of preparation and these hearty dishes will cook themselves while you work or take care of any other tasks!

Borscht Crock Pot Method

Description

Easier and you may not actually dye the entire kitchen red this time!

Ingredients

1 onion (large, minced)
6 beets (small, or 4 medium peeled and cut into julianne strips)
2lbstew beef (I used chunks of grassfed beef)
1 tomato (Large tomato, chopped and seeded)
1 carrot (Thinly sliced)
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns (whole black peppercorns, bruised)
1tparsley, dried (if using fresh parsley, use 1 sprig worth of leaves)
2tsea salt (or to taste)
1⁄4cvinegar, white (nothing too fancy)
2cbeef broth (I use the kind in a paper carton from Wholefoods)

Notes

This recipe is for a large, oblong crock pot - if you have a smaller one, you may need to cut back on the ingredients by about 1/3.   Previously, I had cooked a version of this on the stove top - which takes a long time (my nickname for that recipe was "a celebration of boiling") and usually results in dyeing my hands and most surfaces beet red... literally.  Because of all the time necessary for the stovetop variety, I would use a giant stockpot from a restaurant supply shop and freeze most of the resulting soup - I once sent a picture of the large yield to my Russian friend who despises borscht just to make him cringe!  Borscht seems to be one of those things people either love or hate.  Personally the second I feel a coolness in the air I am compelled to make a batch - and now with the crock pot method, its not such a big deal.    The crock pot variety stores well in the refrigerator or freezer and reheats deliciously.

Instructions

Start by adding the onion and beef to the crock pot, along with the herbs and spices.  Then the carrots, beets, tomatos, cabbage, and beef broth, making sure to keep the ingredients and liquid level below the maximum filling line for the crock pot (if not marked, then generally 1.5" below the lid).  Cook for 10-12 hours or more on low - in the middle of cooking give it all a good stir and try to put all the ingredients under the resulting liquid.   When cooking is done, stir in the vinegar and adjust seasoning (sometimes a little extra sea salt is necessary) to taste.   Enjoy in large bowls - some people like to add a spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt on top when serving.   For experiment's sake I added a little bit of Beyond Organic Amasai to mine the other day for a treat.

Ghost in the Crock Pot North Carolina inspired BBQ Pulled Pork

Description

NC style bbq sauce + mango for crock pot pulled pork that will rock your face off.

Ingredients

1cwhite vinegar (Doesn't have to be fancy)
1ccider vinegar (I used Bragg's because that's what I buy)
1Tagave nectar or honey (up to you!)
1Tcayenne pepper, ground (mmm mmm)
1Tdave's gourmet ghost pepper hot sauce (Or tabasco or something less... intense if you must)
1tsea salt, ghost chili naga jolokia infused (or regular....)
1tblack pepper, fresh (or more :))
1 half-picnic or shoulder pork roast (There are all sorts of regional names for this- get the biggest one that will fit in your crock pot safely)
1 mango (very ripe and chopped - save this task for the next day)

Notes

 

Again, its not required that you double up on the heat, this recipe would be good hot, medium, or mild.  Also it tends to mellow out in the refrigerator overnight - not sure how that works, only that it does.

Instructions

Mix up that delicious sauce (mix all ingredients except the pork roast and the mango)....put about half of it in your Crock Pot, then add the pork roast (I used a 4lb half-picnic with bone in) the cover with the rest of the liquid - consult your slow cooker manual to see how high you can fill it - if this simmered out over the sides it might eat through your counter top or something. 

Now... cook the heck out of it - I set mine for 10 hours on low... TWICE.  Once would be enough, but its all good.   When it is done, let it cool a little because you're going to need to fish the bones out - carefully lift the roast - which if you cooked the heck out of it like I did is going to essentially fall apart and place it on a large platter, in a bowl or whatever.   Fish out all the bones - some of which may have disintigrated almost completely.   Cover the meat and either refrigerate for future use, or prepare it for the optional finishing touches.  

This is the cooking juice straight from the crock pot - I put this container in the refrigerator so that the fat would solidify on top to become a frisbee no one will want to catch.   You have the option of leaving the fat in of course, but I decided to remove it.  Wanna play frisbee???

In a large heavy skillet, heat the liquid from the crock pot until it simmers - reduce this to a slightly thicker consistency then add the chopped very ripe mango, continue to stir until this all becomes fairly one complex hot, sweet, crazy sauce.   Break up the pork roast and add it to the sauce, heating it all through.   Serve with lettuce for wrapping and maybe a side of broccoli?  Personally I had a hard time not just eating it out of the skillet with a fork.   If you are not as strict with carbs, this would be excellent in a small wheat tortilla etc.   Get creative and make it your own!

Cooking juices are mostly reduced here and the mango is super soft - this is ready to serve, assuming you haven't already just grabbed a fork and started eating it from the skillet at this point.   Which... happens... sometimes.

Serving suggestion - goes great with coconut water!

 

Grass Fed Beef Heart Stew - Slow Cooker Method

Description

beef heart stew

A ridiculously delicious and economical meal.

Ingredients

1 beef heart (Grassfed 2.5-3lbs, cubed)
1 white sweet potato (Approx 13oz, cubed)
2 carrots (Medium size, cut into coins)
2 plum tomatos (medium-large)
4 celery stalks (chopped)
1tsea salt (Adjust to your taste)
1tblack pepper (fresh ground - or use more)
2 bay leaves
1tparsley (dried - it's what I had!)

Instructions

Trim the beef heart - removing excess fat (you can save it and cook with it - waste not want not!) but leave some in as it creates a nice richness. Remove the extra membranes and silverskin on the meat before cubing it and placing in the slow cooker. On top of the meat, add salt, fresh black pepper, bay leaves, and dried parsley. I chose to make this first stew as simply spiced as possible, but it would also be very good with other traditional herbs added. Considering how well this turned out, I will be exploring all kinds of flavor options. Cube the vegetables and add to the top of the meat. Add in water, cover and cook 8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. If going for the low setting, if it cooks a little longer than 8 hours that's usually ok too as long as there's enough water. Enjoy!

Make ahead and reheat too - I don't use microwaves, but this reheats well on the stovetop.

Hearty but Exotic Mexican Inspired Chicken Mole - Slow Cooker Method

Description

Nearly effortless, delightfully complex flavors!

Ingredients

4lbchicken (I chose a mix of light and dark meat, without skin)
1⁄2pkparmalat crushed tomatos (the "box tomatos" I use the other half of the carton to serve alongside frittatas the next day)
1 medium size yellow onion (roughly chopped)
1⁄2cnchipotle chilis in adobo sauce (1/2 of the can, approx 3.5oz La CosteƱa is my preferred brand)
1ozraisins
3ozdagoba unsweetened chocolate for baking 100% cacao (Chopped. For MAXIMUM chocolate intensity!)
3clvgarlic (peeled)
3Tcoconut oil
1tcumin, ground
1⁄2tcinnamon, ground (Admittedly, I use more...)
1 cilantro, fresh (chopped for garnish and flavor)
1⁄2calmonds (raw and chopped)
1tsea salt (or more to taste)
1pnblack pepper (or an ample amount!)

Instructions

I use a very large slow cooker, you may wish to half the recipe.   

A wonderful friend sent me one of those adorable "Magic Bullet" blenders last week, and I used it to prepare the sauce in two batches.   Begin by adding a little of the crushed tomatos to your blender or food processor, toss in the chopped onion, garlic, chipotle chilis, almonds, chocolate and raisins.  Process until combined and mostly smooth.   Add this mixture to the slow cooker and mix it with the crushed tomatos, coconut oil, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper.   Adjust seasoning if necessary.   Add the chicken, chopped into large pieces and make sure everything is coated.   Before starting the cooker, I like to make certain that the meat is completely covered with the sauce.   Cook on high for 4-5hours, or low for 6-8 hours.  If you're unsure if the chicken is cooked (it should be very cooked by this time, but if you're impatient—and the smell of this cooking will cause that—then use a food thermometer and check to be sure that the center of the largest piece of chicken has an internal temperature of at least 165 Degrees Fahrenheit).

This would be fantastic served with a side of cauliflower "rice" or as pictured - which is in a bowl with 1 perfectly ripe avocado cut into quarters and sprinkled with lime juice, salt and pepper.    Either way, it's fantastic to top this rich dark flavored dish with the brightly colored and flavored chopped cilantro.    Be sure to ladle on plenty of the sauce!

Hellraiser Crock Pot Chili

Description

You don't have to make it this hot, but it sure is good that way :)

Ingredients

1Tcoconut oil (See my review of Tropical Traditions Brand Coconut Oil in the product reviews section)
2lbbeyond organic ground beef (regular grind or larger chili grind is great too)
2 onions, small (Minced)
2 carrots (Minced)
1ctchopped tomatos, pomi brand (They come in one of those little boxes not a can!)
1tsea salt (Or More/Less to taste)
1Tagave nectar (Optional)
2Tvinegar (white or cider)
3Tchili powder (choose your favorite dark chili powder)
2 small zucchini squash (quartered then thinly sliced - seeds removed if necessary)
2Tdave's gourmet ghost pepper hot sauce (or to taste, or use something milder - this may hurt you.)
1tblack pepper, fresh (or more or less to taste. I like pepper.)
2Tcocoa powder (unsweetened high grade you know the drill!)

Instructions

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy skillet (medium high), thoroughly brown the ground grassfed beef.  Drain it if you want, but I leave it as it is - add all ingredients to your large crock pot and set for low for 8hrs or high for 4 hours.  Stir at least once, but no more than 3 times.  Serve over steamed cauliflower to keep it Primal / Paleo and prepare to cry a little.  Please adjust the spices to your taste, this is the stripped down version that's great for weekdays.   This chili keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer - sometimes I will reheat a portion on the stove and add in an additional vegetable at that time (broccoli, small chopped pieces of butternut squash, etc).   Be creative and make it yours.

Hellraiser Chili

Pinhead is here to remind you that GiryaGirl's Adrienne Harvey is a big nerd, pyrex storage containers are best for this sort of thing, and that this chili is "Angels to some, demons to others" hot.