Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Crock Pot Favorites - 1st three

I'll be doing a small cooking class soon, so I thought I'd post some of my favorite slow cooking recipes on here for class members. I have made all of these recipes myself.

Great tip: I find if the meat is already to go (either cooked and frozen or in the fridge) it's a lot easier to throw together. When my week is really busy, I look at my menus for the week and cook my meats for them on the weekend. Then I freeze the items that are for meals three days + out. The rest are fine in the fridge. Saves a lot of dishes and at least 15 min per meal; even when I'm not using my crock pot.

The first three are: Sloppy Joes, Fajitas, and Scandanavian Beans. They are listed from easiest to most difficult. All of these come from my cookbook- Fix It and Forget It by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good. I strongly suggest you get a copy of it.

I have tweaked one a bit. If I put optional that means it's in the original recipe but when I make it I don't do it. One more note- I always use apple cider vinegar. In my world, the white stuff is really meant for cleaning- not eating.

Nan's Sloppy Joes (p. 132) - I'm cooking this tonight for us
1 lb cooked ground beef
1 onion chopped (or 2T dried)
3/4 c. ketchup
1-2T chili sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T prepared mustard
1 T vinegar
1 T sugar
6-8 buns
Once your ground beef (and fresh onion if used) is browned and drained, combine all ingredients into crock pot. Cover and cook on Low 4-5 hrs or High for 2-2.5 hrs. Serve on buns.

Fajitas (variation on Mexican Pot Roast found on p. 102)
2 lb. Fajita beef meat strips (replaces 3 lbs beef brisket in recipe)
2 T oil
1/2 c. slivered almonds (opt.)
1 1/2 c. salsa
2 T vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each: cinnamon, thyme, oregano
1/8 tsp each: ground cloves, pepper
1/2-3/4 c water as needed

12-15 flour tortillas
Other additions as desired to make the fajitas

Brown beef in pan with oil. combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker. Add cooked beef. Cover. Cook on High for 2 hrs. Then switch to Low for another 1 hour. Serves 10.
Fills 12-15 tortillas.

Scandinavian Bean (p. 206) - freezes well;
great way to use up remaining Easter ham.
1 lb dried pinto beans
6 cups water
12 oz bacon or 1 ham hock
1 onion, chopped (or 2 T dried)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I keep mine in the freezer, peel what I need and then use a cheese grater when it's still frozen - much cleaner)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 c. ketchup
1/4 c. molasses
Tabasco to taste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
Soak beans in water in soup pot for 8 hours. Drain water and replace with fresh. (if needed: three remedies for avoiding unwanted side affects while eating beans- add peeled and sliced apple or carrot or 1/2 tsp ginger). Bring beans (and either of first two items above, if added) to a boil and cook 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until soft. Drain, reserving liquid. Combine all ingredients (including ginger if wanted) in slow cooker, using just enough boiled bean liquid to cover everything. Cook on low 5-6 hours. If using ham hock, debone, cut ham into bite sized pieces and mix into beans.

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