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Let’s Slow Cook this Weekend

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While I adore my crockpot and the idea of slow-cooking in general, crockpot recipes that I want to make again and again are actually rather rare. Truth is too many crockpot recipes rely on ingredients like canned “cream of” soups, which are a no-go for me. So I treasure a truly good slow-cooker recipe. Here are a couple of crockpot dishes I thought our readership might find interesting.

First up is my Asian-inspired short ribs. I posted the recipe–chaotically and sloppily–on twitter, but several of my tweeps expressed real enthusiasm about the ribs, so I thought I’d neatly lay out the recipe here, for everyone to see. As always, I do not measure ingredients so amounts are approximations.

 

Asian-Inspired Beef Short Ribs

  • 6-8 beef short ribs, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into long chunks
  • 2 onions, cut into large wedges
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice Powder
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. rice wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha or Sambal Oelek
  • 3-4 stalks (?) baby bok choy, quartered
  • 1/3 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • fresh lime juice for serving
  1. Heat oil in browning slow cooker or dutch oven. Brown ribs on at least two sides. Remove from pot.
  2. Throw in (and season…lightly) the onions, carrots, garlic and ginger and spice and stir until fragrant, a minute or two.
  3. Put ribs and veggies in the crockpot. Stir in the broth, soy sauce, sherry, and cover.
  4. Cook on low for 5-7 hours until ribs and veggies are fork-tender, less time if you cook on high. (I overcooked the veg a bit.)
  5. Stir in the baby bok choy. Cook for 1/2 to 1 hour more, ’til it wilts a bit.
  6. Skim some of the fat from the top of the pot. (It will be be quite fatty.)
  7. Stir in the Sriracha and vinegar.
  8. Serve over hot cooked rice, with cilantro and fresh-squeezed lime juice.

Next up is a recipe from Food Network Magazine, Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken.

  • 3 pieces naan bread
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 Fresno chile or red jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems separated, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 15 -ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt

Crumble 1/2 piece naan into coarse crumbs; transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the red onion, potatoes, chile and cilantro stems. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer over the vegetables and sprinkle with the garam masala, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Dot with the butter and add the cinnamon stick. Pour the tomato sauce over the top. Cover and cook on low, 7 hours.

Uncover and switch to the warm setting or turn off. Gently stir in the heavy cream, breaking the chicken into large chunks; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro leaves and season with salt. Serve with the remaining naan.

I cannot say enough good things about this dish. It is rich and savory and so fragrant it’s almost perfumey. The scent of fresh cilantro stems cooking away with cinnamon and Garam Masala will drive you wild all day. Folks, this one’s a keeper. I’ve made it four times already. Yup, that’s how good it is.

 

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