Crock-Pot Balsamic Pot Roast

Another crock pot gem.

Crock-Pot Balsamic Pot Roast

(Inspiration found here)

Ingredients:

2 lbs of beef chuck roast
1 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic [I used pre-minced garlic]
5-6 red potatoes

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Preparation:

1.  Mix together beef broth, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

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2.  Line the bottom of the crock pot with red potatoes.  This allows for the meat not to touch the bottom of the pot and potentially burn, but it also sets you up for some amazing mashed potatoes to go with your dinner.

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3.  Place meat on top of potatoes.

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4.  Pour sauce over top of the meat.  Add 1/2 cup of water to the mix to add a little moisture to the pot.

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5.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  The roast should shrink down to about 1/2 its size – that is normal.

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6.  At this point, the meat should just fall apart.  Scoop out the potatoes and mash them together with a little butter and milk for a perfectly complementary side dish.

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Results:

Definitely a hearty meal.  This is a good one for a cold weather warm-up.  It’s quick and easy and uses mostly general cupboard ingredients.   It’s also a great bonus to be cooking a side dish at the same time as the main course.  Great time saver!

The taste is savory – the meat falls apart and can be cut with a fork.  Yum! 🙂

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Cranberry Chicken

One of my favorite ways to find recipes is to peruse cookbooks for inspiration.  My mom gave me one of her favorite cookbooks when I was home last – “From Noodles to Strudels”, the official cookbook of the Beverly Hills Hadassah from 1972.

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“Cherished recipes contributed by women who care” – how awesome is that.  The best part of community cookbooks like this are that the recipes are straightforward and to the point.  The recipes are easy to follow and were clearly designed with love.

This recipe is one that Mom used to make on special occasions and I’ve come to associate with a special meal.  It’s really easy but oh-so-delicious.

Cranberry Chicken

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breasts [In this case, I used 2 decent sized pieces]1 16-oz can of cranberry sauce with the whole berries
1/2 cup French dressing
1 packet onion soup mix

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Preparation:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Put chicken breasts into a foil lined baking dish.

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3.  Mix together the cranberry sauce, French dressing, and onion soup mix in a mixing bowl.  Pour mixture on top of chicken breasts, covering all pieces.

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4.  Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

5.  Serve and Enjoy!

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Results:

Perfection.  The berries add a nice counterbalance to the tangy flavor of the dressing.  This is a great, simple but lavish recipe for any dinner that you’d like to make a little bit special.

This recipe has always been one of my favorites.  Enjoy it in good health! (as my grandmother used to say :))

Dijon Chicken

The original post where I found this recipe called it ‘man-pleasing chicken’, and I don’t disagree!  This was a quick chicken meal that didn’t take too much effort but makes you look like a rockstar.  The sauce is tangy and sweet at the same time.  Both of us were licking our plates by the end.

Dijon Chicken

(Inspiration found here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts  [I used thin sliced chicken tenders in this recipe and the original calls for thighs.  Any cut of chicken that you prefer will work]
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rosemary (as garnish)

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Preparation:

1.  Preheat oven to 450ºF.

2.  Mix together 1/2 cup of dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar into a bowl.

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3.  Put chicken pieces into a foil-lined baking dish.  Salt and pepper the chicken, then pour the sauce over until chicken is completely covered.  Put the chicken in the oven on the top rack.

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4.   Bake for about 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has burned off or caramelized.

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5.  Sprinkle some rosemary, serve with some veggies and potatoes and ENJOY!

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Results:

Winner winner chicken dinner!  This one was a bigger hit than I’ve seen in a long time.   Very savory sauce and quick time to make – call it a win-win in my book!

If you wanted to use chicken with a skin to make the sauce crust a little more, that would add to this recipe as well, but this cut of chicken was just delightful and easy to do.