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Crock-pot Cookin', Cuppylicious!, Meat, Soup and Salad, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew

Total time:  4-6 hours.

The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

I’ve halved the recipe and all but butchered the rest of it. My changes are mostly in italics. For the original recipe, please visit the Wolf’s Den.

Adapted from “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners” by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

2 lb chicken (I used 2 pounds of t-bone steaks)
1/2 lb rabbit, quartered (I used 1/2 pound of homemade sausage)
4-6 slices bacon, roughly chopped
6 cups chicken broth or stock (I used beef broth)
1 lb potatoes
1 1/2 cups canned or soaked navy beans, drained
1 large onion
1 large tomato
1 large celery stalk
1 carrot
2 serrano peppers
1 1/2 tsps sea salt, and to taste
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
tabasco sauce to taste

1-In the largest stockpot you have, preferably a 10-12 qt or even a Dutch Oven if you’re lucky enough to have one, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it just starts to crisp. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Reserve most of the bacon fat in your pan, and with the pan on the burner, add in the chiles. Toast the chiles until they just start to smell good, or make your nose tingle, about a minute. Remove to bowl with the bacon. (I removed the bacon, but I added my onions at this time and sauteed them until golden brown. Then I added my peppers and proceeded to step 2 without removing anything else from the pot.)

2- Season liberally both sides of the rabbit and chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper. Place the rabbit pieces in the pot and sear off all sides possible. You just want to brown them, not cook them completely. Remove to bowl with bacon and chiles, add more bacon fat if needed, or other oil of your choice, then add in chicken pieces, again, browning all sides nicely. Remember not to crowd your pieces, especially if you have a narrow bottomed pot. Put the chicken in the bowl with the bacon, chiles and rabbit. Set it aside. (I did not remove anything from the pot.)

3- Add 2 cups of your chicken broth or stock to the pan and basically deglaze the pan, making sure to get all the goodness cooked onto the bottom. The stock will become a nice rich dark color and start smelling good. Bring it up to a boil and let it boil away until reduced by at least half. (Here’s where I transferred everything to my pre-warmed crockpot and set it to “High”.) Add your remaining stock, the bay leaves, celery, potatoes, chicken, rabbit, bacon, chiles and any liquid that may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl they were resting in. Bring the pot back up to a low boil/high simmer, over medium/high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover, remember to stir every 15 minutes, give or take, to thoroughly meld the flavors. Simmer, on low, for approximately 1 ½ hours. The stock may become a yellow tinge with pieces of chicken or rabbit floating up, the celery will be very limp, as will the chiles. (Instead of playing the waiting game, I just dumped everything into my crockpot, including all the remaining vegetables, closed the lid and let it sit for 4 hours on high. I added the lemon juice, vinegar, and some super yummy chipotle tabasco just before serving.)

(Optional 4- If you used meat with bones, complete this step) With a pair of tongs, remove the chicken and rabbit pieces to a colander over the bowl you used earlier. Be careful, as by this time, the meats will be very tender and may start falling apart. After you’ve allowed the meat to cool enough to handle, carefully remove all the meat from the bones, shredding it as you go. Return the meat to the pot, throwing away the bones.

4- Add in your carrots, and stir gently, allowing it to come back to a slow simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes, or until the carrots have started to soften.

5- Add in your onion, beans, and tomatoes. As you add the tomatoes, carefully crush them up. Simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring every so often until the stew has reduced slightly, and onions, and beans are tender. Remove from heat and add in vinegar, lemon juice, stir to blend in well. Season to taste with sea salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce if desired.

6- You can either serve immediately or refrigerate for 24 hours, which makes the flavors meld more and makes the overall stew even better. Serve hot, either on its own, or with a side of corn bread, over steamed white rice, with any braised greens as a side.

For my broth, I did a slight variation of the optional Sunday Chicken Broth recipe provided in the challenge. Instead of using chicken bones, I used beef bones! Sunday Beef Broth!

This was a very different tasting stew from what I’m used to, even with my own personal touches. There seemed to be a very high acid content, which was startlingly good to me (not normally a fan of sour).

Crock-pot Cookin', Cuppylicious!, Meat, Sauces and Dips

Barbecue Sauce IV

Barbecue Sauce on Pulled Pork

Barbecue Sauce on Pulled Pork

Total time:  8 minutes.

1/2 onion, quartered
1 tomato, quartered
2 serrano peppers
1 clove garlic
1/3 c molasses
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 T horseradish mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T ground chipotle pepper
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Blend the first four ingredients into a fine puree or until smooth. Stir in the other ingredients and mix well. Ready for dipping or cooking.

Shown here after sitting in the crockpot all day for pulled pork sandwiches.

The sweetness and flavor was exactly what I was looking for, but it needed a little more heat. I originally did this with one serrano. If I could “do-over”, I’d add a second one, so I’ve updated the recipe to match my taste.

Crock-pot Cookin', Cuppylicious!, Sauces and Dips

Barbecue Sauce III

Total time:  8 minutes.

Adapted from the back of the jar.

1/2 c molasses
1 c ketchup
1/4 c vinegar
1/4 c dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper

Mix well.

I did pulled pork sandwiches again; added a pound of pork and 1 cup of water and let it sit on high in my crock-pot all day. And, again, I had to boil it down to get rid of the extra water. This sauce is ready to dip as is, but it tastes better heated up, and it made for a pretty awesome sandwich.

Crock-pot Cookin', Cuppylicious!, Meat, Pork

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slow cooked pulled pork sandwich

Slow cooked pulled pork sandwich

Total time:  6.5-8 hours.

1 lb pork
1-2 cups water (may or may not be necessary)*
3 cups barbecue sauce

Makes 4 really big sandwiches (assuming the sandwiches are on hamburger buns).

I didn’t actually measure any of this. I made the barbecue sauce while boiling some pork on the stove in 1 quart of water. I poured out about half the remaining water and put the rest in the crockpot with my barbecue sauce and the pork.

Cook on high for 6-8 hours, periodically “mashing” the pork pieces with a potato masher.

Shown here on an onion topped potato bread roll.

I had this on high for 5 hours before I realized I had just way too much liquid. Ended up boiling it in a frying pan for 10 minutes to burn off some excess water.

* Whatever the case, you want just enough total liquid to cover your pork while it’s cooking in the crockpot.

Beef, Crock-pot Cookin', Meat, Pork

Beef Rouladen, Modern Crock Pot Style

Total time:  7-12 hours.

4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 lbs Round Steak, Chopped/Cubed
8 Slices of Bacon (Thick cut)
1 Large Onion, Chopped Finely
Mushrooms (as much as you want!)
Peas & Carrots (optional)
1 Dill Pickle, sliced & diced
3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil (We like EVOO)
3 Cups Beef Broth
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup water

Cook steak, mushrooms, onions, peas & carrots in oil till cooked and sauteed.  Cook bacon in separate pan till crispy; crumble the bacon and add to meat mixture.  Simmer for about 5 minutes; drain if applicable.  Add mustard till dissolved.  Place mixture in crock pot, add broth and cook on high for 6 hours (or 10-12 on low).  Once done, mix flour and water until smooth, then slowly add to thicken mixture.

Best served over Egg noodles… mmmmm

Beef, Crock-pot Cookin', Cuppylicious!, Meat, Soup and Salad

Beef Stew

Beef Stew before stewing

Beef Stew before stewing

Total time:  5.5 to 10 hours.

It all depends on the size of your crock-pot. I use the larger amounts now because I have a 5 quart Rival crock-pot!

1-2 pounds of beef, any style cut, chopped into 1″ to 2″ cubes
3-4 potatoes, quartered
2-3 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1-2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

Place into crock-pot in this order:
Sambal Oelek
remaining seasonings except salt

Fill crock-pot with water until just below the vegetables – or to the tops of the vegetables. Cook on high for 1 hour, then simmer for 4 to 6 hours. Alternatively, just let it simmer 8 to 10 hours. Salt to taste just before serving.

Caution! Sambal Oelek is HOT HOT HOT!

I normally use a normal spoon to dish out my Sambal Oelek, and I use one heaping and a half scoop, which is about the equivalent of 1 tablespoon. That’s about as warm as I like it. Some chili isn’t that hot. Just use caution.

I start my crock-pot at 9:30am, and it simmers until 6pm. I don’t use any thickeners, but if you like your stew thick, definitely add some potato or cornstarch just before serving.

Beef, Crock-pot Cookin', Cuppylicious!, Meat, Soup and Salad

Corned Beef Cabbage



Total time:  7.5 to 9.5 hours.

It’s not just for St. Patrick’s Day! Cabbage is really good for you!

1-2 pounds of corned beef
1/2 head of cabbage
3 large potatoes
1-2 carrots
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
black pepper
2 cups of water

The corned beef seasons everything on its own, really. DO NOT ADD SALT.

Cut the corned beef into halves. Chop all vegetables down to size (somewhere between a large gumball and your fist, it’s your preference, really).

Place into crock-pot in this order:

Corned Beef and Cabbage (Cooked)

Finished product. Cabbage color shows it's done, and you can see where the water/juice level has risen.

Cook on high for 1 hour, then turn to low for 6-8 hours more. I normally start my crock-pot at 10am, and then turn it down at noon for dinner by 5pm. If I want to eat at 6pm, I turn it down at 11am. Check on it around 2pm and make sure the water level is almost the same height or the exact same height as your vegetables; add more water if necessary.

After! (Although we'd already eaten some.. *cough*.. just couldn't wait..)

After! (Although we'd already eaten some.. *cough*.. just couldn't wait..)

Crock-pot Cookin', Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Mexican, Soup and Salad

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Garnishes add a unique flavor to every bowl.

Garnishes add a unique flavor to every bowl.

Total time:  1.5 hours on the stove or 4-8 hours in the crockpot.

2-3 chicken breasts
2 cans of chicken broth
2-3 tomatoes
2 poblanos
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 shallot
juice from one lime or half a lemon
handful of chopped cilantro
1 bay leaf
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp oregano
2 or more tsp NM or CA red chili
1 or more tsp chipotle (for smoky flavor)

garnish with
lime wedges
sliced avocado
green onions
sour cream

8 or more small corn tortillas
1/2 c vegetable oil
alternatively, you can use corn tortilla chips out of the bag

Boil chicken breasts in just enough water to cover them until just cooked. Let cool, but do not drain.

Puree tomato, poblanos, garlic, onion, shallot and juice.

Chop or shred chicken breasts. Combine chicken, leftover water, tomato mix, chicken broth and seasonings in a pot or crock-pot. Bring just to a boil and simmer for one hour.

To prepare your own tortilla strips, slice tortillas in vertical strips 1/4 or 1/2 inch wide. Brown lightly in hot oil, drain on paper towels or in a metal colander.

I used my crock-pot, and I cooked it on high from 2pm to 6pm… but I think I could have had the same results in a pot on the stove for an hour. I didn’t puree my vegetables, either. It was more like stew, so next time, I’m definitely pureeing. New Mexico or California chili powder doesn’t add a lot of heat, but it does add a lot of flavor. You can leave them out or substitute cayenne to make it hotter or normal chili powder to change the flavor. Or leave them all out… I’m sure it’ll still taste good. I squeezed in a lime wedge into my own bowl to get the exact taste I was looking for.

Some people add corn or black beans. I’m not a fan, as I like my soup to be just chicken and tortillas.