The crock pot wins again! I swear I ate this for days and didn’t get sick of it. Now ideally you would use grass-fed short ribs (Try US Wellness Meats!) but I happened to buy a big ol’ value pack from BJs this time. Short ribs are awesome, but you HAVE to cook them slow. I’ve never had any luck cooking them any other way, they always come out tough and gross, but in the slow cooker they are DIVINE. By the end they are falling off the bone and tender, and I cannot think of a more lovely way to be greeted coming in from work.
As for prep, there isn’t much. I threw the onions on the bottom, packed in the short-ribs, and threw the garlic in between. Then I piled the rest of the veggies on top, added any liquid, and cooked on low for 8-10 hours. Super simple and tasty! Be sure to go heavy on the fresh herbs and garlic!
- 4-5 Lbs Short Ribs
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth
- 1/8 Cup Coconut Aminos
- 4-5 Tops/Bunches Fresh Basil
- 6 cocktail tomatoes – Halved
- 6 – 7 small Baby Bella mushrooms
- 2 small vidalia onions
- 6+ Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Cup Celery Hearts – Chopped
- Salt, Pepper, Smoked Paprika
Here is an easy stew, perfect for a cold winter night. It’s not particularly thick, but chock full of tasty root vegetables, and chunks of bison. Bison is a great choice, and I love the Bison Stew Meat from US Wellness Meats. It’s nice and meaty, but doesn’t have a strong “beefy” flavor like beef sometimes does. You could easily substitute beef though.
- 1 rutabaga
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 1 turnip
- 2 small parsnips
- 2 cups water
- 1 pint chicken stock
- 1 lb bison stew meat
- 2 portabella mushroom caps
- Allspice, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf
Chop all vegetables and add to the crock pot. Add the bison meat. Season and pour in the liquids. Cook on low for 10 hours.
I swear, sometimes it’s so hard to make stew type things look good in pictures. Especially for me, I don’t set anything up special, the dishes are not in makeup for an hour before we shoot, I try to be very realistic, and stove-to-plate…..because that’s real life! Anyway, Here’s something a little different. I really love the Grass-Fed Boneless Short Ribs from US Wellness Meats. They are a perfect portion, and you get a good amount of meat with them since you don’t have to worry about getting one with a big bone. I had some left over wine (Not WLC Compliant alert!) , and I was on a cherry kick, so I decided to make a sort of “Cherry BBQ “sauce for the short ribs. As always, it doesn’t get easier than the slow cooker, producing beautiful, tasty, fall apart-melt-in-your-mouth meat. Super duper easy, and you can substitute the ribs for any good roast.
- 16 oz boneless short ribs (I get mine from US Wellness Meats)
- 24 oz strained tomatoes
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1/8 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- A few tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 cups dark red cherries (I used organic, frozen)
- a few dashes of nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon, salt,
- A good amount of black pepper, paprika, ancho chili powder, and southwest seasoning
Throw everything in the crock pot, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. I put it in before going to work, and switched it to the keep warm setting when I got home.
Then while I was at the gym, I had a butternut squash roasting (350-375 for about 60-90 min depending on the size of the squash). Before getting into the shower, I cut it in half and removed the seeds. I lightly scored it, and then rubbed it with 1/2 a teaspoon of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and thyme per side, before putting it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. (Note: Don’t use honey if you are on the WLC as it is not compliant )
All of this fit into my busy day very nicely, and made getting a delicious dinner on the table a snap. I love rich, fruity, BBQ flavors in the winter time. The ribs were so tender, and pulled apart very easily with a fork.
This stuff is so good, and I’m thrilled that I made so much of it! What I really love about how this came out, is that it has enough flavor to stand on its own, but is subtle enough that you can re-use it for things like tacos, or to stuff inside of an avocado, squash, or potato. Like most crock pot stuff, and with only a few vegetables to chop, it’s beyond easy, and takes all of 10-15 minutes to prepare. I tried something new, and rather than doing this early in the day, and letting it cook on low for 6+ hours, I started it at night, and cooked it on high for only 5.
- 2.5 lbs Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 lb Chicken Breast
- 2 Small Apples, chopped
- 3 jalapeno Peppers, sliced and seeded
- 1/4 Onion, chopped
- 5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 10 Allspice Berries
- 4 or 5 Tablespoons Kalustyan’s Ancho Chili Powder
- A little salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
- A dash coconut aminos ( up to 1 or 2 Tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup Tessemae’s paleo BBQ sauce
When adding ingredients to the Crock Pot, I started with the onion and garlic, then I did a layer of chicken thighs, breast, and the rest of the thighs. I finished off with the apples, jalapeno, and seasonings. After adding the BBQ sauce, I mixed it around, just slightly. Once all the ingredients were in, I cooked on high 5 hours. Then, I shredded the chicken with a fork.
Oh my! I feel like I’ve just been on a steamy kitchen date. This dish is mega dark, rich, and fruity. The Figs and Cherries are poached in red wine and mulling spices to reconstitute, and all the flavors compliment and play off each other in a sultry evening dance. The beefy flavor of the chuck roast intensify the bold flavors, but the sweetness of the fruit balance and subdue the beef flavor. My boyfriend, who normally doesn’t like “beefy” flavors, gave it a thumbs up. A subtle smokey spice from ancho chili powder adds a mild kick to envelope your taste buds a little further.
- 1 Carrot, chopped
- 3-4 Shallots, peeled and sliced
- 1 Turnip
- 1-2 lb Chuck Roast
- 2-3 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder (I use Kalustyan’s)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (For Browning)
- 1 cup Unsweetened Dried Cherries
- 7 dried Unsweetened Turkish Figs
- 2-3 cups Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon ) + and extra 1/4 cup
- Mulling Spices
- salt, pepper, thyme
- 1/2 split Vanilla Bean
- 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk
- First, Peel and chop your vegetables and add to the slow cooker the carrot, shallots, parsnip, and turnip
- Then, rub the ancho powder all over both sides of your meat, and brown in coconut oil for a few minutes
- Then, Add to the crock pot as well
- add 2-3 Cups red wine, leaving about a 1/4 cup reserved to the side, the cherries, the figs, and mulling spices (in a spice bag), to a sauce pan. Simmer until the fruit has soaked in most of the wine and the figs look plump and moist.
- Pour over meat into the crock pot.
- Add the remaining wine, spices (salt, pepper, thyme, and a little more ancho powder), 1.2 a split vanilla bean, and 1/2 a can of light coconut milk to the crock pot.
- Cook on low 8 hours.
So I forgot to take a picture of this one, but it was good, so I decided to post it anyway. It was a great weekend meal, without being tied down cooking all day.
•Eye of round roast
•1/2 a pumpkin cubed [i used a cheese pumkin, but kabocha would be amazing. Butternut squash would work too.
•1-1/2 cups strained tomato
•1 ladle chicken broth
•1 yellow onion
•1 pattypan squash
•3 cloves garlic
•Salt, pepper, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, paprika, thyme, nutmeg, a small shake of cumin and coriander, 1 clove seed and 2-3 allspice berries whole, 2 bay leaves
1. Quarter the onion and chop the apple into large chunks.
2. Place the onion on the bottom of the crock pot along with some pumpkin.
3. Then add the roast on top, and throw the rest of the vegetables in.
4. Add the seasonings, then the tomato and broth.
5. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove the roast and cut into chunks and add pack to the pot.
So, since learning of the sumptuous flavors of Cuban Picadillo, I’ve enjoyed playing around with some inspired variations, such as my Picadillo Stuffed Peppers [Click the Picture below to go to the recipe]
This time, I wanted to try to adapt it for the crock pot, so I made more of a stew. I added a beef shank along with the ground bison, and a bit more water than usual, so it came out more like a pot roast or stew, and less like a taco meat/chili consistancy….so it’s not a true picadillo….but I really wasn’t trying to make it to any standard since I was slow cooking it. It WAS an experiment [ a very tasty one ] after all!
- 1-1.5 lb Beef Shank [ Grass- Fed ]
- 1 lb Ground Bison
- I can Trader Joe’s pitted green olives
- 1-1.5 cups unsulfered, unsweetened raisins
- I cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 28 oz can Cento Brand crushed tomatoes
- 1 onion [chopped]
- 4-5 cloves garlic [chopped]
- 1 each of Red, yellow, and Orange bell peppers [chopped]
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 cup water
- cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano to taste
If you haven’t pre chopped your ingredients, then start off by chopping all your vegetables. Then add some of the onions and peppers to the bottom of the crock pot. Season the beef shank on both sides and brown in a skillet over medium-high heat in a little coconut oil. Transfer it over to the crock pot. Do the same with the chopped meat. Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Shown garnished with a few plantain chips….yummy!