Monday, October 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Revelations from a Reformed Food Snob

We're all busy ... and the idea of cooking a roast, or any other meal for that matter, in a slow cooker has always seemed a little antiquated to me.  The slow cooker always reminded me of Sunday dinner at one of my high-school friend's grandma's houses ... not exactly what I envisioned for my urbane lifestyle.

Snobby, you might say ... and you'd be right.  For quite some time, I was under the impression that anything not cooked 'a la minute' or if slow cooked, then at minimum in a Le Crueset, was sub-par.  I was wrong.

Seriously, I am admitting it.  I was wrong about slow-cookers.  They are sort of amazing ... 

Slow Cookers - a Haiku

save me time tonight
infuse flavor, tenderize
delight the palate

Super Simple Beef Barbacoa in a Slow Cooker - 20 Minutes to Dinner

Though I am far, far, far from replicating my favorite barbacoa at Torchy's Taco's here in Austin, TX, I did find that without much fanfare I could create a darn tasty and similar dish.

Pre-Work Prep Time: 7 Minutes
Post-Work Finish & Serve Time: 12 Minutes

Ingredients for the "Lazy Gals Version"
  • 2-3 Pounds of Rump Steak or Tri Tip, Cut Into Small Slabs
    • many of the less tender and inexpensive cuts work just fine
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, Smashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsps Chili Power
  • 2 Tbsps Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Cups Chicken or Beef Broth, from concentrate (Better than Bullion is great)
  • Optional - I dosed these at the very end to mix up the flavor
    • Balsamic to taste
    • Jalapeno simple syrup or Honey to taste
    • Soy Sauce to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
Pre-Work Prep:
  • Heat a pan with oil
  • Season beef with salt & pepper
  • Add chopped garlic
  • Sear each piece of beef on both sides till lightly browned
  • Put into slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours
  • Add all seasonings and chicken or beef broth
  • Cover and head out
Post-Work Finish:
  • Enter home to tasty scents ... mmmmm
  • Shred meat with forks, taste
  • Add the optional items as desired to your personal taste
What would make this better?
  • We didn't have any onions or fresh Jalapenos/other hot peppers handy ... that would have added a lot of additional flavor.  I'll be trying it again ... but honestly, these had us going back for seconds!
How to serve your tasty Beef Barbacoa
  • In a tortilla with sauteed bell peppers, cheese & avocado
  • On a plate of rice and beans with some pico de gallo
  • Re-fried as a steak & egg breakfast
This will likely be the first of many delicious and easy to make slow cooker recipes for the insanely busy among all of us ... but don't fret, I'll be back with 20-30 minute a la minute recipes that will make you look like a healthy genius in your kitchen too!

Lastly, for those few who have read my blog off and on ... apologies for the hiatus.  As usual, life got in the way ... and now I've decided that I enjoy cooking and sharing it all way too much for life to interrupt (at least for now).

Enjoy and let me know what snazzy thing you've simmered up in a slow cooker recently!

1 comment:

Amy C said...

So glad you are back!!! Can't wait for more yummy recipes!