The Best Crock-Pot Recipes
Right now we’re still in the depths of winter and that means your best friend for preparing meat is under wraps for another month if not more: your grill. Fortunately, winter is the perfect time to meet your grill’s fun little nephew in the kitchen: the crock-pot.
For me, winter is the perfect time to break out the crock-pot as stews and soups and those kinds of hearty fares are the perfect antidote to the cold days. Plus, after slow cooking all day, when you return home after work your house or apartment will smell like whatever you’ve got cooking. Instead of having to figure out what’s for dinner, you’ve got a jump on the game and it makes preparing to go out at night that much easier.
Here are a couple of my favorite things to cook in the crock-pot as well as a few simple recipes. Trust me, once you get out the crock-pot and have a nice meal and a few days of leftovers you’ll be addicted to slow cooking.
I’m not going to put a recipe here since chili is one of those intensely personal things as far as cooking goes. We all have opinions: beans or not; kinds of meat; whether or not vegetables belong; and the level of spiciness. The one thing we can all agree on is that chili tastes even better the longer it cooks. The flavors just keep blending together. Find your favorite recipe. Put it on at 7:30 am. Return from work at 6 pm. Enjoy.
I remember having this so often growing up and knowing how easy it is to make now, I understand why. When I hear the words “meat and potatoes” this is one of the first things that comes mind.
3 Medium Potatoes, thinly sliced (not too thin, or they become just mush)
2 Large Carrots, thinly sliced (not too thin, and you can substitute baby carrots)
1 Onion, sliced
1 3 to 4 pound boneless beef rump roast
Ground Sea Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup of water
Put vegetables in bottom of stoneware crock-pot. (I say this is where you can be creative with other root vegetables and other flavor veggies like celery and green peppers. Plus, for additional flavor, throw in a few sliced cloves of garlic.) Salt and Pepper the vegetables and meat, then place the meat in the pot on top of the vegetables. Add liquid. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours.
Just in time for March, here’s a “traditional” (yes, I use quotes here since when I lived in Ireland, I can’t remember a single time eating or even seeing corned beef and cabbage) St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It probably became traditional since it is so easy to make and gives your stomach a good base for all the drinking you’ll be doing.
3 Carrots cut into thick slices
1 (3-lb.) corned beef brisket
2 medium onions quartered
1 cup water
1 small head of cabbage cut into wedges
Put all ingredients, except cabbage wedges, in crock-pot in order listed. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours. Add cabbage wedges to liquid, pushing down to moisten. Turn to high and cook an additional 2 to 3 hours.
Ok, as easy as the previous recipes were, they can’t top this one. Put a two-pound pork tenderloin roast in the crock-pot. Pour root beer over it. Cook on low for six to seven hours. Then make pulled pork sandwiches. The hardest thing to figure out with this recipe is whether to top your sandwiches with cole slaw or what root beer to use. (I’d be partial to Olde Rhode Island Molasses Root Beer or Bulldog Root Beer, but that’s just me.)
These are just a few things from a Rival crock-pot recipe book and the internet. With a little looking around, I’m sure you can find more things. If you’re lucky, I’ll share a few more recipes before summer. If you have any suggestions or recipes, I’ll happily take them in the comments.
About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."