Monday, December 22, 2008

The next best, man's best friend


Yes the Olla(crock pot) is suppose to be the best thing since sliced whole bread, and if you maintain a traditional oven outside fed with logs and stuff it probably is. I however grudgingly pay the price to CFE to generate enough power to fuel my Sunbeam Crock Pot.

What I like about the crock pot is that is mirrors my twisted life. "Set it and forget it" or "Low Maintenance"

I started using the damn thing years ago, when I wanted a decent meal without having to come home early and fool around in the kitchen. After hours of toil in the office and in the field (not the wheat fields) the last thing I wanted was to stand for an hour creating something to eat for the two of us.

Enter the crock pot.

You can toss almost anything, in any order, put the top on and walk away only to return to a house smelling of a delicious concoction worthy of freezing and eating at another no labor meal.
Now I cherish the leftovers which are plucked from the thick clay pot. Now I enjoy throwing the thick plastic envelope into a cauldron of boiling water, waiting about 7 or 8 minutes to cut open a warmed up lunch or dinner that I know took hours to prepare.


So here is a quick and easy meal.
I'll do a couple of them for you, you can then do others on your own./....It's really easy after the first one or two.

Peel the onion , and then toss into the bottom of the pot. Rinse and paper dry the meat. Add a tablespoon of oil into a cast iron skillet and heat to medium high. When the oil starts shimmering put in the meat and let brown for 3 to 4 minutes a side.
Place the meat on top of the onions in the pot, toss in the veggies. toss in the onion soup mix, add the wine, cover with spices, put the whole dried chili ancho one top of that and put the top on, turn the pot to low, go away for 4 to 8 hours.

Upon returning, take a big spoon and stir the pot, remove the meat and a couple of the larger pieces of potato and carrots. Take the chili out with a slotted spoon, cool remove the seeds and finely chop, return to the stew.
Take you immersion blender and whirl away until all is smooth.
taste and fix the seasoning by adding additional salt and pepper to taste.

take the meat and cut it up into serving size.
Grab some pasta or rice, top the starch with the meat, ladle on 4 oz of the sauce
sit down and eat.

Things that you will need.

One Large White Onion, chopped
2 Large potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks or
10 or 12 small potatoes, like fingerling or baby potatoes
1 envelope of Onion Soup Mix
2 or 3 Large carrots, pealed and chopped into 1" pieces
2 or 3 stalks of celery cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 to 8 ripe Roma tomatoes crushed, or one 24 oz can of stewed tomotoes.
1 cup of cut mushrooms (optional)
One or two ancho chilis
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine
salt and pepper
herbs de province

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