I want a man with a slow... cooker.
February 25, 2006 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Just bought a new slow cooker. What are your favorite recipes?

Inspired by yesterday's hotpot question, I'd like to pick the collective brain about good slow cooker/crockpot recipes. I've browsed some of the older threads and have found good suggestions, but there wasn't a thread entirely devoted to recipes. So in the interest of colocating useful information, let's make one.

I've already made steel-cut oatmeal overnight and it was delicious! (Thanks to whoever on AskMe recently suggested it.)

1 cup steel-cut oats
4 cups water
a little bit of salt

Cook overnight in the crockpot. In the morning add brown sugar, pecans, fruit, etc. to taste. Save any extra and refrigerate it for continued deliciousness throughout the week.
posted by MsMolly to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 95 users marked this as a favorite
Habanero Pork Sandwiches:

3lb pork shoulder roast
2 cans enchilada sauce
1/2 packet cheap-ass taco seasoning
2 habanero peppers, seeded and diced

Trim fat from roast, and put all ingredients in crock pot. Cook for 11-12 hours on low, or 6-7 hours on high; after that time, remove pork, if cooking on low turn heat to high, shred pork, and put back in pot for 20 mins. Serve on sandwich rolls with shredded cheese.

You can sub almost any kind of pepper for the habanero if you're heat-averse; chipotles are good as well. Makes about 6-8 sandwiches, and leftovers keep well in the freezer if you're the doubling-of-recipe type.
posted by pdb at 8:17 AM on February 25, 2006

I got a crockpot as a holiday gift and still haven't cooked anything in it because I can't find any decent vegetarian recipes- I've looked online a bunch, but can't seem to find much.

So, I'm going to piggyback on this question and make a sub-request for vegetarian crockpot recipes.

Or if someone could just point me in the direction of a place where I can find some general crockpot cooking principles, that way I can just make up my own dishes.
posted by elisabeth r at 8:56 AM on February 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Pulled pork.

Take boneless pork loin or pork shoulder and marinate for a couple of hours in a mixture of 1 can of cola (not diet), Worcestershire sauce, a splash of vinegar, and garlic. Then slow-roast about 6-7 hours on the lowest setting.

When it's done, remove from the pot and shred the meat. Serve with fresh, crusty bread, coleslaw, etc.
posted by essexjan at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2006

Vegetarian Slo-Cooker Book. The 2 amazon reviews are bad though, although some of the recipes look intriguing to me. I have this book, but I never got the chance to cook from it because I broke my crockpot right after I bought it. And as a warning - be sure (double-check!) the crock is in the cooker BEFORE adding liquid ingredients. Yes, I would have thought that would be obvious, too. Oops.

Vegetarians can slow-cook dried beans instead of doing them on the stovetop for an hour or two. But you do have to do a quick boil on the stove before putting them into the cooker to break down toxins in the beans.
posted by hazyjane at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2006

elisabeth r: There are lots of vegetarian crockpot recipes at fatfreevegan. I haven't tried them personally, but I like other recipes from the site.
posted by davar at 9:18 AM on February 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Enjoy Chicken Nag Champa! This curry-style recipe is a "use what you have" invention of ours that tastes great and is low in fat in calories.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces

5 medium potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1" chunks
3 medium potatoes (1 pound), cut into 1" chunks and
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 red pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen peas

1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

1+ cup chicken broth or bullion
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons corn starch

Layer potatoes/carrots, red pepper/peas, onion and chicken in Crockpot.

In a medium bowl, combine tomato, spices and chicken broth. Pour over other ingredients.

Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. May also be refrigerated overnight before cooking.

Thirty minutes before serving, combine water and cornstarch and stir into mixture in Crockpot. Cover and continue cooking until slightly thickened.

This spicy -- but not too hot -- recipe is wonderful on its own, or served over white or basmati rice.

Very low in fat – about 246 calories and 2 grams per serving.
posted by CMichaelCook at 9:21 AM on February 25, 2006 [8 favorites]

There are a few super duper excellent crockpot recipies in the Cook's Illustrated/Best Recipie cookbook: Cover and Bake. I especially like the Lamb Vindaloo.

I also second/third making pulled pork BBQ. Easy and oh so delicious.
posted by Tallguy at 9:34 AM on February 25, 2006

What sort of recipes do you like?

one of my favorites is beef stew:
- a pound of beef stew meat
- a couple tablespoons of flour, to make the gravy nice and thick
- lots of veggies, chopped bite-size (i like to stick with carrots, onions, and lots of potatoes, but you could use celery, cabbage, etc.)
- enough water to cover it
Cook on low for 8 hours or longer. It will need salt.
If you're feeling creative you can include a little tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, or spices.

Mable Hoffman has some good cookbooks for slow cookers.
posted by beandip at 9:54 AM on February 25, 2006

Disgustingly Orgasmic German Sauerkraut (or DOGS, for short)

This recipe makes grown men cry.

Two packages of sauerkraut, well drained
One lb of bacon
one red apple or a cup of applesauce

Fry the bacon. While it's cooking, put the crock on high, and add the packages of drained sauerkraut. Peel and core the apple and chop it into little pieces and add it, or add the applesauce - one or the other. When the bacon is done, remove it to a plate to let it cool, because you want to crumble it into little pieces and you don't want to burn your piggies. Don't drain it or throw away the bacon fat.

So cool the bacon and crumble it and add it to the crock, and pour all of the bacon fat in as well. Really blend it up well with a fork, so that all the kraut is covered with some bacon fat. About every hour or so, stir the whole thing really well. As each hour goes by, the kraut gets more golden, and the apple disintegrates a bit more. After 4 hours on high, put it on medium, still continuing to stir every hour or half hour. This stuff is amazing on brats, with pork roast and mashed potatoes, or on hot dogs.
posted by iconomy at 9:55 AM on February 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

Hrm, vegetarian ideas.

A slow cooker is just about the only thing I'll use for cooking beans. Start them in the morning with garlic and onions, and let them simmer until I get home from work. Slow cookers are also good for hulled barley and wheat berries that require a long simmer.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:59 AM on February 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Non-vegetarian here...

Very Un-Fancy but Quite Tasty Steak Tips

1 package stew meat or cubed beef of any type (2-3 lbs)
1 packet Lipton's Onion Soup mix
2 cans Campbell's condensed Golden Mushroom soup
1/4 cup dry red wine (any kind, cheap is fine)
1 can sliced mushrooms (optional)

Mix everything together in the CrockPot and cook on Low for 8 hours. Excellent served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
posted by justonegirl at 10:15 AM on February 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

A slow cooker is a great thing. I will take any cheap, tough, usually-dry kind of meat, brown it in a pan (basically just sear the outsides, in a little oil, to a goldy-brown color) then throw it in the cooker with some root veggies and enough liquid (a can of Coke, a can of beer, apple juice, broth, whatever you've got), your choice of seasonings, and let 'er rip for a couple hours and ... Yum. If it goes awhile and it's still tough, keep cooking it; if it cooks too long, eventually you've made soup, and nothing's wrong with that. You don't really need a recipe, just vary the ingredients and seasonings to suit what you have and what's to your taste.
posted by Rubber Soul at 10:51 AM on February 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

What a coincidence, I'm making these carnitas right now. It's a good slow cooker recipe, although you have to finish it in a pan on the stove so it browns right.

If you really want to take advantage of the slow-cooker, though, make oxtails, which are basically impossible to overcook. The longer they stew, the better, since the point is not the meat itself but the wonderful texture you get from cooking down the cartilage.

Brown the oxtail pieces and set them aside. Cut up an onion, a few green peppers and tomatoes, and a lot of garlic, and cook it down together. Add a few shakes each of cumin, paprika and oregano, a packet of sazón, half a jar of alcaparrado, and some rosé wine, and stew the oxtails in the mixture for fucking ever.

(Some timid-souled people will probably tell you that oxtail will give you mad cow disease. True, you'll be eating nerve tissue, so in theory it could. But it tastes good, it's still safer than driving, and life's too short to be afraid of food.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:31 AM on February 25, 2006

Minestrone is good veggie food in slow cookers. I usually just google up a random recipe when I feel like it, so I don't have any specifics, but it's always been good.
posted by moift at 11:33 AM on February 25, 2006

Caramelized onions. I'd be glad I got my slow-cooker even if I never used it to make anything else.

Peel a few onions; they end up greatly reduced in volume. Slice thickly (or not at all). Toss with some oil or melted butter. Cook on low until they're brown. It takes 8+ hours in my cooker but I've left them as long as 16. It's essentially foolproof; leaving them longer makes them more caramelized.

Make big batches and freeze. Put on pizza. Add to sandwiches. Add sundry other ingredients (wine, mushrooms, chicken, etc) and water or stock to make "instant" onion soup. Toss with pasta.
posted by TimeFactor at 11:35 AM on February 25, 2006 [9 favorites]

I had this yesterday, chicken tortilla soup in the crockpot, and it's super easy and yummy. I've made it without the chicken too, adding in some more beans and a grain, so the vegetarians reading may want to try it too.

I throw all of these things into the pot:
- Diced onion
- small chunks of raw chicken, about 1 pound
- can or 2 of diced tomatoes
- can or 2 of whole or refried beans
- 4 or 7oz can of diced chiles
- can of tomato sauce
- cup of salsa (or some spices)
In each case, it's fine to use different varieties of things, whatever is convenient. For instance, I've made it with pinto beans, black beans, refried pintos, refried black beans, and mixtures of both; yellow, white, red, and sweet onion; diced and stewed and roasted tomatoes. I've added rice or corn or fresh tomatoes. Raw onion works out fine, but if you have time, sauteeing the onion in oil first adds a lot of flavor.

In my crockpot, this is done in about 3 hours; when I'm impatient I eat as soon as the chicken is ready.

Can't wait to try the other recipes; thanks, everyone!
posted by olecranon at 11:50 AM on February 25, 2006 [3 favorites]

My favorite crock pot recipe (of the moment; this may change after I try out some of this thread's other suggestions) is to stick a 2-3 pound beef roast into the pot, splash random amounts of soy sauce, marsala wine, and beef broth in (I'd say 1/2-1 cup each, but the exact proportions don't matter too much), and then fill up as much of the remaining space as I can with mushrooms. After about 4-5 hours on high, the beef is nicely roasted, but the high point is what happens to the mushrooms. They end up juicy and flavorful, and go extremely well mixed in with whatever starchy side dish you like.
posted by wanderingmind at 11:56 AM on February 25, 2006 [5 favorites]

2-3 lb beef chuck roast
1 can beef consumme
Red wine - I use whatever is open in the fridge and I don't measure.
2 onions cut into big chunks
1/2 lb mushrooms cut in half, quarter the large ones
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup pearl barley
1 teaspoon ginger

Toss it all in the crock pot, making sure all the barley is well covered. You may need to add as much as 1 can of water, depending upon your wine usage. Turn onto low and go to work.

When you return in the evening, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen peas and let them heat up. Remove the meat. Be careful, it has a habit of falling apart. Serve.

You may also, depending upon your taste preferances, stir some sourcream into the barley just before serving.

Sometimes, I'll pick up a pork shoulder roast when it is on sale and toss it into the crock pot before work along with onions, garlic, thyme. Depending on the size of the roast, I'll add in carrots and potato chunks. When I get home, I just have to spoon the pork and vegis onto a plate. The meat literally falls from the bone.
posted by onhazier at 12:34 PM on February 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

You could try this page-- allrecipes.com

They have a pretty good search page.

posted by gg at 4:18 PM on February 25, 2006

Personally, my crock pot makes an awesome pot roast. It's just based on the regular pot roast recipe, (standard ingredients, brown it before you put it in the crock pot, add standard spices, broth, veggies and an acid like a cola, or a bit of vinegar -- you don't taste it in the end). Comes out fork tender. I don't remember where I got the recipe, but here are some sites to browse through:

the i don't know why i bookmarked it link but it's good.

CD Kitchen

Just Slow Cooking

I'd also second allrecipes.com.
posted by jerryg99 at 7:22 PM on February 25, 2006

Timefactor - do you leave the lid on the crockpot when you're caramalizing onions? I've always been put off recipes with the lid off, because I worry I'll stink up the house with onions for a whole day!
posted by slightlybewildered at 8:23 PM on February 25, 2006

slightlybewildered: nope, lid on and there's little or no frying onion odor. I still don't understand completely how it works; I'd have thought the onions would just turn into steamed mush with the cover on but they don't.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:36 AM on February 26, 2006

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