Posts Tagged ‘minced garlic’

Spring has definitely sprung and today would have been a great night to BBQ.  BUT since I had some stew meat to use up, I decide to pull out the good old reliable slow cooker perhaps one last time until the Fall (?) and make a nice hearty beer infused beef carbonnade.  It’s a Belgian dish and I choose this time to use a dark beer or more specifically Rickards Dark (an English style porter) because I had it on hand. 

I initially found the flavour quite strong so I added in some beef broth to help mellow it a bit.  And take the edge off it did….however the flavour of the dark ale was still present (and yummy by all accounts). We served it with a cheesy mashed potato.

Adapted from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

Crockpot Beef Carbonnade

2 tbsp oil
1/2 half a package bacon
2 lbs stewing beef
2 medium onions, sliced thin
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp old bay seasoning (or celery seeds if you have on hand)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beer (or beer/beef broth combo)


Season your stew meat with salt & pepper.

In a sauce pan over medium-high heat add a glug of oil and then brown your beef stew in batches. Transfer to Slowcooker.

Next add in your bacon and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Set aside. Once cool cut into 1 inch pieces and add to the slow cooker.

In pan with remaining bacon fat add in your sliced onions. Cook until soft. Add garlic, thyme, old bay seasoning, bay leaves, another dash of salt & pepper and cook for 1 minute or so. Sprinkle sugar over mixture in pan and stir well. Add flour and cook for another minute (stir as you go). Finally add your beer/broth combo, increase your heat a little and cook until mixture thickens.

Pour saucepan mixture over beef & bacon.  I give it a little stir, cover and cook on low for about 5-6 hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.

Read Full Post »

Crockpot or Slowcooker?  You will see I can not decide which term to use in this post.  Either way in the photo of the casserole I have not included the bread crumb Topping.  Sometimes they like it…other times they don’t. And so this time it was grated cheese as the Topper of choice.

Slow Cooker recipes are all the rage again. Everywhere you look there are slowcooker recipes showing up left, right and centre. Even Rachael Ray, a confessed non crockpot fan has been presenting crockpot recipes on her show the past 2 years (perhaps ratings were low?).

In August 2011 many people became aware of the Crockin Girls, (formally Crockpot Girls) a couple of Southern ladies who decided to team up, create a page on Facebook and share some of their crockpot recipes. What they didn’t plan on was getting over 1 million followers in a matter of weeks! Who knew there was such a void in the market for crockpot recipes.

As for me – I am happy to see the explosion of slowcooker recipes since I’ve been using mine for the last 20 years and love the variety of recipes to try and of course dinner ready at the end of a long day.

Here is one that 3/4 Bakers enjoy.  Think of this as a healthy (no additives) slowcooker hamburger helper. You can use any ground meat you want…I’ve tried both ground beef and chicken.

Adapted from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

Crockpot Cheesy Hamburger Casserole

1-2 tbsp oil
1-1.5 lb ground meat
1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp (each) seasoning salt and pepper
1/2-1 cup beef broth (change to chicken if using ground chicken or turkey)
1 cup tomato sauce
4oz cream cheese softened, cut into cubes
1 pkg egg noodles, cooked just to al dente and buttered

1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter, melted
Mix all topping ingredients together and set aside

Get Busy
In a saucepan heat your oil and cook your ground meat until nicely browned. Set aside.

In same saucepan cook your onions and celery adding another drop of oil as necessary. Cook until softened. Add garlic, mustard, oregano, salt, pepper and cook for about 1 minute stirring continuously.  Then add in your beef broth and tomato sauce stirring until blended.  Add in your cream cheese and stir until melted.

Now you are ready to assemble your meal. Spray your slow cooker with Pam. Spoon in approx. 1 cup of cooked ground meat spreading all over bottom. Add a layer of cooked noodles and then some sauce. Repeat until all ingredients used, finishing with the sauce.

Now alternately you can pour all the meat on the bottom, spread all the noodles on top and then pour the sauce all over (covering entirely) the noodles.  Both ways work.

Turn on low.  In my slowcooker this meal is done in 3-4 hours.

Your topping (if using) goes on the last 30 minutes of cooking (or until bubbling), just to melt the cheese a little. During this time you can drink some wine and ask your partner to make a salad!  Enjoy.

Read Full Post »

When it comes to burgers we’ve tried homemade beef, turkey and chicken burgers. Oddly enough we’ve never tried pork burgers. When you first read the ingredients list you might go hmmmm…this should be interesting – or at least we did. In the end it’s a very tasty burger that pairs nicely with the peanut sauce.

Omit the cilantro if you are not a cilantro fan.


Pork Burgers with Peanut Sauce

1lb – lean ground pork
1-2 tbsp – chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp – fresh lime juice
2 tsp – soy sauce
1-2 tsp – grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp – salt
2 cloves – garlic, crushed

Peanut Sauce
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp – sour cream
1 tbsp – fresh lime juice
2 tsp – soy sauce

Combine first 7 ingredients (pork through garlic) shaping mixture into four larger patties or 6 smaller ones. If your family likes heat try adding in some red pepper flakes. Grill patties over medium heat until completely cooked.  Serve in buns with lettuce, peanut sauce and whatever additional burger fixins you enjoy.

Peanut Sauce: mix peanut butter, sour cream, 1 tbsp lime juice and soy sauce until well blended.

Read Full Post »

This is one of those quick and easy meals when you are in a rush.  Toss in some shrimp or grill up some pork chop or chicken breasts if time allows, to enjoy with your tasty pasta.

Fusilli with Garlic & Capers

1/2 cup olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic, mashed or chopped
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup drained capers, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (flat leaf or curley)
500g (16oz) fusilli pasta, cooked & drained
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes or just until light golden. Do not overcook.  Add bread crumbs, capers and parsley. Cook stirring until bread crumbs are light golden, about 2 minutes. Toss bread crumb mixture with hot cooked fusilli.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Read Full Post »