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what do you do with YOUR slowcooker?

just got one for mothers day and want to experiment!

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  1. Pulled pork or chicken BBQ, chili, soups, etc.

    1. Steel cut oatmeal, a la Alton Brown

      1. Stock with all the leftover bones and carcasses in the freezer for those times when I can't be around to babysit the stock pot. Also corned beef on work days with the super cheap St. Paddy's day on sale ones I froze.

        1 Reply
        1. re: torty

          I second stocks! Now I always have delicious homemade stock on hand in the freezer.
          Besides Stocks -
          same as lots of other folks - Tons of pulled pork/ brisket,
          also Beans. The crock pot is a great way to make any sort of beans. I save tons of money by making the beans in the crock pot instead of buying canned beans.

        2. curries, chilli, soups, shanks, corned beef..

          1. Very easy chili: browned ground beef and add to crockpot, add a can of muir glen slow-roasted tomatos, a whole dried chipotle, ground cumin, chile powder, etc. Cook for awhile on low, then add a can of beans (drained and rinsed).

            Here is one that I hate to admit... I buy the canned roast beef at Costco. I dump the beef, with some of the broth, in the crockpot. Add Stubbs bottled barbecue sauce. Cook on low however long you want.

            The Rick Rodgers slow cooker book has a good recipe for hungarian goulash.

            1. Pulled pork or beef roast cooked with beer, soy sauce, potatoes, carrots, and onions.

              1. Soups, stews, corned beef, stock. My mom got me a cookbook I LOVE called "The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals Around the World," and its sequel. The recipes are not your standard "throw packet of italian dressing, frozen roast and cream of mushroom soup into pot" crockpot recipes. They're actually very tasty, relatively low fat, and there's a lot of recipes inspired from different countries. They require more prep time than the "throw canned soup into cooker" recipes, but they're very much worth it. The Tarragon Chicken is a particular favorite. Also, making your corned beef with Guinness instead of water or broth gives it a wonderful flavor.

                3 Replies
                1. re: brangwen

                  Lamb Shanks, ox tails, duck legs (confit), brisket, shortribs, cabbage!

                  1. re: brangwen

                    I have the same book, I love it!

                    1. re: brangwen

                      Yes! This is the book that changed our eating habits more than any other cookbook ever did.

                    2. Soups, stews and tender meat dishes have all been listed.

                      A recipe I have from a cooking class I took years ago is for Apple Brown Betty. Dessert isn't something you often see made it a crock pot, so while I haven't tried it yet (I haven't splurged on a German crock pot... but that is partly b/c I don'ot have room to store it!) I can attest to the yumminess of it based on the one the instructor made.

                      Apple Brown Betty
                      4 servings

                      5 slices bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
                      1/2 cup butter, melted
                      1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
                      1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
                      3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
                      4 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (she said that you can also make it with just under ripe pears or peaches - you don't want them to get too mushy)

                      In a medium bowl mix bread cubes with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg andbrown sugar. Arrange in alternate layers with apples in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 2 hours or until apples are tender. Serve warm with shipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

                          1. mine sits in the cupboard until I need it for a party to keep a hot item hot, like Italian Beef, Italian Sausage, or meatballs.. If it wasnt a wedding gift I would probably get rid of it.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: swsidejim

                              Ditto. It doesn't do anything my (more energy-efficient, less countertop-wasting, actually usable for browning) Le Creuset can't do in a low oven.

                              1. re: Calling All Toasters

                                I am not one to put a meal in a crockpot before work, leave it on all day, and come home to see what has happened, hoping my house has not burned to the ground. I love my house, and my 2 cats to much to risk a fire. I know lots of people use a crock pot this way, but stranger things than an electrical short, etc. have caused fires.

                                Also the things I enjoy cooking call for a little more attention than being able to dump a bunch of ingredients in a crock pot, and then being able to abandon it for hours. Even when I am smoking meats in my smoker, I am constantly monitoring the temperature, and cooking time, not leaving it unsupervised for hours.

                                To each their own, hopefully no-one takes any offense to my preferences, maybe someone will buy mine if I decide to have a garage sale this summer, and put it to good use, and enjoy it.

                            2. Chicken (leg) curry with homemade curry paste (the night before) and tinned tomatoes. So succulent and better still, ready when I walk through the door!

                              1. Magic transformtion of still puzzling cuts of very inexpensive fully range-fed fat-free otherwise tough as leather beef into something tender, spicy, delicious--with added ingredients dependent on at-the-moment whim.

                                1. Many of the other answers, but a favorite is Pork Roast with hominy and a Goya product called Recaito. That's it, dump in the hominy, place frozen pork loin on top, add recaito and cook 8 hours. Shred the meat and serve stew-like with salsa and sour cream. I've also made the recaito from scratch, it is a simple mixture of red peppers, cilantro, olive oil and lime. Another favorite is first-cut brisket slathered with mustard (any-time but we prefer a spicy brown) then an onion, sliced and some beef stock (about 1/2 cup of VERY flavorful stock). The onion and stock are to replace a packet of onion soup mix, but I don't use that stuff, so adjust for your taste. After 8 hours, remove the meat and scrape off the fat. Slice and serve with the defatted juices. Both freeze beautifully. Lastly, I never thought I would change my red sauce recipe, but I got a recipe/method from another board I read/post on. I do it in the crockpot with Italian sausage (a la Penzey's) and Weight Watchers meatballs (homemade, their recipe). It is beyond delicous and so different from my old sauce. Just wow.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: FeedingFive

                                    I'd love to have your red sauce recipe if you have time to post it. Thanks!

                                    1. re: xena

                                      Red Sauce a la roseyrose (from TVWoP)

                                      Three 28 oz. cans tomatoes
                                      One 8 oz can tomato sauce
                                      One 6 oz. can tomato paste (optional. It depends on how thick you want the sauce)
                                      1 cup chicken broth (optional)
                                      1 bottle beer (optional)
                                      Approximately ½ cup minced onion
                                      2-5 garlic cloves, minced
                                      At least 1 teaspoon dried thyme
                                      At least 1 teaspoon dried oregano
                                      A pinch of dried basil
                                      1-2 shakes of hot pepper flakes
                                      1 bay leaf
                                      Salt and pepper to taste
                                      Olive oil
                                      1 parmesan cheese rind (when I finish a hunk of parmesan, I put the rind in the freezer)

                                      Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven on medium low heat. Sauté the onions, herbs and salt for 2-3 three minutes. Add garlic. Sauté for another 3 minutes or so. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
                                      If using whole tomatoes, crush the tomatoes with your hands or put into a food processor. (No matter what most recipes tell you, crushing tomatoes with the back of a spoon doesn’t work.) Crush or process to the desired consistency. About ten seconds in the food processor will give you nice chunky tomatoes if you start with whole. If using diced tomatoes, ten seconds in the food processor will make the tomatoes relatively smooth, with just a little chunkiness.
                                      Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, chicken broth and beer. Use the beer or chicken broth to get out any residue left in the cans of sauce and paste. Add the pepper, bay leaf and the Parmesan rind. Simmer, uncovered, on very low heat for about an hour. If you want it thicker after an hour, leave the lid off. If you don’t want it to thicken anymore, put the lid on, and cook for another hour. You can cook it longer than that, but it’s not necessary.
                                      The amounts of herbs are estimates. If I can’t see the herbs after everything is in the pot I add more.
                                      I know it’s common to put sugar in red sauce. DON’T. Every dead person in Sicily will roll over in his or her respective grave.
                                      The beer and chicken broth are both optional in this recipe. You can make a great sauce without them. You can make a great sauce without the parmesan rind.
                                      If you really want to kick ass, put everything in a crock-pot and add hot and sweet Italian sausage. Cook on high for about an hour, then turn down almost all the way, and leave it alone for at least 6 hours. Or just cook it on really low for at least 8 hours. The sauce will make you cry it’s so good. The longer you cook it, the more tender the sausage gets. You can use meatballs instead of sausage.

                                      ***The above recipe is her words. I do a few things differently, but not many. Because I'm on Weight Watchers, but want the sausage flavor, I use Penzey's Italian Sausage Seasoning in the Weight Watchers recipe for meatballs (they have oatmeal) and I do use the beer and either chicken broth or vegetable broth, whatever I have on hand (I use homemade or a low-sodium boullion). I've made it without meat, but when I do, I like to replace part of the crushed tomatoes with soem Muir Glen fire-roasted for a good flavor. It is good stuff. Just saute the vegetables and throw it all in the crockpot. By dinner time, it is wonderful!

                                      1. re: FeedingFive

                                        Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to type all of this in! I think I'll make this for a special family supper tomorrow and then we're having Candy's Chocolate Poundcake for dessert. Lucky us, right?

                                        Many thanks, FeedingFive!

                                        1. re: FeedingFive

                                          We had your sauce for supper tonight and it was delicious. I followed the recipe pretty closely although I skipped dried basil and I simmered a couple of Italian sausages in the sauce pot for flavor but didn't serve the sausage. Did it in the crockpot so the whole thing was easy as pie. The family gobbled it up, I liked the tiny bit of something the red pepper flakes did. I've used red wine in red sauces but never beer so that was fun to try. We'll definitely make your tasty sauce again. Thank you again for sharing it, FeedingFive!

                                          1. re: xena

                                            So glad it was a hit, Xena. I just want to be sure and give roseyrose on the TWoP board full credit for it! It's good sauce and like you, the pepper flakes really give it a boost~ It freezes beautifully, too.

                                    2. I made duck confit last week.
                                      This is my experiment:
                                      4 duck legs
                                      4 cloves garlic rough chopped
                                      2 shallots rough chopped
                                      1 tablespoon salt
                                      1 tablespoon herbs-de-provence
                                      1 tsp black pepper
                                      combine all of the above in a Ziploc, shake well and refrigerate overnight

                                      next morning, rinse the legs and pat dry, put in cooker. I briefly rinsed the shallots and garlic and put those in there too. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the meat. Drizzle with a 1/4 cup oil (i used canole). cook on Low for 6 hours.

                                      Heat oven to 350, take the legs out and bake for 20 min to crisp the skin. Strain the duck fat that is rendered (in cooker) and save it for later. Mash the garlic and shallots into a paste and toss with noodles or boiled potatoes.

                                      I used the duck fat to make salad dressing, mixed it with a bit of champagne vinegar.. YUM

                                      1. Orthodox Jews use crock pots to make a Sabbath "cholent"-- a stew with meat, beans, barley, and potatoes cooked overnight.

                                        My Rival crockpot came with this recipe that I love: Chicken Cacciatore

                                        1 large onion, thinly sliced
                                        1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (*I've used bone-in chicken too)
                                        2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
                                        8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
                                        1/2 tsp. salt
                                        1/4 tsp. pepper
                                        2 cloves garlic, minced
                                        1 tsp. oregano
                                        1/2 tsp. basil
                                        1 bay leaf
                                        1/4 cup dry white wine
                                        1/4 cup water

                                        Put sliced onion in bottom of Crock-Pot. Add chicken pieces. Stir together tomato paste, mushrooms, salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, white wine, and water. Spread over chicken. Cover; cook on Low 7-9 hours (High: 3-4 hours). Serve chicken pieces over hot spaghetti or vermicelli. 4 servings.

                                        I double the amount of wine and water, and use more mushrooms. I also saute the onions and mushrooms. Have fun with your new toy!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: avivale

                                          We make cholent every week in the crockpot:

                                          Late Friday afternoons, I put 2-3 lbs. frozen chuck meat (with bones), a cup of mixed dry beans, 1/4 cup barley, a package of onion soup mix, sliced carrots, diced onions, diced potatoes, and sliced celery in the crockpot. Add water to cover, and set the crockpot to "low". Serve mid-afternoon on Saturday.

                                          I also use it on Friday mornings to make chicken soup for Friday evening:

                                          Put a medium-sized chicken, sliced carrots, sliced celery, quartered onions, and a handful of whole pepercorns in the crockpot.
                                          Fill the pot until 1" below the brim with cold water. Set the crockpot to "high".
                                          By the afternoon, strain the soup and return it to the (cleaned) crockpot.
                                          Separate chicken meat from and carrots from the solids, returning the meat and carrots to the soup.

                                          An easy sweet and sour sauce for meatballs: One 15-oz. can "Manwich" and a 12-oz. bottle of grape jelly. Place meatballs in crocpot, cover with these two "ingredients", simmer on "low" setting in the crocpot. Can be served directly from the crockpot.


                                        2. I add 5 large chicken thighs (bone in, skin removed) and bbq sauce...cook chicken on high for about 4 hours and you have the most delicious pulled chicken ever.

                                          the bones practically fall out...I shred it up with two forks, pile it high in bread, top with horseradish coleslaw and enjoy!

                                          I also made a sicilian spicy chicken in there two weeks ago that d.h. is still raving about.
                                          WholeFoods has some pitted green sicilian olives in a chili oil recently, I picked up a container, dropped those into the slow cooker, put in 5 large chicken thighs (bone in, skin removed), add in minced garlic, white wine, capers and can of crushed tomato. High for 4 hours and then served it over rice. delicious

                                          1. Chicken stock with the leftover bones and carcasses from roasting chickens; applesauce; caramelized onions, beef stews or roasts. I never do chicken in the newer crockpots as they cook at a higher temp and dry things out in the "old" cooking time frames.

                                            1. I put it downstairs in my laundry room and each time I see it I wonder why I got one.

                                              1. I just used it to to make the oft discussed dulche de leche from a closed can of sweetened condensed milk. My BF was a little leary of the closed cans cooking on the stove without constant supervision...and I've been trying to avoid heating up the kitchen by using the stove. For some reason he was fine with the closed cans cooking on low in the crock pot, so that's what I did. Two cans, filled the crock with water and turned it on low all night. Yummy creamy caramel-ey goodness without a warm kitchen.

                                                1. Spaghetti sauce (any standard recipe, but crock potting gives it a deeper flavor than just the usual few minutes on a stove), stews (especially green chile stew with pork or beef and potatoes).

                                                  1. I made polenta yesterday, and it turned out great! You should browse a well-stocked bookstore or library that has several slow-cooker cookbooks. They will give you lots of ideas.

                                                    1. kraut and mixed sausages

                                                      long cooked soups and stews.

                                                      1. thank you all, any veggie ideas??

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: winebarb

                                                          Not sure if you mean vegetables or vegetarian. For vegetarian, there are several good cookbooks out there. We like "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker." I have also modified some chili recipes for vegetarians by cooking up everything but the meat, then adding a bag of fake beef crumbles near the end (it doens't do so well when you add it at the beginning). I make lots of different bean (including split pea and lentil) soups but add vegetable broth instead of chicken broth (and no ham bone). As for vegetables, one great use of the slow cooker is to cook whole sweet potatoes. You scrub them off and leave a little water clinging to them. Then you cook them on low for about 4-6 hours. My memory may be faulty on the temp and time. I got the recipe from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook", so you can look there. I really like that book, although there was a recent thread where some people were less happy about it. I think it has a lot of good vegetarian and meat recipes, plus recipes for side dishes that aren't from the slow cooker, such as corn bread to go with your chili.

                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                            I checked the book and I was correct... it is 4-6 hours on low for the sweet potatoes. They're excellent and it's easier than roasting them in the oven.

                                                        2. My Husband loves roast beef "dip" sandwiches..So I do that often.
                                                          Basically I use a short rib roast, which I brown first, 2 sliced onions, 2 cups beef broth low sodium, 1 cup white wine, 1 pkg. "au jus" from either McCormicks or any other brand will do...couple bay leaves leave all day yum yum on toasted buns...with the "au jus" on the side for dipping!!