Crock-pots really are one of the most underrated kitchen accessories. Think about it – you place raw ingredients inside, clamp down the lid, set the temperature to low, and then walk away. Four to eight hours later, dinner is served! In the meantime, it fills your house with the sweet, sweet smell of slow-roasted beef and you can knock out half your to-do list.
STEAK AND POTATOES WITH LAGER
1 large onion, quartered, sliced
8 medium potatoes, quartered
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds round steak, cut in 6 to 8 serving-size pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 bottle (12 ounces) Yuengling Lager
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Combine sliced onion and potatoes in bottom of crock-pot. Arrange steak over vegetables. Combine brown sugar, nutmeg, onion soup mix; sprinkle over the beef. Pour beer over all. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, until beef is tender. Salt to taste.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat beef tenderloin dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add beef to skillet and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add chopped onions, carrots and thyme to skillet.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast beef until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 120°F for rare, stirring vegetables occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer beef to platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Place skillet with vegetables over medium-high heat. Add canned beef broth and whisky and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until liquid is reduced to 2/3 cup, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Strain sauce and return to skillet.
Mix flour and butter in small bowl until smooth paste forms. Add to sauce in skillet and whisk until well blended. Add whipping cream, crushed black peppercorns and any accumulated juices from beef. Simmer over medium heat until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt.
Cut beef into thick slices and arrange on platter. Spoon sauce over.
In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add beef and all its juices, and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes or until liquid cooks off. Add vegetables, 3 cans of beef broth, and beer. Empty can of tomato paste into a small bowl. Fill empty tomato paste can with water and combine with tomato paste, then add to saucepan. Cook stew uncovered for 1 hour, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine remaining can of beef broth with flour to make a paste. Add flour paste to saucepan and stir to incorporate and thicken. Cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley. Serve with crusty bread.
John Washabaugh – cheese dip in the crock pot. I make 1 lb of taco meat, usually ground turkey, two pound blocks of velveeta, 1 jar of ragu double cheddar sauce, 2 cans of chili (whatever your preference is) and a bag of mexican blend shredded cheese. Just melt everything together in the crockpot, and take a couple bags of tortilla chips.
Mike Hype used to make “Dion Dogs”… I think it was just Velveeta and Hormel Chili… mixed in a crock pot & slathered on top of unsuspecting hot dogs. It was also almost always guaranteed to cause gastrointestinal distress.
My wife makes a tasty Reuben Casserole. If you like a good Reuben sandwich, you’ll appreciate this dish.
Reuben casserole recipe with corned beef, sauerkraut, rye bread crumbs, Swiss
cheese, and Thousand Island dressing.
1/2 to 1 pound corned beef, cooked, diced or sliced
1/4 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
1 can or bag sauerkraut (16 oz), drained and rinsed
1/2 pound shredded Swiss cheese
6 slices rye bread, crumbled
1/4 cup butter, melted
Place corned beef in a lightly greased 9- X 13-inch baking dish. Dot with the
dressing. Spread sauerkraut over top; sprinkle with cheese. Toss crumbled rye
bread with the butter then sprinkle over top.
Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
I saw this on Twitter, and had to post. My aunt makes a version of this that she picked up from her ex-in-laws. It always shows up at family picnics, and is generally always a crowd-pleaser. The version we get is most definitely the Catalina dressing, not French… and Doritoes instead of Fritos. If I were making this, I may substitute taco sauce for salsa, and I’d cut out the onions. And… if you’re buying shredded cheese, why go for cheddar when you could get Colby-Jack, “taco cheese” with seasonings, or “four cheese Mexican” (whatever that is)?
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (you can add more if you like)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onions
1/4 cup Kraft Catalina Dressing you could also use a French dressing
1/4 cup salsa
sliced olives (optional)
In a skillet over medium heat brown ground beef, when almost done drain fat, and add taco seasoning mix. If you are using a package of taco seasoning mix add the amount of water recommended on that package. If you are using the Copykat taco seasoning mix add about 1/3 cup of water, and let the meat simmer until fully cooked. Once meat is fully cooked turn off the heat, and allow the meat to cool slightly.
Prepare salad toss together lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, shredded cheese, and corn chips. In a small bowl prepare salad dressing by mixing together prepared salad dressing and the salsa, mix well. Toss together the seasoned beef, salad dressing along with the lettuce. Garnish with sliced black olives if you desire. Serve immediately. This salad does not hold well, so be prepared to eat in one setting.
Recently, we had a ridiculously excellent fall dinner. I could eat this meal several nights a week, and not grow tired of it.
First up was the acorn squash, which is really easy to prepare once you get the damn thing cut open. I have recently stopped trying to go through the whole thing at once. I use a serrated knife and poke from the beside stem into the center, then slice out form the stem all the way back around until I hit the stem again, then crack it open.
After scooping out the seeds (which I always wonder about cooking like pumpkin seeds) and stringy gross stuff, I placed the two halves orange side up in a glass baking dish in about ½” to ¾” of water. Don’t worry, they actually generally do sit up that way without a problem. I sliced the tops/insides a little in preparation for the next part…
I melted some butter (or some Country Crock spread actually) in the microwave, probably about 3 tablespoons worth, and added a little bit of brown sugar, stirred, then ladled it on the top & into the cup formed in the middle. Add it to taste. I don’t really ever measure this. If you’re looking for a measurement form me, add what you think is too much brown sugar, then add a pinch more. I also added a tiny bit of black pepper & paprika to mine this time… but I add that to almost everything.
After that, I placed it in the already pre-heating oven at 400° for about an hour and 5 minutes. I was going for somewhere between an hour and an hour & 15 minutes, and it worked out closer to the hour this time. Check on it around the hour mark. This one was roasted perfectly… the meat of the squash was just melting on to the spoon, & peeling right off of the skin inside. It was really a great flavorful vegetable. I don’t know if this is baking or roasting, but whatever it is, it works. It would have also been good scooped out & served like groovy orange mashed potatoes.
Up next was the corn, figuring temperature was more important for the squash, I typically roast corn at 425° or 450° for 20 minutes to a half hour… but figured why not let it ride along with the squash here?
My wife & I carefully pulled back all the husks… just pulled them back not off, then removed the silk.
We buttered (again, we used Country Crock’s butter approximation), salted, & peppered the corn.
Next we wrapped it back up, and tied the tops back together using a loose strand of the husk. This doesn’t always work out, so sometimes I use foil & make little caps to keep ’em all bound together.
I did a whole post on corn & why you should keep it in the husk, and never ever boil it unless you’re making soup. You can read that here if you’re interested. As you can see, “other stuff in the oven” is not even a good excuse to boil corn. It can go along for the ride. Proof? It turned out beautifully:
I wish my cell phone’s camera got better shots. I need to think farther than Facebook or Twitter when taking food photos, and get the real camera so I can post more to this blog. The corn husks did smoke a little… but I didn’t see any flames, and it let me know when it was done. Ha ha ha. I’ve grown to not rely on timers so much, but to go with temperature and a gut feeling.
Oddly enough for a carnivore like myself, the steak was not the star of this meal. We just got some thin skillet steaks and put them on the Foreman grill oiled, salted, & peppered for about 5 minutes, maybe a little less. They turned out fine. The Foreman Grill seems to be my go-to tool for cooking meat until I get new knobs for by real grill outside. I’m in a Yahoo! Group that’s a really good resource for innovative GFG cooking.
I topped it all off with the newly resurrected Duquesne Beer. [Insert zombie and or Jesus joke here.] I have a collection of antique bottles and have a Duke beer bottle in with my local stuff… so when I heard that they were making it again, I knew I had to try some. I was born after the company was dissolved the first time, so I can’t compare it to the original… but it is a nice mellow pilsner that goes well with this kind of dinner. It rounded out the meal perfectly.
It was aggravating to get my hands on some though… they’ve had a weird release schedule, and no 6 pack shops around me were carrying the stuff. When one local pizza joint was listed as having the stuff, I went there to buy some and they had no idea what I was talking about. I ended up buying a case, but luckily I don’t feel “stuck” with something that I don’t like.