jp's Crockpot Meal Idea

jp's Crockpot Meal Idea

For the crockpot, use the cheap cuts of meat. Skip the onion soup mix.

For 1 to 2 lbs of meat- stew meat, brisket, pot roast, etc.

Put in the meat, about 1/2 to 1 chopped onion, and either one 16-oz. can of diced tomatoes or one 8-oz. can of tomato sauce. Add a few glugs of Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. If you want, you can also add a glug of red wine or orange juice, and maybe a bay leaf or two.

Then, add enough water or stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable stock) to barely cover the meat. Turn on the crockpot and walk away. You'll need about 6-10 hours on low, or about 4-5 on high. Or, if you're around the house for the early part of the cooking, put it on high for about 2 hours, then switch to low for the next several hours.

If you're around about 1-1/2 to 2 hours before serving, you can add some diced potatoes and/or carrots.

About 15-30 minutes before serving, add your herbs and spices. Lately, I've been using a lot of garlic powder, a pinch or two of basil and oregano, and salt to taste. I'd add tabasco or sriracha except that my kids don't like spicy food. Put in some herbs/spices, taste, then add more if desired.

The above is a basic stew or pot-roast. The juices will be thin, more of a soup than a sauce. If you want a thicker sauce, mix a few tablespoons of flour to the liquid before you turn on the crockpot.

If you're feeling ambitious, you can brown the meat before you put it in the crockpot. Dredge the meat in flour if you'd like to (or not) and brown the meat pieces in olive oil. Put everything in the crockpot, then deglaze the pan with water and add that to the crockpot, too. But it's not necessary if you're not feeling ambitious.

If you don't cook it long enough, the meat will be tough. If you cook it too long, it will seem dry. Use that as a guide for next time.

I find that herbs and spices fade after several hours in the crockpot. For me, it makes more sense to add them shortly before serving.



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