February 27, 2010

More Slow Cooker Goodness

Rachael Ray has been featuring one slow cooker meal a week on her show and it's been great, because it's difficult to find newer up-to-date dinners for the slow cooker. I've especially had difficulty making a good beef stew, but this turned out great. Browning the meat first made a big difference, and the addition of bacon didn't hurt either. Rachael Ray must have a double-wide slow cooker though, so I have to cut her recipes in half for them to fit.

Beef Stew
3 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 in slices
1 lbs beef stew meet
1 tbsp flour
4-5 small redskin potatoes
1 c chopped onion, medium dice
1 cup baby carrots
3 celery stalks, quartered
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 14oz can stewed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
pepper to taste

In the slow cooker put the potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Cook the bacon over medium until crispy. Add to the slow cooker, reserving the fat. Turn the heat to medium high and brown the beef, 2-3 minutes on each side. Stir in 1 tbsp flour and add to the slow cooker. Top with stewed tomatoes, and tomato paste, and pepper. Give it a little stir and then cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. After it's all cooked up, stir it all together really well and cut the potatoes down into quarters just using a fork.

The piece de resistance:

Cheddar Bay Biscuits!
1 1/4 c healthy heart bisquick (this is impt because it doesn't have trans fat)
2 tbsp cold butter
1/4 c plus 2 tbsp milk, any kind
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 heaping cup shredded cheddar

Brush on top:
1 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a few shakes of dried parsley flakes, just eyeball it

Inspired by Red Lobster, this recipe makes a less greasy version. They turned out so good I'm almost too excited to type the directions!! Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butter up into small pieces, more or less dice it. Combine it with the flour. I found it easiest to just use my hands. The butter should remain in little chunks throughout. Add cheese, milk, and garlic and toss together with a fork. Don't over combine. Drop approximately 1/4 c portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn golden brown. After you take the biscuits out, melt the butter and stir in the garlic powder and parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the biscuits. Do not skip this step, it really makes them. Use up all of the butter. Enjoy!

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