Because Ree is in the big city today, and will likely spend a good deal of her 48-hour stay there either rushing to go somewhere or being rushed somewhere else, today seemed like a good day to slow things down a bit. In many different ways, we’re all rushing. And sometimes, the last thing we want to do after a long day is figure out what to make for dinner, let alone begin the process of actually preparing it.
So today’s theme focuses on the Slow Cooker. You know, that big heavy crock with a lid that, if you’re like me, is probably sitting on a shelf collecting dust somewhere? The one that you only occasionally pull out, but each time tell yourself that you really should use it more often? Then you end up hauling it back to where you stored it before, and you forget about it all over again? Yes, that one. Well, today is the day it gets its time in the sun. Today, we’ll explore the various recipes available here that show us how we can just throw things into that big ol’ pot early in the day, go about our usual activities, and return to the wonderful aroma of food that practically cooked itself for us.
Let’s start with The Noshery’s Posole: Pork and Hominy Soup in the photo above. Can you imagine coming home to a pot filled with that? Bliss, I tell you. Pure bliss.
Or perhaps you’re in the mood for some chili. Some Texas Chili, to be exact, served up jenjenk style.
Oh my goodness. That’s all I’ll say.
Of course, although the slow cooking process works wonders for meat, there are many other uses for your trusty old crock pot. Vegetarian? Then try these Crockpot Gingered Chickpeas and Spicy Tomato Stew from cookincanuck.
Or how about skipping the whole savory side of things and using your slow cooker to make lovely sweet treats? We’ve got those, too. Babskitchen offers us a lovely Mulled Cider In A Crockpot, seen below on the left. We even have cake! Check out monstermama’s Crock Pot Cake on the right. Or you could also try making a batch of Mommy’s Kitchen’s Homemade Spiced Applesauce, also seen below on the right.
Now, a slow cooker recipe roundup wouldn’t be complete without a mention of some form of pulled pork. So here are two different kinds of slow cooker pork recipes.
That’s Stephanie’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe you see on the left, and fujimama’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig on the right. I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to grab some tortillas right about now.
And there you have it! All these are examples of the great choices waiting for you in our Slow Cooker category. I didn’t even get a chance to show you a whole Crockpot Roasting Chicken from stubleroots, or a wonderfully delicious Creamy Italian Chicken pasta dish from Angie Arthur. If you’re looking for a new slow cooker recipe to try, I think there’s a good chance you’ll find something you like in there.
Or am I late to the whole crock pot party? (It won’t be the first time.) Are you among those who are already making good use of your slow cooker? Were you shaking your head when I talked about my slow cooker gathering dust somewhere? (It won’t be the first time I’ve induced forlorn head-shaking, either.) If so, what are some of your favorite recipes?
Or, as in my case, is your slow cooker not even on your radar when you’re trying to come up with a plan for lunch or dinner? If that’s the case, then let’s dust it off and try some of the incredible recipes here! A warning, though: you just may end up upgrading your slow cooker from basement residence to premium countertop real estate.
You might want to warn your toaster or coffeepot.
Comments are closed for this recipe.
Indy Shutterbugg on 2.25.2010
REE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m watching you on GMA RIGHT NOW and YOU are ROCKING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bryan on 2.25.2010
Even if I didn’t use my crocks for some TASTY entrees, both my 3qt and 5 qt would not be idle for long.
My 3 qt.regularly gets used as a mashed potato warmer (with just an occasional stir, they keep for hours and taste freshly mashed) and my 5qt gets used for chicken stock close to every week. – It’s also a great tortilla warmer.
Goannatree on 2.25.2010
I wouldn’t have survived grad school without a slow cooker!!! oh, man, how about spaghettic bolognaise, lasangne, chilli, beef stroganoff, vegetable soup….comfort food that’s good for you!!!
Kara on 2.25.2010
Actually, my cooking confidence came from my Crock. When I was younger I was intimidated by cooking meats like roasts. Now I have two always on my counter whipping up some magic. Nothing beats pulled pork in one crock and baked potatoes in the other. YUM!
Dea on 2.24.2010
I have 2 crock pots a giant 7 qt one and a smaller 2 qt one. I lik to do big batch cooking and stuff my freezer! My husband and i will buy a Giant beef/pork roast cook it low and slow in the crock pot all day shred the meat and freeze it in containers to become burritos or bbq sandwiches or whatever else our imaginations can come up with then with all the leftover drippings and jus in the pot we make something like soup or beans! We get 7+ meals out of a $20 roast most of the time! I also love making huge pots of stew, soup, chili or spaghetti sauce and freezing them in portions. My freezer is never empty and a quick easy dinner is always at hand. My smaller crock pot i use for dips at potluck and gatherings. Its also great for when i don’t need to make a huge pot of something but just one meal. We use the crock pot bi-weekly but probably eat its bounty once a week!
Alicia on 2.24.2010
Oh I LOVE my corck pot and I just made a Pork Loin in it tonight. And so far, so good because I haven’t burn’t anything in it. It has a ceramic bowl.
Cathy Shea on 2.24.2010
I love crock pot recipes and my crock pot does take up a place of honor on my kitchen counter.
basset hound lover on 2.24.2010
I noticed that a few cooks said they put frozen chicken into the crock pot. Won’t it crack the crock when it starts to heat up?
Emily | Louisiana Bride on 2.24.2010
I love my slow cooker! I am in grad school and it helps to get dinner done on days I’m not home till 8pm. Otherwise my poor husband just may starve(not really haha)…and I’d be crazy trying to cook dinner after a long day.
socalmom on 2.24.2010
I love my crock pot too! I normally use it at least once a week – it’s just so easy! I’m glad there are some crock pot recipes on this site. I was planning on adding a few after I make them next time and can take some photos.
Margo/MS Hospitality on 2.24.2010
I LOVE my crockpot~ I’m on my second one. The first one I got for a wedding gift 39 years ago…. it took some time to wear it out and I used it 3 days a week for 20 years! I tend to get stuck in a rut with what to fix and I am being inspired by all the suggestions!
Nora Zarate Hodges on 2.24.2010
I love the slow cooker. You can cook so many things in it. Steaks, stew, soup, chicken, roast. My family likes these meals and I get to do other things as the meal cooks. The smell is all over the house the entire time the meal is cooking. The anticipation! Love it. Right now, I’m thinking crock pot for Sunday dinner. Thank you for the reminder. Yum!
Tori on 2.24.2010
I LOVE my crock pot! I didn’t use it much the first couple years that I had it…but one day I just fell in love and now I try to use it at least once a week. Sometimes twice. There’s something great about tossing the ingredients in there in the morning, and having a meal ready at dinnertime! No work for me at the end of the day when I am tired.
babskitchen on 2.24.2010
HEY JAMIE – you can always use a second slow cooker, or one of a different size, so I say go treat yourself and get one now!
Trish in MO on 2.24.2010
Oh, Erika you really hit the spot! I’ve just convinced myself to use the crockpot at least twice a week, every week, no matter the season! I tended to think it was just a cold weather friend, but I’ve changed my mind! So I’ve promoted myself to somewhere in the middle of the out-on-the-counter-all-the-time and hidden-in-a-back-cupboard-I-forget-it’s-there!!
My fave crock-pot go to recipe is from A Taste of Home recipe card, by Arlene Butler, Ogden, UT.
FLAVORFUL POT ROAST
2- 2.5 lbs boneless beef chuck roast (pork roast works well too)
1 envelope of Italian dressing mix (I use Good Seasons)
1 envelop of brown gravy mix (McCormicks)
1 envelop of ranch dressing mix (Hidden Valley, of course)
1/2 cup water
Combine packets with water, pour over meat, cook on low 7-8 hours. A-MAZ-ING!
Jamie on 2.24.2010
I’m trying to be patient and wait for someone to buy me a slow cooker from my wedding registry, but this site is making it difficult. that “texas chili” looks divine!
pjstl on 2.24.2010
Hi! I just wanted to second my own previous review of the Crockpot Gingered Chickpeas and Spicy Tomato Stew. (huh?)
It is delicious, the leftovers are great for an even faster dinner a few days later. I’ve made it twice now, per the recipe, only I cook it slowly the day before, on the stovetop, adding the spinach or swiss chard a minute before serving. Serve over brown (or white) basmati rice, with some sauteed carrots or a salad on the side, accompanied with some plain yogurt and chopped cilantro. Wonderful!
Yolanda on 2.24.2010
I just received my first slow cooker as a christmas present. In the past I scoffed at them, because I didn’t see what a crock pot could do that a stock pot or oven couldn’t. But, I used some recipes from Cooks Illustrated’s best Make Ahead Recipes, and I am a total convert. I have made pulled pork (excellent!), beef stroganoff, posole, and beef stew, and chicken stock. I love the convenience of being able to cook a meal over night or all day while I’m out doing other things. the only thing I made that I didn’t enjoy was a roast chicken. The slow roast washed out the flavor and the chicken required crisping in the oven afterwards, but the meat was very tender and shreddable, which was perfect for our next meal.
mdvshutterbug on 2.24.2010
These inspire me to use my crockpot more than I do.
My only problem is that I’m afraid to put the food in there in the morning and leave it turned on while I’m at work. I worry that there will be a fire or the food spoil.
April on 2.24.2010
This is from a Lora Brody slow cooker cookbook, and her introductory comment – “there will be no leftovers” – says it all!
Braised Lamb Shanks with Rosemary and Garlic
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 to 6 pounds lamb shanks, not trimmed of fat
1 large, firm head garlic (about 15 cloves), separated into cloves, each crushed and peeled (see Note)
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch slices
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
2 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
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In a small bowl mix the red wine, mustard, salt, and pepper and place in the insert of the slow cooker. Layer the shanks in the insert so they fit. Scatter the remaining ingredients around and on the shanks. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours. Use tongs to reverse the position of the shanks, top to bottom. Reduce the setting to LOW and cook for an additional 6 hours.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shanks to a serving platter. Skim the fat from the cooking juices, taste, and add salt and pepper, if needed. Pour the juices over the shanks, and serve.
Julie Seamons on 2.24.2010
Love the idea of the crockpot bags! Never knew about them and will surely give them a try! Anything beats having to scrub one of those babies out!
babskitchen on 2.24.2010
Hi, Erika! Thanks so much for including my mulled cider recipe. And I can attest to the fact that The Noshery’s posole is out of this world. Just had some leftovers for lunch. I’ve also had the Kahlua pig – fabulous!
Gammaroobob on 2.24.2010
For Jessica: You might start the meat with beef broth until just almost done, then add the ooey gooey wonderful bbq, etc. sauce….OR dilute the sauce of choice with the broth and add in the beginning. Just a thought.
Abby on 2.24.2010
YAY!!!!!!!!!!! I love crockpot recipes!! I do daycare at home so I can usually find time after lunch to throw some stuff in a crockpot and love having dinner that smells and tastes like I’ve been working on it all day! Although the smell of yummy food cooking all day nearly kills me by dinner time!
[email protected] on 2.24.2010
I don’t use a slow cooker per se… but I do slow cook a lot of our meals in my Dutch oven. My favorite recipe is my Boeuf Bourguignon and my children can’t get enough of it.
patti on 2.24.2010
i don’t think i would survive my “i’m having one of those days”, days, without my crock pot.
i promise i went to college – i just can’t structure a coherent sentence since having children!
Rhonda on 2.24.2010
Love my crockpot and it has a chip, not a hairline so I’ll be hunting up another one. Sandra Lee has a really good cookbook out, the second one, that has great ideas. I have yet to make the same thing twice as I’m always changing, adding different things.
Works great for applebutter and when you need a lot – the carmelized onions from the Epicurious site.
Crystal on 2.24.2010
We use a pot in the oven to replicate a crock pot and love barbecued brisket in it, though I haven’t found many one-pot recipes that rival stove-top yet
Mary M on 2.24.2010
My family loves vats of gravy at Thanksgiving, and I always had a hard time keeping it warm but not overcooked. This year, I put it in my slow cooker on the “keep warm” (lowest) setting and it was a life saver! Warning, though: my first slow cooker was one where the crock was not removable. It developed an invisible hairline crack and one day I stuck a metal spoon in to stir the soup and got the shock of a lifetime! I don’t know whether or not that is a problem with the ones that are removable, but always examine your crock carefully! We still talk about the day my crock-pot (yes it was one) tried to kill me!
annemay on 2.24.2010
Crockpot liners are awesome!!!! And stops you from taking up a whole rack in the dishwasher to wash the insert. My favorite recipe is crockpot chicken and dumplings, with cream of chicken soup over the chicken breasts, enough chicken broth to cover, whatever spices suit your fancy (I use minced garlic, oregano, cumin and onion), and then in the last hour or two of cooking you put cut-up buttermilk biscuit dough on top. So creamy, so yummy, so comfort-foody.
Tiffany on 2.24.2010
The best solution I have found to all messy burning issues are using the plastic bag crockpot liners from the grocery store (I think Reynolds makes them). They let me use my big crock as many as 4 times a week without stressing about cleaning it and for using my hand-me-down 1970s, doesn’t have a removable insert, medium crock. There are tons of messes I have avoided by using those things.
My current favorite thing to cook in the crock that I did not think I could cook in the crock is baked sweet potatoes. Scrubbed, rubbed with cumin and chili powder, and wrapped in foil, baked on high 6-8 hours. They were suuuuuuper soft and tasty while drowning in BBQ brisket (done in another crock).
Julie Seamons on 2.24.2010
I absolutely love my slow cooker!! We use it all the time. Two easy dishes that my kids can start for me while I am at work is Chicken and Rice or Salsa chicken. If you don’t have anyone at home to start this for you, I have done this before I left for work in the morning and put it on a low cooking temperature and let it slow cook all day. That works too.
For either of those recipes I have them dump a bag of frozen chicken breasts into the cooker, put it on high, and then either dump a large can of cream of chicken soup or a jar of salsa in. I have them make sure the spread it out so all of the chicken is covered. Slow cook them approximately 4 hours and then that last hour, after I get home from work, I make a pot of rice and steam some veggies and there you have a quick and easy meal! Kids love it and so do I!! A full home cooked meal and it only took me one hour to make because the kids helped out.
I take the chicken and rice meal in to friends that have just had babies. Its quick and easy, and not hard on new babies and mother’s milk.
Jessica @ How Sweet on 2.24.2010
I use my slow cooker at least 3 times a week! We love pork, so we make pork in it a lot. But I always maybe my hubby’s chicken for his lunches in it, too. It becomes so moist and shreddable. I have found though that using thick, syrupy sauces cause them to burn, even after 2-3 hours. Anyone know what can prevent this? It is a pain because usually the meat isn’t finished cooking, but the sauce )i.e. bbq, etc) has started burning on the sides.
Kari on 2.24.2010
A slow cooker (it will forever be a Crock Pot to me) is a must in our house since both my husband and I work. I nearly cried during the tragic Crock Pot Catastrophe of 2010, though that may have been more due to the loss of the really good chili residing in the Crock Pot as opposed to the breaking of the Crock Pot itself.
Our new, larger, Crock Pot is happily sitting on my kitchen counter at home, cooking up a big batch of Red Beans and Rice for tonight. Yum!
Kenny on 2.24.2010
Crockpots are cool!