Low-carb recipes for the crockpot?
January 22, 2012 11:27 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite low-carb recipes for the crock pot / slow cooker?

I just bought a crockpot. One awesome goulash later, I'm looking for low-carb recipes I can take for a spin!

I love chicken, pork, and lamb, and I also enjoy beef and seafood on a less frequent basis. Spicy recipes are a big plus, along with world cuisine and/or recipes with plenty of vegetables -- I love Indian, Greek, (New) Mexican, and Italian food, and am open to all cuisines. Recipes which require extra prep (like browning meat or onions before pouring everything into the crockpot) are also fine. I'm kind of hoping for recipes which get beyond the roast-with-sauce-or-seasoning crockpot paradigm...

Please note that I eat very low-carb, so recipes with potatoes, rice, pasta, or a ton of beans are no good. I can usually omit these if they're not the centerpiece of the dish, though, so if you've got a really great recipe for stew which happens to call for potatoes, please post away! Thanks!
posted by vorfeed to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 90 users marked this as a favorite
I have my roasted red pepper and smoked salmon soup recipe written out in my profile. I make it in my crockpot, as it seems to be much improved by a long, slow cooking. And it's a pretty hearty soup that fills you up.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:42 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

I don't have a name for this, as it's something I just throw together - but it's amazing and incredibly easy and everyone loves it.

-A pound or so of what's called braising steak here in the UK - think it's called chuck in the US - with most of the fat trimmed off

-A sliced onion

-Tin of good quality plum tomatoes

-A beef stock cube

-Two coffee cups of water

-Black pepper

-Teaspoon of cumin seed

-Teaspoon of mustard seed

-2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar

Cook on medium overnight or all day. It should be salty enough from the stock cube, but if not, add some salt. Take the beef out, let it cool a bit, and shred it up a bit, discarding any fat or gristle. Break up the tomatoes a bit with a fork if any of them are still whole. Mix the beef back in.

I don't do carbs either, so I have it as a soup with a little sour cream on top, or on top of some sauteed cabbage. My husband likes his on rice or with a handful of cooked elbow macaroni mixed in.
posted by cilantro at 1:29 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

"I'm kind of hoping for recipes which get beyond the roast-with-sauce-or-seasoning crockpot paradigm..."

Isn't that sort of an oxymoron? the point of a crockpot is to slowly simmer something for hours which means it generally has to be in a liquid or sauce, and generally only meat benefits significantly from this cooking method. - Vegetables cooked more than and hour or so can actually start to loose flavour and nutrients.

But basically any tough meat slow cooked ina liquid will work: there are traiditional recipes for such things from all over the world.

Salt Beef / Tongue: cheap chunk of beef, Ox tongue say, salted a few days in brine. then slow water with whole Celery stick, carrot, onions, peppercorns, some bay leaves, maybe some rosemary or parsley

Boeuf Bourguignon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef_bourguignon: Brown Beef then cook with onions in a mix of Red Wine and Beef Stock. when meat is softened add some mushrooms briefly fried in butter.

Beef Shin slow cooked in Soy with Ginger etc: something like this: http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/shin-of-beef-with-chilli-ginger-and-soy-recipe

Pork Cooked in Milk say: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/mar/16/foodanddrink.shopping?recipetitle=Milk+braised+pork+with+bay+leaves+

Coq au Vin; Chick pieces cooked in Red wine with a bit of Bacon could work.. although the chicken doesn't really need the slow cook quite as much.

Scotch Broth with some Mutton - if you can get it. and just don't put in all the vegetables. - a little Barley is probably necessary though

I"m quite fond of Lentils cooked with Lamb and White wine in a slow cooker. lamb neck or shoulder. - And lentils are mostly Protein aren't they? - maybe too high carb. (the usual compliment of stock vegetables, Carrot, Celery, Leek, some fresh thyme) Turnpis are good with Lamb actually.
posted by mary8nne at 5:11 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

This shredded Asian-style pork roast was amazing.
posted by DrGail at 5:18 AM on January 23, 2012

How do you feel about putting cabbage in your diet? While cooking it tends to stink up the neighborhood, it's a tasty, filling and low carb base of many wonderful dishes.
posted by hat_eater at 6:08 AM on January 23, 2012

I favorited this similar question about dutch oven recipes, which has a lot of overlap into crockpottery, yay!
posted by MansRiot at 6:26 AM on January 23, 2012

Italian slow-cooked meat sauce is called ragù (actual ragù, not the brand name of canned tomato sauce) is basically a bunch of tough cuts of meat, a bottle of wine, an onion, some chopped garlic, nutmeg and salt slow cooked for a bunch of hours. You can do this in a slow cooker and it will be great.

A decent Barbecue pork shoulder can be made by putting a shoulder (also called a Boston butt) in the slow cooker with beer, onions, Frank's RedHot, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, and salt.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:55 AM on January 23, 2012

So, you take a good sized pork loin, maybe 5 lbs or so. Take 2 tbsp fresh thyme, 2 tbsp rosemary, 1 tsp ground pepper, 1 tsp salt, 4 garlic cloves, smushed then minced a bit. Whirl these around in a spice mill or chop everything up fine, then add enough oil to help form a bit of a paste. About 1 tbsp should do, maybe a bit less. Massage this into your pork loin and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for several hours or a few days.

When ready to cook the thing, peel and cut cooking apples into 8ths, cut onions into thick slices. Toss with a little pepper and oil and perhaps a smidge of salt and layer over the bottom of the crock. Add pork log. Cook on high for about 45 minutes, then add @ 1 cup dry white wine and cook for about 2 - 2.5 hours. The smell should have been driving you insane for a while by now. remove pork, and cover it and let it cook. Add water to the mush at the bottom of the pan, and if you have an immersible blender maybe give it a whirl through the cooked apples and onions. Strain to take out any chunky bits. Stick this in your faceparts.

I served this along side diced baked sweet potato and there was none left on family night.
posted by ottergrrl at 6:58 AM on January 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

bah, on review... 4 apples, 2 small onions is what I used. I would have liked more of the apple mush, so next time I am going to do 6 apples and 3 onions...
posted by ottergrrl at 7:01 AM on January 23, 2012

Ropa vieja! I made it with goat and it was divine, but you could use anything really. Also a fan of chicken adobo - I've made it with just thighs as well as with whole chickens. (I don't think just breast meat would work as well.)
posted by restless_nomad at 8:03 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

New Mexican Red Chile Beef Stew:

(It has beer in it -- to make it low carb I'd substitute an extra 1.5 cups of beef broth instead.)

2 onions, diced
2 New Mexico green chiles (or mildish green chiles of a lesser origin, such as Anaheims or poblanos), diced
1 serrano pepper, diced (optional, depends on how hot you want it)
5 cloves of garlic, diced
3 pounds of beef chuck, cut into 1" cubes or smaller [or generic supermarket Stew Beef, which is usually chuck in disguise]
3 tablespoons New Mexico red chile powder (or other flavorful, but relatively mild, dried chile powder like ancho -- this will be the base for most of the flavor)
1 tablespoon chipotle powder (or other hot chile powder -- you could also probably use one canned chipotle chile in adobo, diced)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp whole or dried cumin
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
5 crushed peppercorns
1 tasty dark beer, like a stout or a dark/amber ale [if you use stout, try to find one without a sweet flavor]
3 cups chicken or beef broth

In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute the onions until they turn translucent, then add the green chiles and the serrano, if using. Saute a few more minutes, then add the garlic. Cook another few minutes, then put the mixture in either the crock pot or in a large Dutch oven or other pot.

Add some more oil to the skillet. Brown the beef in 2 batches. When the first batch is good and brown, place it in the crock pot or the Dutch oven with the onions and chiles. When the second batch is browned, lower the heat slightly and place all of the spices (except for the cinnamon and the bay leaves) in the skillet. Toast for about a minute, until the spices get fragrant, then stir. Add the beer to the skillet, increase heat, and simmer until the beer is reduced by about a third. Add this to the previous beef, onions, and chiles. Add the broth to the mixture and stir to mix everything up. Don't forget to add the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves.

If you are using a crock pot, heat this mixture on high for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. If using a Dutch oven, bring a mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer it for about 3 hours. Before serving, remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and, if you can find them, the cloves.

Garnish with diced cilantro, onions, chopped tomatoes, cheese or whatnot.
posted by heurtebise at 8:40 AM on January 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

The best thing I make in the slow cooker is also the easiest. Pepperoncini Pork. If I really want to be fancy with it, I throw in some onions, maybe sauteed first, maybe not. You can also brown the pork first with a little cumin rubbed on it but it's just as good without doing any of that.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:22 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I threw this in the slow cooker last night:

Southwestern Crock Stew

1 lb beef stewing cubes
1-2 cups red/yellow/orange pepper, (cut the pepper in half, cut into thick strips, possibly cut those in half)
4 cups beef broth
1 cup salsa
2 heaping tsp ground cumin (I like cumin, you can add more or less to your taste)
couple of shakes of black pepper

Dump all into crockpot. You could brown the meat beforehand, but I never do, because I'm lazy and can't taste a difference anyway. Set to low and cook for at least 8 hours, until beef is super tender. Add a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro as garnish to each plate before serving.

I put this on last night around 7:30 PM, and turned it off around 5:30 AM. Had a bowl over spaghetti squash this morning for breakfast. Yummers.
posted by sillymama at 10:51 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I appreciate all the ideas! My favorite suggestions so far are the red chile stew, pepperoncini pork, and Asian-style pork roast. Please keep 'em coming!

Isn't that sort of an oxymoron? the point of a crockpot is to slowly simmer something for hours which means it generally has to be in a liquid or sauce, and generally only meat benefits significantly from this cooking method. - Vegetables cooked more than and hour or so can actually start to loose flavour and nutrients.

Yes, but I was thinking of recipes like curry with eggplant, stew with pumpkin and squash, chicken soup with kale, and crockpot jambalaya with cauliflower -- stuff that gets beyond the "roast" flavor palette and includes some vegetables other than onion. I don't mind adding veggies during the last half-hour of cooking, or serving the crockpot meal with/over a specific serving of veggies, so there should be lots of possibilities.

So far I've been having the most luck searching the paleo community, so if anyone has some trusted paleo recipes, please post!
posted by vorfeed at 10:53 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

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