Fall slow cooker solutions
Fall is here and many of us are looking for easy recipes that also provide hearty nutrition to help fuel an active and busy – yet healthful-lifestyle. With some preparation the slow cooker, or crockpot, can be a solution to help ensure you have a delicious and nutritious meal ready for your family after a long day.
Trying to get out the door for work in the morning and attempting to prepare a meal at the same time can be challenging. Thinking ahead and doing a few preparation steps the night before can help speed up the process. One step that many skip due to time constraints is browning the beef before placing it in the slow cooker. It really doesn’t take that much time and it adds a tremendous amount of beneficial favor. I simply brown the beef in a skillet the night before; that’s one less step to do in the morning.
If you are interested in learning more about delicious beef cooking methods, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. It has a page that shares three simple steps for braising and pot roasting beef.
This Four-Way Slow Cooker Shredded Beef is one of my favorites. By using one basic recipe you can put a fun twist on roast beef that offers a variety of ethnic flavors to choose from. It’s easy to prepare which is great for an everyday meal but would also work well for an entertaining occasion.
For more fall beef recipes and nutrition information, contact Holly Swee, RD, LN, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council at 605-224-4722 or www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.
Four-Way Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
• Total Recipe Time: LOW Setting: 9-1/2 to 10-1/2 hours; HIGH Setting: 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 hours
• Makes 6 servings
1 beef Shoulder Roast, Arm Chuck Roast Boneless or Blade Chuck Roast Boneless (2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper
Recipe Variations (recipes follow)
For optional browning, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Brown beef roast on all sides.
1. Place onion and garlic in 3-1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker; place roast on top. Cover and cook on LOW 9 to 10 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or until roast is fork-tender.
2. Remove roast from slow cooker. Skim fat from cooking liquid, if necessary and reserve 1 cup onion mixture. Shred beef with 2 forks. Combine shredded beef and reserved onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Continue as directed in Recipe Variations below, as desired.
3. Recipe Variations:
• Mexican Shredded Beef: Combine tomato or tomatillo salsa and beef mixture, as desired. Place in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover, vent and microwave until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve in warmed flour or corn tortillas topped with pico de gallo, slice avocados, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro and/or chopped white or green onions, as desired.
• BBQ Shredded Beef: Combine prepared barbecue sauce and beef mixture. Place in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover, vent and microwave until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve on whole wheat rolls topped with creamy horseradish sauce, coleslaw, Cheddar cheese slices, chopped green bell pepper and/or canned French fried onion, as desired.
• Asian Shredded Beef: Combine prepared hoison or teriyaki sauce and beef mixture. Place in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover, vent and microwave until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve in lettuce or cabbage cups topped with shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, chopped fresh cilantro or mint, sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes and/or chopped peanuts, as desired.
• Indian Shredded Beef: Combine prepared Indian cooking sauce, such as Tikka Masala or Vindaloo. Place in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover, vent and microwave until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve in naan or pita bread topped with toasted chopped pistachios or coconut, raisins, Greek yogurt or mango chutney, chopped fresh mint or cilantro and/or sliced cucumber or green onion, as desired.
*Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program