Slow-Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage

If you’re enough lucky to be Irish… You’re lucky enough!
When our Aunt Ter was with us, she always used to say “It’s such a pretty dinner!” We miss you Aunt Ter, here’s to you!
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Slow-Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage

2-3 lb corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
water
6 carrots, cut into chunks
8 small white potatoes, cut into quarters
4 turnips, cut into chunks
½ cabbage, cut into wedges

Place the corned beef brisket fat side up in the crockpot. Sprinkle the spice packet evenly over the top. Add enough water to come up 1-inch. Place lid on top of slow cooker and set to HIGH for 4-5 hours, or LOW for 8-10 hours.

If you are cooking it on HIGH, add the carrots, potatoes and turnips after THREE hours. Place lid back on top and continue cooking. Add the cabbage during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

If you are cooking on LOW, add vegetables after SIX hours. Place lid back on top and continue cooking. Add the cabbage during the last 60 minutes of cooking time.

The corned beef will be done when it is very tender and easily shreds with a fork. The vegetables should be tender, but not mushy. Remove everything from the slow cooker. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and remove the layer of fat on top. Slice the corned beef on an angle against the grain of the meat. Transfer to a large platter and arrange the vegetables along the side.

Serve with grainy mustard, and Irish soda bread.

Note:  If the vegetables don’t fit in the crockpot, put them in a pot on the stove and add several cups of the juice from the corned beef and cook until the vegetables are tender.

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Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Pulled pork sandwiches are high on my list. I love them. This is a “healthier” version. To reduce more of the fat, I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. You can serve these sandwiches on those super thin “buns” to ease the guilt! Also, you can throw it in the crockpot and forget about it!
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Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Serves 8

8 oz can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
4 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
3 Tbs cider vinegar
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs sweet or smoked paprika
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground chipotle chile
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.

Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

Make Ahead Tip
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Beef & Broccoli in a Crockpot

I have been really busy lately and needed something to throw in the crockpot. This is so easy and delicious. It gets rave reviews.

I used my new crockpot. The handle broke off my old Rival crockpot. I contacted the company and ask them if I could have a new handle. They said that they would just send you a new one! Talk about customer service!

I could not find beef consommé at the store, so I used beef broth. I googled the difference between the two and this is what came up, which is obnoxious!

The distinctions between stock, broth and consommé are not immediately obvious to the layperson.

Broth is made by simmering vegetables or meat and bones for some time, until the flavor of the simmered food has infused the water. The stock or broth is then usually poured through a strainer to remove most of the particles, bones, skin, and the meat. It’s used this way, with no further processing.

Consommé is cleared by adding a step: after sieving as above, egg whites are added to the hot broth or stock. As the egg whites cook, they precipitate into the stock, and begin to bind with some of the particles in the broth. They then rise to the top, appearing as scum or foam. Once the foam cap has formed, pouring off the broth from below, while leaving the cap undisturbed will produce consommé – a broth as clear of suspended particles as water.

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Beef & Broccoli in a Crockpot

1 lb boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef consommé
½ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup brown sugar or honey
1 Tbs sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs cooled sauce from the crock pot after being cooked

Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired)
Hot cooked rice

Place beef in a crock pot.

In a small bowl, combine consommé, soy sauce, brown sugar/honey, oil, and garlic. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

In a cup, stir cornstarch and sauce form the crock pot until smooth. Add to crock pot. Stir well to combine. (If your sauce is not thickening, try bringing your sauce to a boil on the stovetop with the corn starch mixture. Boil until your desired consistency is reached).

Add broccoli to the crock pot. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes on high.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Balsamic Pot Roast in a Crockpot

I usually make very plain, straightforward pot roast. This version has a really nice tang from the balsamic vinegar.

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Balsamic Pot Roast in a Crockpot

1 (3-4 lb) boneless beef chuck roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb baby carrots
3 stalks celery, chopped into large pieces
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup tomato juice
2 cups beef broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
2 bay leaves
3 Tbs corn starch
3 Tbs cold water

In a large saucepan heated to medium-high, heat olive oil. Place roast in pan and sear on all sides. Remove from saucepan and place in a slow cooker.

Cover roast with carrots, onions, and celery. In a bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, tomato juice, beef broth, garlic, thyme, sage and bay leaves. Pour over the roast and cover. Cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 6-7 hours.

When done cooking, remove roast and vegetables and keep warm. Skim the fat off the liquid and pour liquid into a saucepan. In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch and cold water; pour into the saucepan and mix well. Place saucepan on stove top and heat over medium high heat until it starts to boil. Let cook for about 2 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Serve gravy with pot roast and vegetables.

Beef Stew

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. I made him beef stew. This recipe is slightly different than most because, you add the vegetables after you’ve cooked the beef for an hour.  Instead of regular sized Yukon Gold potatoes, I used mini potatoes (unpeeled) and cut them in half, which was a lot faster to prepare.

I actually made this in a crockpot, which also worked. Serve it with a baguette to soak up all the juices. Delicious.

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Beef Stew

Seves 6 – 8

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 (3 lb) boneless chuck roast
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
4 cups (1 qt) low-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 medium carrots, cut in bite size pieces
3 medium celery stalks, cut large dice
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into bite size pieces
1 cup frozen peas

Place 1/4 cup of the flour and the measured salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Trim the roast of excess fat and sinew and cut it into 1- to 1-1/2-inch cubes. Place the meat in the flour mixture and toss to coat; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Shake off the excess flour from about one-third of the meat and add it to the pot. Cook, stirring rarely, until browned all over, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining meat in 2 more batches; set aside.

Add the onion to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the onion, and cook until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices in the bowl to the pot. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Cut the carrots, celery, and potatoes into large dice and add them to the pot (peel the carrots and potatoes first, if desired). Stir to combine, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and meat are knife tender, about 1 hour more.

Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Stir in the peas and simmer uncovered until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Being stuck at home all summer, I watched a lot of TV (which is dreadful – there is nothing on TV!), mainly cooking shows. I happened to see The Pioneer Woman make this pulled pork, which looked really good. It reminded me of Coca Cola basted ham (I guess that’s for another blog). I made it in a crockpot. Also, I put in about half of the chipotle chiles and it was very spicy, which I love. You can serve it with tortillas or rolls.

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Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Serves 18

1 large onion
1 pork shoulder (“pork butt”) – 5 To 7 lbs
Salt And Freshly ground black pepper
11 oz can chipotle peppers In adobo sauce
2 cans Dr. Pepper
2 Tbs brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.

Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.

Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.

Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Last week, Zoe made these incredible BBQ Chicken sandwiches. The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman.  You could also make this in a crockpot.

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Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Serves 8

1 whole cut up fryer chicken
salt dnd pepper, to taste
2 Tbs canola oil
1 bottle (large) barbecue sauce
1 whole onion, sliced
8 whole cloves garlic

Slaw
1/2 head cabbage, sliced thin
1/2 head purple cabbage, sliced thin
Jalapeños, to taste
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp white vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

8 Kaiser rolls

Slaw
Combine shredded cabbage and sliced jalapeños in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix milk, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Pour over cabbage. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate two hours.

Before serving, toss in cilantro leaves.

Chicken
Heat canola oil in a heavy pot over medium high heat. Season chicken, then sear on all sides until skin is golden brown and some fat is rendered. Remove chicken from pot and pour off excess grease.

Add sliced onions and whole garlic cloves to pot and stir around to cook for 2 minutes. Pour in barbecue sauce, add chicken to the sauce, and place lid on the pot.

Place in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is falling off the bone.

Remove the whole garlic cloves from the pot and set it aside. Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool enough to handle. Using hands or two forks, remove the meat from the bones. Finely shred the chicken using your hands or two forks.

Carefully skim off the excess fat that has risen on top of the sauce. Return shredded chicken to the pot and stir into the sauce. Reheat so that it’s warm.
Spread butter on kaiser rolls and toast on the griddle.

To serve, place a good amount of chicken on the bottom half of the roll. Top with one or two garlic cloves, then a good helping of slaw. Top with the other half of the bun.

Moroccan Chicken with Apricots, Almonds & Chickpeas

I made this wonderful Moroccan chicken about a week ago. This dish is meant to be cooked in a tagine. A tagine is a unique type of ceramic or clay cookware that’s popular in Morocco. The bottom is a wide, circular shallow dish used for both cooking and serving, while the top of the tagine is distinctively shaped into a rounded dome or cone.

The word “tagine” also refers to the dish which is slow-cooked inside the cooking vessel. Typically, a tagine is a rich stew of meat, chicken, or fish, and most often includes vegetables or fruit.

However, you can easily make this dish in a Dutch oven or crockpot.

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Moroccan Chicken with Apricots, Almonds & Chickpeas

Serves 6 to 8

Olive oil
3 lbs chicken legs and thighs (about 4 each)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dried couscous
1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 Tbs honey
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 cups (1 15-oz can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs cilantro, optional, for serving

Warm one tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven (at least 5 1/2-quarts) or tagine over medium-high heat until the oil flows easily and you can see it shimmering. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and place as many as will fit into the pan without crowding. Sear for 5 to 8 minutes, flipping once, until both sides are golden brown. Remove to a clean plate and continue searing the rest of the chicken pieces. If necessary, add more oil to keep a thin film on the bottom of the pan. If the oil starts smoking, turn down the heat.

Pour off all but a teaspoon of oil and return the pan to medium heat. Sauté the onions and carrots with a half teaspoon of salt until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the ginger and spices over top and cook until fragrant, another minute.

Stir the chicken stock and apricots into the pan, scraping up any seared bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Nestle the chicken pieces into the pan; try to fit them in a single layer, but it’s ok if some pieces overlap.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for 50-60 minutes. The chicken is done when it registers 165° on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and when its juices run clear.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the couscous and set aside.

Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate and tent with foil. Add the honey, almonds, and chickpeas to the pan with the apricots and onions, and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the stew to a rapid simmer and cook until it has thickened slightly. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary.

To serve, spread the cooked couscous on a serving platter and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Ladle the stew over top, making sure the chicken pieces each get a good coating. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Leftover chicken will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Notes:
Oven: Prepare the tagine as directed, but instead of simmering on the stovetop, transfer the covered cooking pot to a 300° oven. Cooking time may be slightly longer. Finish on the stovetop as directed.

Slow-Cooker: Transfer the seared chicken directly to a slow cooker. Prepare the onion and spice mixture on the stovetop as directed, including mixing in the broth and apricots. Pour the onion mixture over the chicken, cover, and cook for 4-6 hours on HIGH. Finish on the stovetop as directed.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

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Guest blogger Jessica (Denver, CO) from Beauty Marks again. This one was too easy for words and, most importantly, was a HUGE crowd-pleaser. You can spice it up with chili powder or jalapeños if you’d like, but I kept it mild for the timid in my house.

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Slow cooker Sloppy Joes

1 lb (or 17.6 oz. if you’re buying Jennie-O) ground turkey

1 medium onion, diced

½ red pepper, diced

1 tsp garlic powder

olive oil

1 cup ketchup

1 Tbs brown sugar

1 tsp dry mustard

1 cup tomato sauce
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alt and pepper to taste



Sauté onion and pepper in olive oil till soft. Add garlic powder and stir. Add turkey and sauté till cooked through and somewhat browned. Dump into slow cooker; add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Chicken Thighs with Paprika

Here’s a really easy crockpot chicken thigh recipe. You don’t even have to brown them first!

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Chicken Thighs with Paprika

Serves 6

1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and sliced
4 medium-size new potatoes (about 1 lb), cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
2 cups baby carrots
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper, divided
1 tsp paprika
6 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs

Place onion in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker; top with potatoes and carrots. Combine broth, next 3 ingredients, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour broth mixture over vegetables. Combine paprika, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub evenly over chicken thighs. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.

Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour; reduce heat to LOW, and cook 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.