The mission

The purpose of this blog is to report on my experiences with various parenting-related issues. Reviews of advice, crafts, and whatever else comes my way. (Originally this was meant to be a Glass Explorer project, but I was unable to procure funding... in case you're wondering about the title. Pending retail release..................)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

More skills: newer crockpots

So, one thing I learned how to use after having a kid was my newer crockpot. Newer crockpots heat a bit higher than the old, so all those old recipes just won't work, and you can't dump things in the crockpot before work and come home to dinner 8 hours later because almost no recipe will survive that long.

But who am I kidding? Even in the old crockpots everything came out bland and disgusting for me.

But finally, desperate to find a way to cook certain meals without worrying about my toddler sticking his hand or a toy into an open flame... I learned.

First, I started with whole chicken, trying it at different times. In my 6 quart Rival crockpot the sweet spot seems to be 4hrs30min on high. This is true for roast chicken as well as chicken submerged in water (when making chicken soup). Low just changes how long it takes to reach the max temperature, so extend the cooking time by an hour or two.

When not making soup-like dishes, prop your meat high on aromatic vegetables.

And be very very very generous in your seasonings!

As for today, today is a goulash kind of day.


6 quart crockpot Hungarian Goulash 


4 tbsp Caroway seeds
2 tbsp Cumin
4 tbsp Paprika
2 tbsp Cayenne pepper
4 tbsp garlic powder
4 cloves fresh garlic
Salt
Pepper
3-4lbs chuck stew beef
3 potatoes
2 red peppers
1 green pepper
3 onions
3 carrots
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 heaping teaspoons tomato paste
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup butter, plus more for browning
1/2 cup flour

Chop all vegetables.

Put some butter in pan, brown beef and put in crockpot.

Add more butter to pan if necessary and cook onions until transluscent.

Add vegetables, garlic, and onions to crockpot. Add seasonings, vinegar, and tomato paste. Cover with diced tomatoes. The crockpot will nearly be overfilled.

Cook on high for 4.5 hours. Halfway through, stir well.

An hour before it is done, stir. Make a blonde roux with the 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup flour (you make a roux by heating the fat on the stove and whisking in an equal amount of flour. .. do not burn. A lighter roux has more thickening power, a darker is for color and flavor). Add the roux to the crockpot, stir. 

Taste. Add more seasonings if necessary.

When time is up, taste again, stir and serve or store in Mason jars.

Goes great with egg noodles, potato noodles, rye bread, etc...