Posts Tagged With: slow cooker

Recipes for Entertaining: Chili

chili

My first full-time, permanent job was working in the logistics department of a company that made power supplies. Office staff crossed paths with factory workers occasionally. Once, they organized a chili cook-off. The guy that won called his recipe “canada chili”, because he used a can of this and a can of that.

My approach to making chili is similar. I don’t have specific ingredients or amounts; whatever I have on hand gets browned and mixed in. When you have company, though, it is safer to have something you can count on. One of the families from church shared this tried-and-true recipe:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 c chopped onion
1 rib chopped celery
1/2 c chopped green pepper

Saute and drain fat. I like a clove of garlic too.

29 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 16 oz cans Kidney beans

Undrained. [I did drain the kidney beans, though.]

1/2 c ketchup

Can add tomato paste if you like it thicker

1 1/2 t lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt
2 t vinegar
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1-2 T chili powder
2 t cumin

I cook in crock pot for a few hours.

10-12 servings

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Categories: beef, Food and drink, Meat, Soup | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lazy Lingonberry Pork Roast

One of my coworkers recently retired. She’s using her new free time to sort through things in her house.  She tackled the kitchen and gave me some of her extra cookbooks and ingredients.

Thanks, Kathy, for the port, candied ginger, and the recipe for Crock Pot Cranberry Port Pork Roast.  I just changed out a few of the ingredients to use what I had on hand.

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Ingredients

2 (to 3) lbs boneless pork loin roast
1 (14 ounce) jar IKEA lingonberry preserves
1⁄3 cup port wine (or 1⁄3 cup cranberry juice)
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 small lemon, thinly sliced
1⁄3 cup raisins
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons candied ginger, diced
1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

rice, cooked

Directions

Put the roast in slow cooker.
In a bowl combine, lingonberry preserves, port, and sugar.
Stir in lemon, raisins, garlic, ginger, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or until meat is 170°F.
Remove roast and keep warm.

Prepare the gravy:

Pour 3 cups of cooking juices into a saucepan.
Bring to a boil.
In a separate, small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water.
Add this mixture to the saucepan.
Continue cooking the liquid for about one minute or until thickened and no longer cloudy.

Slice roast and serve over rice with sauce.

2 lbs pork will serve 4-5 people, depending on how hungry they are and what sides you serve. We ate roasted vegetable Ritz crackers with cream cheese while waiting for things to be reheat (2nd day) and had green beans and butternut squash custard.

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Categories: Food and drink, Pork, Rice, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Rush a Pig

 

Pork chops were on sale, so even though I didn’t have meat on my grocery list, I brought a package home with me.  Since there were six huge chops I separated them into zipper-seal bags and put them into the freezer. One morning I left two of the pork chops in the refrigerator so that they would thaw in time for dinner. A few recipes claim that you can prepare tasty pork chops in just ten minutes with only salt and pepper for seasoning, so I decided to see if it would work.

However, when my husband emailed me to see if he could help get anything ready for our evening meal, I googled to see if there were any interesting marinades. Ideas for “Summer pork” included fruity combinations as well as mustard-soy-worchestershire mixtures.  Joel mixed together the ingredients in a list that I emailed to him and when I got home from the office the pork had been absorbing the flavors for about an hour.  All I had to do was heat our stove-top griddle and throw the chops on.

Maybe I wasn’t patient enough. The pork chop did not want to let go of the griddle after cooking for five minutes on one side. I put a cover over the meat to see if capturing some moisture would help it release; no luck.  Eventually, I was able to force the pork chop off and flip it over, but when we cut into our pieces the flavor had not penetrated the meat. Also, it took several days of soaking and scrubbing to get the bits of burnt-on pork off my griddle.

Pork chops take two.

The next weekend, our grocery store’s flyer was advertising their “buy theirs get ours free” offer. One of the items was barbeque sauce. If you purchased a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce they would give you a bottle of the grocery store brand for free. They hoped that you would compare the two and notice that their version was just as good as the “real” name brand product.  Sweet Baby Ray’s has quite a few interesting-sounding flavors to choose from, but I stuck with the classic regular one.

At first, I thought that I would just throw the rest of my frozen pork chops into the crockpot and let them cook until they were tender enough to shred for pulled pork sandwiches. I couldn’t remember if you were supposed to put the barbeque sauce in the whole time you were cooking the meat or if you were to wait and just mix it in at the end. So, I looked it up.

While looking, I ran across a recipe that cooked potatoes along with the meat. Cooking two-thirds of your meal in one slow cooker sounded like a good idea to me. The author(ess) suggested greasing the inside of the crockpot and layering sliced potatoes, sliced onion, pork chops and bacon. Barbecue sauce goes between the layers. You let these ingredients cook on the high setting for 4 hours. Then you are to add cheese for the last 10 minutes. I decided to keep things simple and leave out the bacon and cheese.

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The moisture from the pork drops to the bottom of the slow cooker, mixes with the barbeque sauce, and boils the potatoes. The liquid was a bit runny after the first 4 hours of cooking. But we didn’t eat it until the next day, and when I reheated the mixture it had thickened enough that I didn’t need to add any roux or cornstarch.  A bag of steamed peas added some color to the plate.

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We enjoyed the meal, but next time I might let the meat cook a bit longer, because I like fall-off-the-bone tender pork.

Categories: Food and drink, Pork, Potato, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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