Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Slow Cooker: North African Beef Stew

I love beef stew, but after making this recipe I really love beef stew. I spice it up a little so if you don't want the heat but still want a very flavourful stew just omit the chipotle chili pepper.

olive oil
2 pounds trimmed & cubed stewing beef
salt & fresh ground pepper
1 large white onion coarsely chopped
4 medium carrots chopped
4 cloves of garlic sliced
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 can of chick peas or mixed beans or lentils
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsp sherry

Salt & pepper beef and brown on all sides in olive oil. Transfer to slow cooker on low. Careful not to crowd the pan and brown the beef well. Add onions and soften for a couple minute before adding the carrots and the garlic. Cook for a couple minutes before adding the spices. Toast the spices for a minute and then deglaze the pan with the sherry. Transfer the veggies to the slow cooker, add the raisins and the stock. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Serve with wild rice or couscous.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Slow Cooker: Drunken Irish Pork Chops

So cooking with a new baby presents an interesting challenge, time pressure. Bascially my window of opportunity for anything revolves around Otis' nap schedule which is somewhat unpredicable. If I'm lucky I get an hour, not so lucky 30 minutes and really lucky 90. Of course in that time I have to shower, pump, eat and try and make dinner. So my new best friends has become the slow cooker.

I found this recipe for Smothered Bourbon Pork Chops that turned out amazing. I didn't have any bourbon but we did have a bottle of Irish Whiskey so I fiddled with the ingredients a bit and I guess my take on it is Drunken Irish Pork Chops.

Olive Oil
4 1 inch thick bone in pork chops
2 tbsp butter
1 large white onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely diced
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 Irish Whiskey
1/3 cup Maple syrup
1 tsp Frank's Redhot
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 chicken stock

Premix the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

Salt & pepper chops and then brown chops on medium high heat in a skillet with olive oil. About 2 minutes each side. Remove and set in slow cooker set on low.

Add butter to skillet, melt and add onions. Cook onions until soften, add garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Add the sauce and deglaze the skillet, scraping up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce for about a minute and then pour over chops.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Don't rush it. Let it cook low & slow and you'll have sweet and yummy melt in your mouth chops. Serve over rice or polenta.