By Sherrie Norris
The crockpot, also known as a slow cooker, has made a come-back in recent years, and has become a best friend to cooks everywhere. It’s especially helpful to busy wives and mothers, as it requires very little prep or clean-up, and its results usually end up as family favorites for life.
In today’s world, anything we can do to make life a little less hectic is a win-win for everyone.
Here’s hoping these recipes help ease the load for you in this new year.
Slow-Cooked Beef Stew
1½ lb. beef stew meat
4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 jar brown gravy
1 can diced and peeled tomatoes
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 lb. baby carrots
8 small potatoes, quartered
2 small onions, cut into eighths
1 (8 oz.) pkg. fresh whole mushrooms
In medium skillet over medium heat, cook beef and bacon until beef is browned; drain.
In crock-pot, combine gravy, tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Add beef, bacon and remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine. Cover, cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Makes about 6 servings.
1 pork roast, approx. 4 lbs.
1 lg. onion
4 to 6 garlic cloves, sliced
Your favorite barbecue sauce
Brown pork roast in skillet with small amount of oil. Peel and slice 1 large onion. Place half of onion in bottom of crock-pot. Put roast in crock-pot and add ½ cup water. Add remaining onion and garlic. Cover; cook on low 9 to 11 hours; remove meat and let cool enough to handle. Discard onion and juices. Tear roast into small pieces or shred with fork, return to crock-pot and add barbecue sauce (until juicy and as much as you like). Continue to cook on LOW for 1 ½ to 3 hours, or until flavors are well-blended.
Serve on buns.
Country Cousin Soup
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 lb. lean ground beef, cooked, crumbled, well drained
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 lg. potatoes, cubed
4 cups cabbage, shredded
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
Salt and pepper, to taste
Brown bacon and ground beef; drain and add to slow cooker with all other ingredients. Cook on low 7 to 9 hours. Season to taste.
Slow Cooker Chicken With Biscuits
1½ to 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast halves, cut in large chunks
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) condensed cream of chicken or cream of chicken and mushroom soup, undiluted
1 jar (12 oz.) chicken gravy
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
½ tsp. dried leaf thyme
Dash black pepper
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
6 frozen biscuits or refrigerator biscuits
In a slow cooker, layer the chunks of uncooked chicken breasts with chopped onion and celery. Combine the soup and gravy with poultry seasoning, thyme and pepper; pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Add thawed mixed vegetables, turn slow cooker to high and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, bake biscuits as directed on package. Split a biscuit and spoon some of the chicken and vegetables over the bottom biscuit. Put the top half of biscuit on the chicken and gravy, if desired.
Slow Cooker Bread Pudding
3 eggs, beaten
3 ½ cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 to 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
3 cups bread cubes or soft torn bread
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup raisins
1 banana, sliced, optional
Combine all ingredients, gently stirring until breadcrumbs or cubes are thoroughly moistened. Place mixture in a greased slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot or cold. Great with a vanilla sauce or ice cream.