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

photox

Preparation:

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

photo 3

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.

photo 2

3.  Place meat on top of potatoes.

photo 4

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.

photo 5

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

photo 1 (2)

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.

photo 2 (2)photo 3 (2)

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! 🙂

Advertisements

Root Beer BBQ Chicken

As life gets busier, the crock pot becomes more and more essential to my well-being.  This one is quick, easy, and totally delicious.  It’s the combo of sweet and tangy that is the best about barbeque chicken and this recipe captures that balance perfectly.

Root Beer BBQ Chicken

(Inspiration courtesy of my friend Amber’s genius).

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breasts
1 16-oz bottle of barbeque sauce
1 16-oz bottle of root beer (Coke or other dark sodas work really well here too – just nothing diet!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
photo 1

Preparation:

1.  Mix barbeque sauce, soda, and brown sugar together in a bowl.  Consistency should be like a watered down version of the BBQ sauce itself.
photo 2

2.  Insert chicken breasts into crock pot and pour mixture over.

photo 3

3.  Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

photo 1 (2)

4.  Serve up and enjoy!

photo 2 (2)

Results:

Yum!  Perfect balance of sweet and tangy without being overwhelming.   Try not to shred the chicken on this one, though it’s basically impossible because it basically just falls apart.

I almost always use frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot.  This one is no exception.  I find that they are less likely to burn/overcook than non-frozen.  Frozen also store longer and allow you to throw together this meal at any time.

Beef and Bean Chili

Chili is a staple when it turns into autumn.  It keeps you warm and full and is totally a comfort food.  It is also ideal for feeding a crowd, as I did this weekend when BF’s brother was in town and brought a full appetite.

Beef and Bean Chili

(Inspired by America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution Vol. 2)

1 lb ground beef
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano/Italian seasoning
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can white kidney beans
28oz canned crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

IMG_0218

1.  Microwave broken up ground beef, onions, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper for 10 minutes on 50% power.  Try to make sure that most of the beef is no longer pink.

IMG_0226

2.  Stir all cans of beans together in a medium bowl.

IMG_0222

3.  Transfer meat mixture to slow cooker, breaking up any large pieces of beef.  Stir in beans, tomatoes, and brown sugar.

IMG_0230

4.  Cover and cook on low for 6 1/2-7 hours.

IMG_0240

5.  Enjoy with some delicious cornbread and your favorite chili toppings!

IMG_0245

BONUS RECIPE!

Gluten-Free Cornbread!

(Stolen off the Glutino Yankee Cornbread Mix box)

1 box Glutino GF Yankee Cornbread mix
1 egg
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
6 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
Nonstick cooking spray

IMG_0233

1.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Combine bread mix and sugar in medium bowl.

IMG_0235

3.  Pour in wet ingredients and mix to create a batter-like consistency.  Pour batter into a baking dish that has been sprayed with the non-stick cooking spray. (You can also use leftover butter instead of cooking spray if you’d like).

IMG_0237

4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top and sides get crispy.

IMG_0243

Results:

This was a great recipe to come home to.  The apartment smelled amazing!  And it was a crowd pleaser, especially with two hungry gents.

The microwave trick that ATC suggested was a wonder.  Often, people brown the beef in a pan before throwing it in the crock pot.  I thought this worked much better and saved me a pan to wash.

You can use however many cans of beans you want.  I chose four because I had them in my cabinet.  The original recipe calls for three.  Your choice.

Definitely going into the regular meal rotation for cold winter days. 🙂