Slow Cooker Crockpots – why have I NOT used you for anything else but the occasional Shabbos day Chulent before?
The Crockpot, originally called the Beanery , because that was it’s sole intended use – to cook beans, was first patented in 1970. It was not till 1971, when the RIVAL company who owned the patent and was doing in house testing, realized that this slow cooker was fantastic for slow cooking meat as well as beans and other foods. Finally in 1974 the crockpot that we all know and use was introduced to the market and has been a huge success ever since.
Yesterday I decided to see if all the hype I have been hearing lately about slow cooker crockpot dinners are really as easy and delicious as everyone is raving about. I mean there is not a single food magazine out this month that does not have a ONE POT/SLOW COOKER Recipe on its front cover! That being true and the tidbit I just heard about a facebook page started by two stay at-home moms from the south who got over 1 million likes in under a week; I have come to the realization that them crockpot dinners – people REALLY REALLY like them!!
Personally, I have not made chulent in the crockpot in years –I prefer my Moroccan Dafina (chulent in my house) made in a big heavy cast iron pot that cooks first in the oven and then on the blech on the stove top, till ready to eat. But if I was going to jump head first into the world of slow cooked meals, I was going to have to head out to the store and buy myself a new pot.
Luckily, Kohls was having a super savers day and I got a terrific digital 5 quart crockpot for $20.27 – Such a great deal that I bought 2, one for Dairy. ( I am dying to try a lasagna in the slow cooker – who knew?)
What I love about cooking things slow and long, is how soft and melt-in-your-mouth delicious those meals are. Meats and chickens come out so tender and infused with all the flavor that you have added, not to mention the unbelievable convenience of putting up dinner in the morning before you leave work and coming home 4-6 hours later to a scrumptious HOT perfectly cooked meal!
With a busy day on my agenda yesterday, I pulled out a recipe that sounded like a winner and my first official crockpot dinner meal that was not chulent was on it’s way.
The original recipe from Cuisine at Home used beef short ribs, I had rib steaks in my freezer so that along with a few tweaks like using wine instead of Worchester sauce and some added spicing – I had my own version of this really tasty recipe for Rustic Steak with Mustard Sauce.
note: I started this recipe at 2:00 pm and by 6:15 pm supper was ready!
Rustic Steak with Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. cumin
3 large rib steaks or 1 1/ 4 lb boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 large white onion, chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups baby carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. red baby potatoes, or regular baby potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken or beef broth
3 tbsp. honey dijon mustard
For the mustard sauce:
3 tbsp. tofutti sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp.honey mustard dressing (your favorite brand)
Sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides of your steak.
On a wax paper, mix together flour, and 1/2 tsp. of all the spices. Coat beef with seasoned flour shaking off the excess.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet on med- high and brown the steak on both sides – about 5-6 minutes on each side.
Transfer the browned steak into the crockpot when finished
Deglaze the dirty frying pan with the red wine and set aside for a minute.
Add all your chopped vegetables and garlic to the crock pot.
Add the remainder 1/2 tsp. of all the spices to the pot and pour in the deglazed wine and broth. Add the mustard and mix with a rubber spatula.
Turn your crock pot on high for 4 hours and cook.
When ready to serve mix together the ingredients for the mustard sauce and serve on top or on the side of your dish. Serve this delicious dish with rice or couscous.
tip: these make great leftovers for lunch the next day – perfect on top of some salad greens!