Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Comfort in the Crock Pot

So, I get to check another new experience off my list (ok...it's not that exciting): I USED MY CROCK POT FOR THE FIRST TIME last weekend (see...I said it wasn't too exciting!)! But, nonetheless, I'm excited. As I've said many times throughout this blog, I'm not a cook. I don't really enjoy it, and would much rather throw a frozen meal in the microwave or heat up some soup. However, in my commitment to increase health and wellness in ALL areas of my life, I'm trying to cook and add new things to my diet. This recipe was one of my favorite's growing up, so recently I emailed my mom and asked for the recipe. I'm going to show the recipe step by step in pictures, and put the recipe at the bottom, so make sure to scroll to the bottom! Once again, I apologize for poor photo quality. The lighting in my kitchen is poor and I was using my phone. Also, you'll notice that I have different colored cutting boards. This is my organization & health/food safety coming into play (red=raw meet, white= cooked meet, blue=fruits/veggies). This also helps cross contamination...

So first I took the meat, while leaving it in chunks, & cut away the fat. 

Cut an onion

Brown the meat

Cut up Potatoes (both sweet potato and white potato)

Cut the red pepper

The can of tomatoes I used

Browned onions, and all other veggies simmering  on the stove

Meat & veggies in the Crock Pot

Finished product! YUM!

Ok, so here's the recipe & cooking instructions:

beef roast (2-3 pounds)- remove extra fat
1 large onion
2 sweet potatoes, peel and dice in large chunks
1-2 sm white potatoes cubed, peel only if necessary
1 red pepper
1 can diced tomatoes, italian style if possible
approx 8 brussel sprouts if you can buy them loose in the produce area. (i didn't include this)
carrots, maybe 1/3 bag 
other vegetables you might like to add...especially if you have frozen veg... add a handful of corn, peas, or green beans. celery or beans (such as black eyed peas or northern white beans) add an extra oomph as well!

**depending on whether you want this as a meat dish or more like a soup, you will need more liquid. Sometimes i buy a package of dry onion soup mix and add 1/2 of an envelope of the powder and maybe a 1/2 a cup to cup of water. Go slow and you can add more water as it cooks but you can't remove it if add too much!!

*brown meat in heavy pan. use a bit of oil and let it get brown by frying vs just steaming it. brown on all sides and if you are in a rush lengthen the amount of time you cook the meat and that will shorten overall cooking time.
*place meat in crock pot. 
*in heavy pan, brown onions then add other ingredients so that everything is heated through. 
*pour over meat in crock pot and then cook til meat is very tender, maybe 2-3 hours

**If you don't use seasoned tomatoes, you'll want to add something else. Also, you may add pepper or garlic, but remember that you are trying to make a balanced 1 pot meal so match quantity of potatoes to number of servings of meat you anticipate. Likewise with the veggies. Be creative with other veggies you like too. 
** If you don't have a crock pot, don't worry, you're still in luck!  You can cook on top of the stove for 1.5 hours or in the oven. Just poke with fork to see how tender things are. 

So, there you go. I ended up freezing some of it as well, so we'll see how it tastes later...

Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe?

1 comment:

  1. This looks SO good right now! My kitchen is being renovated so I haven't been able to make anything recently. It will be finished by next week and then I'll be sure to try this recipe. Yum!