Slow Cooker Roast-It Starts Frozen!

Every year for Christmas my in-laws give us an eighth of a cow, which enables us to stock our basement freezer chest with meat for most of the year. Score! I love practical gifts. The ground beef and steaks are easy to use on a whim, only taking a  little while to thaw. But for the life of me, I can never remember to thaw a whole roast in the right time-frame to eat it.
Finding myself in this very predicament a few years ago, a friend of mine shared a recipe that she uses. And get this….
…it starts with a FROZEN roast.
That right folks, there’s actually a great recipe that not only uses a frozen roast, it also requires a slow cooker. How much easier can it get? Not much.

Roast with onions and potatoes**

 Here’s What You Need

-1 large frozen beef roast*
-4 to 6 medium potatoes, cut in 2″ cubes
-2 medium onions, sliced
-2 large carrots, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, smashed
-1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup
-1 can cream of celery condensed soup
-1 packet onion soup mix
-1 cup frozen peas
Here’s How You Make It
Place the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic in the bottom of a slow cooker, and then add the frozen roast on top (fat side up if it has one). In a bowl, combine the soups and the soup mix. Pour over top the roast, spreading to cover the exposed sides. Set the slow cooker on low, then cover and cook for 8-10 hours. About a half-hour before you’re ready to eat, add the peas, stirring just a little to cover them.
Be careful pulling the roast out when the time’s up – it will most likely fall apart as you lift it (yummers!). And, the soups, plus the drippings from the roast as it cooks, create a gravy-like sauce. So, it’s up to you how you want to serve it, all together in one large serving bowl, or separated as a roast with sides and gravy. Either way, delish!
*I’ve used many different kinds of beef roast, from Bottom Round to Chuck to large Sirloins. Some fall apart more than others at carving time, but all are flavorful and tender. I do tend to prefer the cuts that have the bone-in as it lends a richer flavor and tends to always make the beef fork tender.

**Excuse the horrible photo quality – my camera is about to break and my BlackBerry decided to stop sending photos. Hopefully remedied by Christmas…or if I can steal borrow my sister’s camera.

Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

shrimp and sausage jambalaya

Always one for a good slow cooker recipe, but quick to get tired of chili, beef stew, or a roast, I wanted something different one holiday when I was hosting a family gathering. I stumbled upon a recipe for gumbo that led me to another recipe for jambalaya, which ended up morphing into my own recipe for jambalaya. Which is absolutely delicious, and super easy to throw together.

Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 14.5oz cans chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1lb Italian sausage
  • 1lb large frozen raw shrimp (thawed), de-tailed and peeled
  • ⅔ cup uncooked white rice
Instructions
  1. Cook the Italian sausage in a skillet on the stove according to package directions*. Remove from heat.
  2. In a slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, bay leaves, onion, green pepper, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Cut your Italian sausage into ¼″ slices and add to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Set the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 3 hours.
  3. With 45 minutes remaining, add the rice, stirring to combine. Cover and let cook for another 40 minutes. When there’s only five minutes left, add the shrimp.
  4. The jambalaya is ready to serve when the shrimp have turned pink, about 5 minutes. Makes six bowls, or eight mugs. Goes great with a crusty baguette, and the longer it sits the better this jambalaya gets!

*Smoked sausage is a good alternative, and requires even less prep since you don’t have to cook it before putting it in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Chili – Texas Twist

September is officially up and running, and now more than ever I’m starting to crave those comfort foods that depend on cooler weather: beef stew, apple pie, potato soup and, one of our fall favorites, slow cooker chili.

Slow Cooker Chili - Texas Twist

My chili recipe has taken several years to come together, and even still I make variations here and there depending on what my pantry’s stocked with. It’s pretty fail safe, especially since it cooks low and slow…almost anything cooked for endless hours on a low temperature turns out wonderful. My recipe also has a Texas twist – no beans (I love them, but husband does not), and I use stew beef cubes in addition to ground beef. It’s fall-apart-in-your-mouth delicious!

Slow Cooker Chili - Texas Twist
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound stew beef cubes (this is the Texas twist), sprinkled with salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 4oz.can diced mild green chilies
  • 1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 28oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning (or just salt & pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Add ½ the onion and sauté for 7 minutes. Add ½ the garlic and continue cooking until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes more. Increase the heat to medium/high and add the ground beef. Sprinkle the beef with the Montreal Steak seasoning, and continue cooking until beef has browned. Remove the ground beef with a slotted spoon, and place into your slow cooker.
  2. Next, add the stew beef to your hot pan and cook for 2 minutes on one side. Flip the beef cubes and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, searing all sides of the meat. Remove the beef cubes with your slotted spoon, and place into your slow cooker.
  3. Place the other halves of the onion and garlic into the slower cooker, and add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine everything completely. Cover, and set on low for 8-10 hours, or medium for 4-6 hours. Serve hot!
  4. Optional and yummy garnish and/or side items: cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onion, saltine crackers, and tortilla chips. Makes 8 mugs or 6 bowls. Freezes well.
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