Crock Pot Balsamic Shredded Beef

January 13th, 2014

Crock Pot Beef 1

Because it has been so cold in Florida and because I have been reading so many blogs from the more frigid regions of our country, I just had to pull out the slow cooker to cook something long and slow all day; something that would perfume the house and build an anticipation for the satisfying meal to come. I had a chuck roast freshly defrosted from the freezer and several different recipes for crock pot beef to choose from. I ended up combining several.   What I was looking for was intense flavor to offset the richness of the beef.  The balsamic vinegar went a long way in achieving that goal.  There are some recipes for slow cooker beef that include dried onion soup mix and cream of “whatever” soup.  I try to stay away from those recipes.  The additive ladened products just seem to intensify over long cooking, in my humble opinion. And not in a good way.

Crock Pot Beef 3


The ingredients I used were simple; beef broth, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and a bit of ketchup.  The resulting beef was succulent and delicious.  The sauce was especially good.  It was so good in fact that for lunch the next day I made a “Dip Sandwich”.  The tender beef and juices made for a marvelous sandwich.

Crock Pot Beef Sandwich

The sandwiches would be great for a super bowl party.


1 4 to 5 pound chuck roast
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
Red pepper flakes to taste, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet.  When hot, add chuck roast and cook until browned on one side.  Turn, add onions and garlic to pan along with the meat.  Cook on second side until it is browned and onions are softened.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Place browned meat. onions and garlic in a slow cooker.  Mix together the remainder of the ingredients and pour over beef.  Cook the beef, covered in the slow cooker on a low setting for 7 to 8 hours.  Remove beef to a plate.  Shred it with two forks and return to slow cooker to combine with the juices.   Serve.

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Slow-Cooker Caribbean Beef Stew

December 6th, 2013

Caribbean Crock Pot Stew 1Ginger, garlic, allspice and Mexican tomatoes with green chiles all combine to make this flavorful easy slow-cooker  Caribbean stew.  The winter weather seems to have griped much of our country.  Soups and stews are always welcomed in out household, even though we have not experienced the cold that many of you are facing.  This is my homage to the colder climes.  I remember how effectively a warm fire and a bowl of stew could chase away the bitter cold.  I can still picture us in our northern abode, huddled in front of our hearth clutching warm bowls of stew, spooning their warmth into our mouths, while sipping glasses of  Burgundy wine.  It was a comforting feeling knowing we were snug and warm while the winds blew and the snow swirled outside of our windows.  We are far from that weather now, but I have to admit that I enjoyed it and miss it.  So forgive me for romanticizing winter.  I also know the down side.

Caribbean Crock Pot Stew 4 Good

Because I have been so busy, I wanted to enlist my slow-cooker to be my kitchen ally for the day.  This recipe was in last years’ Food Network Magazine.  Once the prep work is done, there is nothing more to do for dinner, unless you want to heat some rolls or make a salad.   Stay warm.


3 sprigs thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut crosswise into thirds
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 10-ounce can Rotel (Mexican-style diced tomatoes with green chiles)
4 scallions
Hot sauce, for serving

Strip the leaves from 1 sprig thyme and chop; combine with the flour, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper in a large bowl.  Add the beef and toss to coat.  Put the potatoes, carrots, the remaining 2 thyme sprigs, the ginger and garlic in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.  Add the beef, reserving any excess seasoned flour in the bowl.  Whisk 1/2 cup water and the Worcestershire sauce into the reserved seasoned flour, then add to the slow cooker.  Pour the tomatoes on top.  Cover and cook on low 7 hours or on high 4 hours.

Add the scallions to the stew and season with salt.  Divide among bowls and serve with hot sauce.

Printable recipe



Slow Cooker Spicy Tuscan Sausage Ragu

August 9th, 2013

The rain continues this summer.  It made me want to get out my crock pot and make something comforting.  Also, after having that wonderful meal at the other Penny’s home, which included marsala pears cooked in the crock pot from a recipe in The Italian Slow Cooker, I purchased the book myself.   The first recipe that the book fell open to was this spicy Tuscan sausage ragu.  It said ” This thick, rich sauce is heavenly on chunky cuts of pasta, such as rigatoni or rotelle.”  That’s all of the incentive I needed.

I just let the sausages bubble away in the tomato sauce for about five hours then added cream to the mixture and cooked it for another hour.  The cream gave the sauce a nice richness and took away much of the acidic flavor of the tomatoes.

With a few shavings of grated Parmesan cheese on top this made for a hearty and heady bowl of pasta.  Just what I was craving.

Guess what I am looking at in this picture.  It will be the subject of my next post.



Makes 10 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound hot Italian pork sausage, casings removed
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes with their juice, chopped
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
1 cup heavy cream

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Crumble the sausages into the pan and cook, stirring frequently to break up the  lumps, until the meat is lightly browned.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender.

Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the skillet.  Pour the contents into the slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes, puree, and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Stir in the cream and cook for 1 hour more, or until the meat is very tender.  Taste for seasoning.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.