Slow Cookin'

• 02 March 2008

Isn't it nice to come home to glorious smells wafting from the slow cooker after a loooong day? Yes? I agree, wholeheartedly. But, even though I love that feeling of knowing dinner is taken care of, I still find a few obstacles in my way to actually making it happen. The first: getting on top of my game in the morning and taking the time to make dinner, just after I finished making breakfast! The next? Finding slow cooker recipes calling for fresh, non-canned or processed ingredients. We've talked about this before here. So, in the spirit of sharing, here are a couple of my favorite slow cooker/crock pot recipes with yummy, fresh ingredients you are bound to enjoy.

Slow Cooker Fajitas (featured last November)

Mixed Mushroom Soup with Creamy Goat Cheese

Provencal Beef with Zinfandel from this cookbook pictured above.

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onions cut into 1/2 inch wedges
3 cups baby carrots
1 cup red zinfandel
3/4 cup beef broth
3 TB flour
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. package sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup julienned sundried tomatoes, not oil-packed
hot cooked egg noodles
chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley

1. Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Place bacon in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Discard all but 1 TB drippings in skillet. Cook beef in drippings in skillet 2 to 3 minutes until brown, stirring occasionally. Stir onion into beef. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Spoon into slow cooker.

2. Stir remaining ingredients except mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, noodles and parsley into mixture in slow cooker.

3. Cover and cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours, or until beef is tender.

4. Stir in mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Cover and cook on Low for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Serve beef mixture over noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

* If you don't want to use wine in this recipe, you can substitute beef broth for the wine. Also, to save time you can use beef stew meat instead of cutting up a chuck roast.


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