Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cooking with the Crockpot

Growing up my mother never used a crockpot for cooking. I am not sure she even knew what one was. However, this device that cooks meals while you are at work has intrigued me for years. So last week, I took one of my many 20% off coupons, headed to Bed Bath & Beyond and got myself a crockpot. My selection was the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Slow Cooker. I liked that this model had the flexibility of the 3 options of cooking sizes (2, 4 and 6 qt. crocks all able to fit into the single base).

My first experiment was the basic BBQ Chicken. Since this type of cooking was totally new to me, I spent some time checking out several recipe sites when I came to the conclusion that BBQ chicken didn't have to be any more complicated than throwing several chicken breasts into the crock and covering them with BBQ sauce then letting the whole thing cook on low for several hours. Once it was done, I shredded the meat and placed it on toasted buns. If I say so myself, it ended up quite tasty. And there was plenty left over for lunch the next day.

With my first (tasty) success, I decided to take on what appears to be one of the cornerstones of crockpot recipes, Pot Roast. To that end, Mr. Gooch got a shoulder roast at Costco for $2.99/lb. Again I searched the Internet to find a recipe that included ingredients that I already had in the house to help keep costs down.

The one I found on is as follows

Crockpot Pot Roast with Herbs
1 pot roast (chuck, arm, shoulder, bottom round or similar cut)
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. red wine or apple cider
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. crushed rosemary
1/2 t. dried crumbled leaf thyme
1 t. crushed dried oregano
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
7-10 dashes of Chipotle Tabasco Sauce (I added this for a bit of zing)

Trim excess fat from roast and cut to fit into crock pot. Combine all other ingredients and pour over the roast. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours.

If you would like to make a gravy, pour juices into a sauce pan, skim fat and bring to a simmer. Reduce by 1/4 then gradually add a smooth mixture of 2 tablespoons of flour and cold water. Stir mixture of juices, flour and water until it reaches desired thickness.

I think my next attempt will be to roast a chicken. Wish me luck!

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1 Comment:

hamilton beach appliances said...

That is THE coolest crockpot I've ever seen. I do enjoy crockpot season - on my list this week is, crockpot enchiladas and roast. I think I'll try your chicken recipe sometime soon too. Throw some flour and stuff into the bread machine and that is my idea of a perfect lo-prep meal!


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