And now the post about the slow cooker...
Here I am writing about the slow cooker again. Things must be slow around here :) The food was so flavorful yesterday. I sort of made up my own recipe...after watching Ina do a similar thing on TV. Here is the way I did it:
We bought something called short ribs appropriate for grilling. These weren't those chunky short ribs, but flat, sort of thin, with a bone down one side. I think we had a little over 2 lbs. I put the ribs on a bake sheet and put a Tb. of salt on them and a Tsp of pepper. They went into a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 min. I used 4 carrots, 2 leeks, 1 onion, 3 stalks of celery, and 1/4 c olive oil. I chopped the veggies sort of smallish and all the same size and put them in the hot pan with oil. I cooked this mixture for 10-15 minutes till they were starting to brown. Then I poured a whole bottle of dry red wine on the mixture and cooked it down for about 20 min. I then put the veggie mixture into the slow cooker and put the meat on top. I poured a large container (4 c) of beef stock over it and added a Tbs of brown sugar. Put on the lid and didn't peek for 6 hours. When I took the cover off.....heaven...I took the meat out and put it on a platter, and then fished the bones out of the pot. I poured the mixture into a saucepan and used a hand blender to blend. I put a flame under the pan and added some water that I had put two Tbs of flour in. This made a thinnish gravy or sauce. I served it with mashed potatoes and Italian green beans and Italian bread. The flavor was outstanding. We ate fast at first and then sat back and slowed down, so we could really enjoy it. There was a lot of sauce leftover, so I put it in a freezer bag and will make a noodle dish using it. I would say that this was a very labor intensive meal. I remember when Crockpots first came out and women would just throw something in and go to work....come home to a pretty tasteless meal. That's why so many Crockpots are way back in the cupboard in hard to reach places in the kitchen. The new slow cooker recipes are not as easy as one might like. You really have to brown the meat first to intensify the flavor that is so good. I think that you could call what I did yesterday "Gourmet Cooking" using a slow cooker. Next it's Joe's turn. He is making chili using our new cooker.