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Slow Cooker/Crock Pot: Recipes and Techniques


Wilfrid
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seriously.  so take a piece of braising meat, add vegetables, liquid, season, cover and let it cook?  is it really that easy?

mike

p.s.  i ain't no gourmet.  i'm just trying to make beef short ribs.

mike, search on braise or "short ribs" under cooking. lots of great info.

and, yes, it's that easy. hell, the other day i threw some pork chops in with a bit of wine, stock, onion, and celery, let it ride for 40 minutes, and they were incredible.

braising is great for big, cheap, fatty cuts of meat.

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What Tommy said.

And there is a terrific stock pot thread out there, pretty recent, last two weeks. Check out Jaymes's hints and recipes. And everyone elses good stuff.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Mike -

I'm actually doing this one this weekend. The Chef is a good friend & I tried his "test" batch out -- pretty yummy!

Short Ribs

If you do a search on the site (our local newspaper) Chef Jim has also included recipes for chili, ham, chicken, etc. The ones I've tried have been super easy but very nice.

Take care -

Debi

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Mark Bittman actually wrote a pretty extensive article on cooking with his crock pot in the Jan. 29 New York Times. It included recipies for short ribs and a few other items. Unfortunately, the artice is now part of the Times' web site archive as it's more than a week old. But it could be yours for only $2.95.

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Mike - there are at least two, and maybe three, threads on eGullet regarding Crockpots & slowcookers.

Sadly, I'm too "link challenged" to be able to provide one, but a search should pull them up.

There is LOTS of wonderful information in them. Really good stuff about why long, slow cooking can sometimes rob the dish of flavor (by outlasting the spices you've put into it), and that kind of thing.

If you've missed those threads, I'd suggest you find them. I even printed them out and put them in my "slowcooker cookbook."

There was a link to the Bitman article, and helpful debate, as well as many suggestions and recipes.

You'd do very well to check them out.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Encouraged by this thread and by Mark Bittman's article, I pulled out the trusty crockpot yeaterday and massaged a recipe from one of Bittman's books, The Minimalist Cooks Dinner. Easy to slap together and tasted fine after coming in from seeing About Schmidt.

The recipe was Asian Pot Roast, calling for a 3-4 pound brisket or boneless chuck and turnips or rutabagas. Since I could get giant strips of boneless chuck for 75 cents a pound cheaper than for a chuck roast, I went with that. Browned them five minutes on the top and bottom, and put them in the crockpot with a mixture of 2 cups water, 1/2 cup soy, four star anise, and five nickle-sized chips of ginger that had been brought to a simmer. Cooked on high for five hours until we returned from the movie. Then I strained the liquid and used it to simmer a couple of cups of thickly-sliced parsnips and carrots. Back into the pot with the meat for a bit to mesh, and served with sliced scallions as a garnish. I could have cooked it for longer on low, but it was fine on high - tender and tasty. Would have gone well over rice or noodles, and could have added other vegetables such as potatoes and celery.

memesuze

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I agree that food cooked in the slow cooker doesn't have as much flavor. The last thing I made was Chili and it was bland. But since I still love the concept of crockpots, I'm going to try the suggestions of using whole herbs/spices and adding a little extra. And I'm going to try the recipes from crumbs posts' ( Pensacola News Journal), they sound great and no "cream of" recipes.

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However, the other morning I decided to do a pork roast. Did things exactly as I usually do.... browned it, etc., and then put it in a slow oven.

And, sat down at my computer to get some work done, and intermittently (and unfortunately) decided to stop by eGullet for "just a minute or two and check things out."

Well - the upshot of the whole thing is that I completely forgot about my pork roast. And when, about six HOURS later :wacko: I took it out, the entire thing had turned to mush and was pretty-much flavorless.

And I immediately thought of the "crockpot" thread.

So - there you go. For whatever it's worth.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

All this talk about caramelized onions makes me think of French Onion Soup...

which makes me think of the reason I never make French Onion Soup, because I never seem to have good beef stock on hand...

which makes me think of Bittman's article, which (I'm working on memory now, with a backlog of several weeks, so the reliability factor is quite low) I think made some reference to making stock in a crockpot...

which makes me think...could there be some way to simultaneously caramelize onions and get a basic stock going? I know you couldn't use too much liquid without interfering with the caramelization process, but I'm thinking of a chicken stock technique outlined in Cook's Illustrated a while back which began with a dry "sweating" of chicken parts to release their juices - seems like there might be a way to replicate this process in a crockpot using beef shin or other stock parts.

Think I'll give it a try in any case, but if anyone has any ideas please fire away.

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Well - the upshot of the whole thing is that I completely forgot about my pork roast.  And when, about six HOURS later  :wacko:  I took it out, the entire thing had turned to mush and was pretty-much flavorless.

Jaymes, Jaymes, Jaymes, are so you far from childrearing that you have forgotten Everyone's Best Friend -- The Timer. Use it for grilling. Watering the lawn. Monitoring kid's time on computer. Napping. Endless uses.

Just today, I had that final root (the one the endodontist missed on Xmas Eve; but I did get a FULL refund) reamed out. Felt like hell. Had a pot of chili going in the crock pot. But knew that I had a child to get off the bus. Set time, lay down on couch. Set timer 2" from ear. Wake in time to be somewhat alert when child gets off bus.

The most valuable appliance in my house? The Timer. Mine is wonderful because if for some reason you miss hearing it go off, it starts counting backwards. So you at least know by how much you blew it.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 months later...
The Salsa Ranchero is good for cooking, but I am not as fond of it for dipping my chips into.

OMG!!! I absolutely love this salsa for dipping. it's by far my favorite. I buy up a whole shelf-full if I can when I find it. It's smoky, just spicy enough. And it's great on quesadillas.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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The Salsa Ranchero is good for cooking, but I am not as fond of it for dipping my chips into.

OMG!!! I absolutely love this salsa for dipping. it's by far my favorite. I buy up a whole shelf-full if I can when I find it. It's smoky, just spicy enough. And it's great on quesadillas.

The Herdez Salsa Ranchera in cans? As opposed to the Salsa Casera, or Verde?

If that's what you're talking about, I obviously should give it another go.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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the very one, Jaymes. It's really quite good. But perhaps I should qualify this by saying I've been known to dip tortilla chips in the adobe sauce that comes with canned chipotle peppers. I like a salsa with some bite, mild but not vinegary acidity and a measure of smokiness. Herdez Salsa Ranchero fits the bill. Try it. It can be a bit hot, but once you get beyond that, the citrusy undertones of the peppers used (think they're seranno) really comes out.

And actually, not to come off like I'm just disagreeing with you, but their Salsa Casero, I dont' find it very appealing. I'd rather make my own with fresh tomatoes (of course, nothing beats fresh).

As for the Verde, well, I should say that you turned me on to those. After reading your posts on Chilaquiles, I gave it a whirl and really liked it. Previously, I didn't know what exactly to do with the Verde cuz I didn't like just dipping it. Now I'll crush a bunch of tortillas (btw, I prefer Chi-Chi's Authentic) into a bowl, pour some Verde over, crus some more tortillas and finish with some Colby Jack. Nuke that for about 45 seconds, and voila! I leave out the sour cream cuz it's too fattening, but it still comes out tasting great.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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  • 8 months later...

My adventures with Onion Confit have convinced me that my not so ancient and venerable Rival crockpot is probably biting the dust and is in need of replacement. I bought this thing about 10 years ago. The purchasing decision was based on the fact that it was the least revolting design out there. It had a garland of grapes around it rather than geese with blue bows around their necks. This was in an age before crockpots were presented in sleek stainless steel or purist white. The grapes were the least offensive at the time.

Now I am compelled to shop on performance rather than design. However, geese with blue bows need not apply. Do any of you out there have some guidance on the ultimate in crockpots?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Uh... Not one of the big oval ones. Uh... about "that big"? Damn. I don't know. The one I have now is about 11.5 inches in outside diameter of the crock. I just went and measured it. I may also buy a smaller one.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I haven't looked real closely, but I think that not all of them are necessarily crockery. In at least one model, you can use the "pot" to start on the stovetop for browning, then move to the basin for slow cooking.

I suppose there are also differences in how the heat is applied, and I'd be surprised of there isn't some sort of programmability built in to some of them.

But I think you're saying that there's not a lot of difference in how they apply heat, and their intended purpose. in that, you're probably right.

OTOH, I don't see why we can't peddle a few insignificant differences into a rousing debate. We've made more of less, I think.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Ah, the garland of grapes vs the happy blue geese decision. I too opted for the grapes. I use it at least a couple of times a month (but in private, shhhh).

They have them in most sizes now in white and stainless. The only newer functional option that appeals to be is the warming setting, not that the more sophisticated settings wouldn't possibly be helpful: you can set them to cook at high or low and then drop to warm after a preset number of hours. The ones with the most options seem to be the large (4.5 qt?) ovals. I suspect that any of the rivals are fine if they have the functions you need. I have no experience with the fancy models and also would be interested in hearing from someone who has a years worth of miles on theirs.

Check out Rival Products website..

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I have the geese, but it was a present. I also picked up two smaller ones by accident a couple of summers ago when we were in charge of the food concession at the neighborhood pool, and no one claimed them.

Richard's on to something, since Rival invented the category. Of my three, two are Rivals, and they've performed flawlessly. I do think the "warm" setting would be helpful, not just for holding food at the end of the cooking time, but as serving pots for stews and such.

But just to get a full survey, this appears to be the low end, with this and this representing two different branches of the evolutionary tree.

In between, there are crockpots with matching insulated carriers, and aluminum "crock" pots that you can take off the base unit and sitck in the oven so you can, um, slow cook, with them?

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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