I remember way back when, nearly 30 years ago. My mother went through a few crock-pots and recipes, I did my own searching. Mostly I escaped the grasp because I wasn’t able to fuss with my food during the cooking period. You get what you get, no chance for tasting, changing direction and/or redirecting to a final end that tasted as good as you could do in the oven or stove-top.
As with any situation, time changes everything. I need help. No longer do I have hours in the late afternoon and evening to give what I want to eat and serve to my boys. I would really like to have something tasty and somewhat healthy at the end of the day wherein I would really like to only serve or cook rice, er mashed taters. I figured maybe the crock-pot would have another life here at Meathenge Labs.
Earlier today I picked up a large 5 quart rig, it was time. They feel as cheap as they ever were (no longer in the color of an avacado) But with the internet, I figured I could find some guidelines to use the damned thing. Nope! Between the included recipes and what I’ve initially found on the net is quite the contrary.
So far, it’s all about the canned, the packeted and then again, the can. Sure you can use the fresh vegetables and the meat, but if you truly know what you’re doing? The onion soup packet or the mushroom soup is an ingredient. If you’re really a Home Chef, you’ll add the fancy “Brown Gravy” packet.
It’s 2010 and was just only then 2009, so dreamed maybe the cooker would come with decent recipes. The first one I viewed about pork chops and rice included a can of mushrooms. A can of mushrooms?
My brother inlaw Darkleynoone, a skilled cook and crock-pot stud interjected that I needed to lower the moisture addition, it’s tough to do dried herbs in a crock-pot and to maybe cook the starches separately. I totally understood.
But what’s with the large glut of complete crap in regards to the crock-pot and ingredients?
UPDATE 6 hours in the pot:
I work maybe a 6 minute drive from home, decided to come home to see how things were going. As I opened up the front door, the smells were really good. Nothing compared to my traditional pot roast, but still quite good. I probably added too many veggies, but wanted enough to use them to eat and not just a disposable addition. I did add a cup of chicken broth, maybe next time I won’t. If you click on the image, you can get a little larger idea and can see there’s plenty of moisture in there. Dang, those meat additives release a lot of moisture! And considering how little evaporates during cooking, I may end up reducing them later in a sauce pan. Yeah, pull meat and let it rest for a bit. Strain veggies from broth, reduce. So far, so good.
ps – And two hours after that? It’s done.
Update a few hours after that – Dinner was served:
I’m blown away, completely. This was better than good and for a Wednesday evening meal. I totally kicked your ASS. This isn’t to say it didn’t take some effort, it wasn’t something I just threw together and walked away. I’d added too much moisture (1 cup of chicken broffs). At nearly 8.5 to 9 hours I set the cooker to warm for another hour while I drove for 1.5 hours to pick up Z from school. When I got back I separated the meat, and then the veggies from the broth. I reduced the broth until it tasted how I wanted, then added a slurry of cold water and corn starch to give it some consistency.
If you learn the cooker’s ways, positive and negative, and can stay away from canned and packets, this cooker is Meathenge Approved. It may take a few tries, fortunately it only took me 1 try to make a National Class meal. I’m huge and need to go take a nap.