Last year my husband gave me the best Christmas gift ever. When I opened it, I literally squealed in delight. It was shiny, silver and oval shaped. It was larger than average –
about 5 carats able to hold five pounds of carrots, potatoes and a chuck roast. Yep, that’s right, I’m talking about my big, beautiful All-Clad slow cooker from Williams Sonoma.
Over a year later, my love affair with my crockpot is still going strong. I use it so often, I joke with my family that I don’t even know how to cook regular meals anymore. It’s just so convenient to put everything in one pot, push a few buttons, and eight hours later, voila! Dinner is ready!
My favorite food to make in the crockpot is shredded meat. It’s so versatile that I can use the leftovers for several days, and my family does’t have to eat the exact same thing two days in a row. These are so simple I hesitate to even call them recipes, it’s really more like a method. Here we go –
Place a pork shoulder in the bottom of a crock pot.
Pour a can of regular root beer over it and cook on low for 8 hours. When its done, take it out and shred it with a fork.
Add some BBQ sauce to the pork and eat it plain as a sandwich, with cheese in a tortilla shell for quesadillas or make a BBQ pork pizza.
Place 2-4 pounds of chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle taco seasoning over the chicken and top with a jar of salsa. Cook on low for 6 hours, take it out and shred with 2 forks. Use in tacos, nachos and enchiladas. It can even be served cold in a taco salad.
Please a chuck roast in the bottom of the crockpot. Top, liberally, with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Cook on low for 8 hours, take it out and shred with 2 forks. Top with cheese for a french dip sandwich, use in a Vegetable Beef Soup, or thicken some of the reserved liquid (just whisk in a little flour) and serve it over mashed potatoes and carrots for a hearty beef stew.
When I have extra time on the weekends or company is coming over, I will make a more complex meal with my slow cooker. Here are a few of my favorite recipes from local bloggers that are easy to make and delicious:
A Farm Girls Dabble’s Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef
Pinch of Yum’s Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Dining With Alice’s Butternut Squash Soup
The crockpot really is a lifesaver for busy moms. If you have one, share a favorite recipe in the comments. If you have one and don’t use it, dust that baby off and try one of the recipes above. If you don’t have one, it’s a worthwhile purchase that will be used for many years to come.