Have you ever come home from a long day at work tired, hungry and don't really feel like making anything? Yeah, that happens around our house...a lot. One weapon we rely on is our slow cooker. It's a magic time machine - you put stuff in it [usually frozen] before work and by the time you get home - POOF! Dinner! Good eats without a wholelotta work...I'm all over that like fur on a weasle...
This is crazy simple - takes about 5 - 10 minutes of prep work before you leave for work. Simple is what I need in the morning 'cos I'm usually half asleep when I'm putting this together.
Sliced large onion or 2 med. onions
Hand full of carrots
Stalk or two of celery
Chopped tomato (I've used tomato paste in the past, but we had fresh tomatoes to use)
Penzey's Granulated Garlic
Penzey's Granulated Onion
Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Salt & Pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of water or gluten-free beef broth or red wine.
2 - 2 1/4 lb Chuck Roast
1 tablespoon of Sweet Rice Flour to thicken gravy
Place veggies on the bottom of the slow cooker. This gives the meat a bed of flavor to rest on.
Season both sides of the frozen meat with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, Herbs de Provence. Use whatever herbs/seasoning you like - be creative!
Place frozen meat on top of veggies.
Set slow-cooker to stun (low). For us, the cooking process is about 9 hours by the time someone gets home.
Walk out the door and return 8 - 9 hours later to some really great smells!
When I get home, I strain the veggies from the liquid. After 9 hours, they've given their little veggies lives to flavor the meat and the liquid for the gravy.
In a sauce pan heat up the liquid. Make slurry with the gluten-free flour and some water. Whisk the slurry into the pan. Allow to come to a boil and thicken. If it's not thick enough, make and whisk in a bit more slurry. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Season gravy to taste.
Homage to the Herbage
If you've ever wondered what type of herbs to use, my Facebook friend Jimmy Boswell [aka the Gluten-Free Chef] from New Zealand created this very handy chart. He suggest which herbs to use for selected meats or veggies.
A great tip from Jimmy -
The general rule for using dried is use ¼ dried herbs for what’s suggested for fresh amounts in a recipe. You can reverse this if dried is suggested and you have fresh.
I took the liberty of putting Jimmy's text chart into a table...
|Beef||Basil, Bay leaf, Caraway, Chervil, Lovage seed, Cumin, Garlic Fenugreek, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Peppermint.|
|Chicken||Thyme, Anise, Basil, Bay leaf, Borage, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Duck||Bay, Rosemary, Sage, Sweet Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Fish||Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Baked or Grilled||Basil, Bay, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Lovage, Marjoram, Mints, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Oily||Fennel and Dill.|
|Fish Soups||Bay, Lovage, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Goose||Fennel, Sage and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Ham||Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Lamb||Basil, Bay leaf, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Saffron, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme and Savory.|
|Liver||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Pork||Anise, Caraway, Cardamom, Coriander, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon, Fennel, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Savory and Thyme.|
|Rabbit||Basil, Bay, Marjoram, Lovage seed, Rosemary and Sage.|
|Salmon||Dill seed and Rosemary.|
|Seafood||Basil, Bay, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel Seed, Marjoram, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turkey||Basil, Garlic, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Parsley and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Veal||Basil, Bay leaf, Chervil, Chives, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Venison||Bay, Lovage seed, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Artichokes||Bay, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Asparagus||Chives, Lemon Balm, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Chervil, Dill and Tarragon.|
|Avocado||Dill, Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Beans Dried||Savory, Cumin, Garlic, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme.|
|Beans, Green||Savory, Basil, Caraway, Cloves, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Sage and Thyme.|
|Broccoli||Basil, Dill, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Brussel Sprouts||Dill, Sage and Savory.|
|Cabbage||Basil, Caraway, Cayenne, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Sage, Savory, Borage, Dill seed, Mint, Oregano and Savory.|
|Carrots||Anise, Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill, Sage, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Chervil.|
|Cauliflower||Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Fennel.|
|Corn||Chevil, Chives, Lemon Balm, Saffron, Sage and, Thyme.|
|Eggplant||Basil, Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Lentils||Garlic, Mint , Parsley, Savory and Sorrel.|
|Mushrooms||Coriander, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Onions||Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Parsnips||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory and Thyme.|
|Peas||Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Chervil, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley and Sage.|
|Potatoes||Parsley, Basil, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Spinach||Anise, Basil, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme, Borage, Marjoram, Mint, Sage, Sorrel and Tarragon.|
|Squash||Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Dill.|
|Tomatoes||Basil, Bay leaf, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turnips||Dill seed, Marjoram and Savory.|
|Zucchini||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Rosemary and Tarragon.|
Until the next good eats...
Have you ever run into a situation where you needed to use up all sorts of miscellaneous things in the fridge? Yeah, well, this is the result. We had a little of this - a little of that. Whatever was laying around got thrown into the pot. Bottom line, we really weren't following as recipe.
1/2 cubed Rutabaga
Frozen Green Beans
Green Bell Pepper
Gluten-Free Beef Stock,
Gluten-Free Chicken Stock
Saute' green bell pepper & onion in a big soup pot [7 qt pictured here] for a few minutes.
Add a pinch a salt and pepper. Becareful with the salt, your stocks have have additional salt.
Add 2 lbs of hamburger to pan and brown.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper
Drain/remove excess grease.
Add chicken or beef broth - probably 2-4 cups total
Add bottle of 46oz bottle of V8
Add Bay Leaf or two
Add veggies that need longer too cook first (like rutabaga, carrots, celery, etc]- staggering them by a couple of minutes.
Taste for salt/pepper
Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to simmer
Cover pot and let simmer for 30 - 60 minutes stirring occasionally.
Check a carrot/celery/rutabag - if it's a texture you like - dig in!
Until the next good eats...
Crockpots [technically we have a slow-cooker] are nice - you toss the stuff in - head off to work - when you return - dinner awaits! It's great getting out the vehical in the garage; you can smell dinner even before you walk into the house.
In this case, Peg had off of work, but was busy around the house so she decided to make this. Down home comfort food...
1/4 cup gluten-free flour (Jules GF Flour Mix)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dash black pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat -- cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 1/2 ounces sliced mushrooms, drained
7 1/4 ounces gluten-free beef broth
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins brand is gluten-free, many brands are not)
1 teaspoon gluten-free ketchup (Heinz)
Optional Seasonings: Penzey's Bavarian Style Seasoning or Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Combine flour, salt and pepper. Toss beef cubes in seasoned flour mixture to coat. Place in slow cooker.
Cover with onions and mushrooms.
Combine beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Pour over beef cubes.
Cover and cook on low 7 to 12 hours. Before serving, check gravy consistancy, if it is too thick, add some more beef broth.
Mushrooms were omitted this time because for some strange reason we were out. Bavarian & Herbs de Provence were added.
Original recipe: Cook's Country
This is our favorite and go-to mashed potato recipe.
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, ½” pieces
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12 garlic cloves, minced [We use 4-5]
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
Place cut potatoes in colander. Rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain thoroughly. This is a very important step to eliminate excess starch, which produces gluey mashed potatoes.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook garlic and sugar, stirring often, until sticky and straw colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rinsed potatoes, 1 1/4 cups half-and-half, water and 1 teaspoon salt to pot and stir to combine. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, add remaining butter to pot and mash with potato masher until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining half-and-half until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
2 pounds beef
3 - 4 Tb Sweet Rice Flour
2 Tb chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cubed onions
1 1/2 cups of cubed celery
3 cups cubed and peeled potatoes
3 cups sliced carrots
28 ounces beef GF broth [Kitchen Basics, Imagine, etc]
or (Herb-Ox w/ 28 oz of water could be used instead of beef broth)
Option - replace 6 oz of stock with 6 oz of red wine.
Preheat oven to 325.
Trim fat from beef and cut into 1.5 inch cubes. We get stew meat that's already cubed at our meat market.
Put flour, salt & pepper into plastic bag. Drop in a handful of meat, close bag and shake to coat. Remove coated pieces and set aside. Repeat this until all pieces are coated. You may need to add more flour as you go. Just be mindful as to how many pieces you have left and how much flour is in the bag - you don't want to have a lot to throw out when done.
Discard excess flour.
Combine parsley, pepper & thyme and set aside.
Put half of beef on the bottom of a Dutch oven or a big pan with a lid. Top with half the onions, half the potatoes, half the carrots. Sprinkle with half the parsley mixture. Repeat layering (starting again with the beef and ending with parsley). Pour in broth [or broth/wine mixture]. Cover and bake for 2 hours.
Al & Peg Notes:
This recipe as it's shown is fine, however, it could use a bit of jazzing up. We are making this for dinner tomorrow afternoon. We are planning on replacing 6 oz of beef broth with red wine. 6 oz equals a mini bottle of wine that you get in a 4 pack.
Edit 2/5/07 - We really like the addition of the red wine. However, it turns the sauce [and the potatoes] a slight shade of purple. It tastes good, but color is not right.
We also added a several shakes of McCormick's Grill Mates Hamburger Seasoning.
We did have to add a little extra salt after tasting it.
1 - 2 pounds stew meat
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 32 oz carton GF beef stock [Kitchen Basics]
1 48 oz bottle V8 Juice
2 - 3 cups cubed fresh rutabagas
2 - 3 cups sliced fresh carrots
2 - 3 cups chopped fresh green beans
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 ears cooked fresh corn cut off the cob
3/4 cups of frozen peas
3 cups chopped cabbage
2 chopped Roma tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
optional: 1 packet of HerbOx beef bouillon
optional: 1 small 5.5oz can of tomato juice
Add olive oil to your soup pot or dutch oven and brown stew meat.
Add beef stock and V8 juice to pot and stir.
Add carrots and rutabagas. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add all the rest of the veggies and bay leaf.
Stir and simmer covered pot for about 3 hrs.
Rinse the bottle of V8 and add water to pot [about 1-2 cups].
The amounts of veggies can be adjusted to your tastes. I added the additional HerbOx and tomato juice because I felt there was more veggies than liquid. I didn't want to loose flavor as I added liquid, so I used the HerbOx