Apr 3, 2017

Slow/Pressure Cooker: Set It and Forget It Recipes

I'm fairly busy(lazy) and love things that I can just throw in a pot and then eat later, but for one reason or another just end up making refried beans every time.

I'm lookin for some tried and trues to try to mix it up so what's your go-to simple recipe?


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Another good one - and pretty healthy - sweet potatoes in a slow cooker. i cut them into big pieces.....basically quarter a sweet potato. add a little bit of chicken broth, a few chunks of butter, then add some salt, pepper and let it cook. Comes out tasty and a good carb.
Pinto, Navy, and Lima beans all work well with smoked pork. In particular, I like smoked pork neck bones with red beans over rice. Pinto and Lima beans work well with smoked pork too. One pound of dry beans goes well with a half to full pound of smoked pork neck bones.

A beef roast (2~3 pounds) with a good dose of garlic salt (like Lawry's) with a half dozen garlic cloves, plus some carrots, celery and, potatoes (really like baby red's here) work really well for me too.
I love me some pork and beans. And I've got about 300 pounds of beef in the freezer I'm workin through so I'll give that one a shot. Thanks!
Random idea I stumbled onto by default of what to do with leftovers......but I promise, tastes good. If you get Chinese food and then have leftovers in the containers....which you always do....I kid you not.....take any and all leftovers and combine them in a crock pot or slow cooker......and then just let them cook for a bit. It's odd, but because the flavors of most Chinese cuisine are bold, they actually randomly work together.....and then you kind of have the equivalent of a Stew at the end. And you don't waste the little bits of leftovers that still remain. Try it.....
I'm giving you a thumbs up, but just know that I still think you're insane.

That said, will try this next time I have Chinese.
He's right.
I have combined different asian meals into one big pot and some how it comes out fantastic! :D
Then again, I do mix ethnic meals from across the pond all the time.
I tried out an oxtail recipe recently and it turned out great in the slow cooker; this is off the top of my head so I don't remember the exact measurements of all the ingredients. It makes a nice hearty stew which you can thicken up with a roux and serve over pasta (thicker noodles like pappardelle work great). The oxtail also has a lot of collagen in it, which adds richness and is supposedly packed with health benefits.

Ingredients for a 6-quart crockpot:
1.5 lbs oxtail on the bone
3 large carrots
One bunch of celery
One large leek
One large white onion (can be substituted for pearl onions if you want whole small onions in the stew)
Chicken broth (one carton should do, you want enough to cover your mixture)
4.5 oz tomato paste
Dry white wine
One large orange
Bay leaves

Pasta (egg pappardelle preferred)

Here's the general procedure, remember to season each part individually as that will help maximize the flavor.

Chop up all your vegetables. You want large chunks of everything, as they're going to be cooking for quite a while and will break down. Set aside half of the garlic and parsley for the eventual garnish. Sear your oxtail on a stovetop in oil or butter, then remove it from the stovetop and place it directly in your slow cooker. Don't clean your pan out; you're going to use those drippings to sear half of your garlic and the chopped vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, leeks). Dump all of these over the oxtail, then fill up the slow cooker with chicken broth. Add a generous amount of white wine (I used about half a bottle for a six quart crockpot) and drink the rest of the bottle. Enjoy. Add grated ginger, your entire tube of tomato paste, the juice of your orange (save the skin), and salt+pepper to taste. Add some paprika for heat, and a mixture of basil, sage, oregano (fresh if you've got it, Italian seasoning if you don't). Tie your bay leaves/thyme into a bouquet garni for easy removal and add it to the slow cooker. Give it a bit of a stir, then set it to low for 6-8 hours.

Garnish with a mixture of fresh chopped parsley, garlic, and zest from your orange. If you are serving this over pasta, you can thicken it up with a roux (depending on how much broth you added), and grate fresh parmesan over the top.
The french dip sandwiches alone made my pressure cooker a worthwhile purchase. I never exactly measured the spices, but the general answer is "a lot" when it comes to pressure cooking. I usually just stick my face in the pot and when it smells good I figure that's enough haha

French Dip Sandwiches Serves 4-5
3lbs chuck roast
3 cups beef stock
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
onion powder (you could do onions here, but I'm not a huge fan)
Hoagie rolls
Provolone cheese
Place all ingredients into pressure cooker for 45-50 minutes (depending on whether you want more sliced vs shredded). Let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes.

Pile meat onto garlic hoagie rolls, top with provolone cheese, and broil until melty and toasty. Serve with cooking jus.

Bonus dessert round:
Pressure Cooker Chocolate Lava Cakes
1 stick butter
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tbs Vanilla
6 tbs flour
1 cup powdered sugar
For topping:
Ice cream

4 Pyrex (or other oven safe) 6oz ramekins
trivet for pressure cooker (I believe the Instant Pot brand ones come with it)
Place chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, mixing until well combined.
Mix in powdered sugar until smooth.
Add 3 eggs and egg yolk until well combined.
Add Vanilla and flour and stir until well combined.
Spray each Pyrex Bowl with pam cooking spray and pour batter into each bowl filling to the top.
Place your trivet in your pressure cooker with one cup of water. Place your bowls on the trivet.
Cook for 9 minutes and quick release pressure.
*Note there will be some condensation on the cakes which you can dab off with a paper towel. Doesn't make them soggy and it's on the bottom anyway.*
Remove from the pressure cooker, place upside down on a plate, and top with ice cream.
Yum bang!
Al Pastor - https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/braised-pork-al-pastor-tacos-recipe-easy-slow-cooker-recipes

This is not anywhere near as good as the real thing, but it is incredibly easy and satisfying with a stack of warm corn tortillas and some cold beers.


For the Spice Mix:
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chipotle powder

For the Pork Shoulder:
1 pineapple, skin on and ends trimmed
3½ pounds pork shoulder or butt, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 dried guajillo chile
1 small yellow onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1½ cups chicken stock
¼ cup white vinegar

serve with salt, limes, cilantro, raw onion whatever fixins you like
No pictures, but pulled pork is pretty easy in a slow cooker. Just take as much pork tenderloin that will fit in your pot, cover it with either root beer or Coca Cola, add a bit of Worcestershire and/or liquid smoke, and go low and slow until it pulls apart with a couple of forks.

Add the BBQ sauce of your choice, cole slaw, and King's Hawaiian buns and you're in business!
Also adding comment to follow this. I will say, I have often tried Crock-Pot recipes that have extra fussing, but I just skip the fussing. I don't pre-brown or pre-cook, it's dump and go. Usually they're fine. Not much of an endorsement, but.
For those posting Mexican recipes, I'd like to give a little advice (from a Mexican who makes a lot of food):
Cumin is not only your friend, it is ESSENTIAL. It's included in a lot of recipes already shared, but there's one thing that I have to stress that will change the way you use it. FRY IT.

Cumin, raw, tastes very earthy with a tiny warm pepper-like bite. When it is roasted or fried (in either powder or seed form) the flavor profile changes quite a bit. Smoother, nuttier, and more rich flavors rise to the top and it become much more rounded than just raw cumin. The key, however, is to make sure you don't burn it!

If you're going to make a slow cooker meal using cumin, here's my recommendation:
In a small sauce pan, heat some oil on medium high heat and then add your onions. When they're getting nice and soft and starting to brown up a bit, add your garlic if the recipe calls for it. Once it's started to get translucent, add your cumin and other spices. Turn down the heat just a bit and continuously stir. You're just looking to fry the spices a little bit, so maybe a minute (at most) of frying at this medium heat will be enough. Then add your water to the pot, or just use a spatula to scoop it all into your crock pot.

This step is often left out in a lot of recipes and it's so important!
I love details like this, we're often not told the "why" behind the process. I'm fortunate enough to have found recipes that include this step, but now I'll make sure to always do it!
Commenting on this wonderful thread of deliciousness to save it for later.

Amazing Pork Carnitas recipe. I am actually having this cook at home while at work.
commenting for later
Commenting on this for posterity and deliciousness.
Here's on of my favorites, done it at least five times:
Beef Brisket Paleo Slow Cooker
Prepare brisket rub to gently sauté the following until the onions are translucent:
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt or smoked salt
½ cup honey
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
Rub the mixture over all sides of the brisket and store in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Coat the inside of the crock pot with coconut or avocado oil. Add the following to the crock pot:
3 cups beef broth
6 carrots,
diced 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
On top of the above, add the brisket and remaining rub to the crock pot.
Turn the crock pot on low and place the cooking thermometer into the brisket from the side so at least 2” of the temperature sensor is into the meat. Baste the brisket with the liquid in the crock pot every hour. The brisket should reach 190 degrees in six to eight hours. Turn off the crock pot and baste the brisket once more and let sit for 20 minutes before cutting across the grain in strips less than 1/2” thick. Use the remaining crock pot mixture as sauce at the table.
Pile of small red potatoes or those Yukon potatoes. Add mushrooms (ideally shiitake or oyster, or Morel if you are rich/lucky).Add cut up carrots, celery and onions (you can simply peel and food process, or buy the pre-cut and throw in). Place half a chicken (literally a whole chicken sliced in half) on top and season with fancy sea salt and whatever pepper. Add water until it touches the bottom on the chicken. Set for 8 hours before you leave for work. When you get home, you will have cooked chicken with a crisp skin (that salt is magic), and the bones will literally fall out so you can easily eat the chicken, save for the wing which always retains the damn bones.

The potatoes and veggies and such will be chicken stew stoo-pid good. Also, you can just leave what you do not eat in there over night and pour it into a Tupperware to bring to work in the morning. I am pretty sure this is the reason the half-chicken was invented. The key is to use the big-grain salt that dries out the skin so it is crispy. I use Bosari.
Will try fo sho. Pretty sure morels grow up on the hill behind my mom's place so I'll go scavenge around a bit.
I'm sure gonna try this. Got a crockpot recently and this sounds great!