Beef

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Sandwiches

Pot Roast Sandwiches

Are your Twitter-Facebook-Instagram feeds full of Thanksgiving posts?

Because mine are overflowing with them!

And at first, they’re wonderful because they spark deliciously new ideas and give some great tips to face the big feast.

Pot Roast Sandwiches
But if you’re like me, you’ve already had your dishes planned out for weeks…….So the constant barrage of new ideas started freaking me out!

Should I use hazelnuts instead of pistachios?

My standard potato gratin or that deconstructed one from Pinterest?

Do I make my pie the regular way or try out one of those braided crusts or leaves-patterns?

It’s all too much!

Pot Roast

For my own sanity, I’m stepping away from Thanksgiving dishes today to share with you something that I know you’re going to SWOON for–especially after all of the laborious cooking and shenanigans that you’ll be enduring over the next couple days.

SLOW. COOKER. POT. ROAST. SANDWICHES.

<pause for dramatic effect>

These beauties are what dreams are made of. Juicy, tender beef—dripping with wondrous goodness. All piled up on a soft potato bread bun with melty cheese and sweet caramelized onions.

Sorry—-did I just drool over the computer?

Pot Roast Sandwiches

And guess what? Your slow cooker does all the work!

All you need to do is sear the beef a bit and then throw it in the cooker. Once done, the beef just falls apart…..kind of like how I will be after all of the shopping we do on Friday.

So although you may have a ton of turkey and ham leftovers, do yourselves a favor and throw a seared chuck roast in your slow cooker Thursday night. You’ll wake up to the most scrumptious aromas and will have plenty of sustenance ready to tackle post-festivities clean-up, Black Friday sales, and lingering family members.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FOLKS! ❤

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast Sandwiches
Make 6-8 Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 boneless, beef chuck roast (approximately 2½-3lbs.), trimmed and cleaned
black pepper
kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup dry red wine
1¼ cup beef stock, divided
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced to about 1/8 inch thick
2-3 dashes balsamic vinegar
6-8 potato bread buns (or bread of your choice)
2 cups shredded cheese such as Provolone, Swiss, Havarti, Gruyere, etc.

 

Heavily season the beef with kosher salt and black pepper. Rub the garlic powder and onion powder over the beef. Roll the chuck roast in flour and dust off any excess. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot. Once the oil reaches medium heat, sear each side of the beef until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes each side. Once browned, remove and place the beef inside the bowl of your slow cooker.

Carefully pour the wine into the dutch oven. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bits off the bottom of the pot and allow the wine to boil and reduce by half. Pour the reduced wine with browned bits and 1 cup beef stock over the browned beef. Add the thyme sprigs and place the lid on your slow cooker. Cook the beef on low until the meat falls apart and can easily be shred apart with two forks—about 8 hours depending on the weight of your chuck roast and your slow cooker.

When your pot roast is nearly done and you’re almost ready to serve your sandwiches, start caramelizing your onions. This can take about 40-50 minutes and shouldn’t be rushed or else the onions will burn. Melt the butter into the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir to ensure they’re well coated. Stir the onions every few minutes to ensure they do not burn—lower the heat if necessary. Continue cooking, stirring low and slow until the onions become deep brown. Add the remaining beef broth and use a wooden spoon to stir the onions and scrape up any goodies that have formed on the bottom. Once the broth has evaporated, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and remove the skillet from the burner.

Once the pot roast has cooked and essentially falls apart, take two forks and shred the beef into bit sized pieces. Allow the pan juices to soak into the beef. Taste and add additional salt as needed.

Assemble each sandwich by placing a large mound of shredded pot roast with the drippings on the bottom half of a potato bread bun (or bread of your choice). Top with a few spoonfuls of caramelized onions and shredded cheese. The heat from the shredded beef should start melting the cheese but if not, place under the broiler for a bit. Place the other half of the bun on top and serve with hot sauce, chips, fries, etc.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Poultry

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I know, I know.

It’s kind of silly that I’m even posting this recipe as it’s a near no-brainer.

But if any of you are like me and have been running around like crazy with holiday errands, festivities, tasks, etc —then you know how clutch it is to have a “set it and forget it” kind of meal in your back pocket.

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

And that’s where slow cookers are my saving grace.

I got up pretty darn early this past Saturday with coffee in hand and a heavy to-do list that needed to be tackled. But before I dashed out of the house, I threw some chicken, aromatics and a couple of glugs of BBQ sauce in the slow cooker pot, flipped the switch on and let it do its magic while I battled crazy holiday shoppers.

I’m still sporting the wounds from some ‘bows being thrown at the toy store.

Scawie.

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

But my quick 5 minute prep in the morning was rewarded when I got home to a pot of delicious chicken ready to be piled on to some soft Kings Hawaiian buns.

So tender, so tangy, so delicious and so dang easy.

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Slow cooker pulled chicken is definitely one of those fab dishes that you can add or omit whatever you may have handy in your pantry or fridge. Crushed tomatoes, canned chili, cream of mushroom soup, bell peppers, root veggies—whatever goes! But if you do opt for the BBQ sauce route, don’t skip the liquid smoke. It adds that wonderful smokey element you can’t get if you don’t use a smoker or outdoor grill.

This time around, I topped the chicken with lightly pickled onions and shredded lettuce. But definitely use whatever toppings you like. Or in my case, whatever I managed to scrounge up from the fridge.

And with that dear friends, let me wish you and your loved ones a very, very….

Happy Hanukkah!
Joyous Kwanzaa!
Merry Christmas!
Cheerful Winter Solstice!

and a Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us!!!

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Serves approximately 8

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ tablespoon kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ small white onion, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 dried bay leaves
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
2 cups BBQ sauce, divided (homemade or bottled)
4-5 dashes liquid smoke
8 large hamburger buns/rolls
optional: cole slaw, pickles, cheese, shredded lettuce, pickled onions, avocado, etc.

Season the chicken with kosher salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Place in the slow cooker and top with the onions, garlic and bay leaves. Pour in the can of chiles and 1 cup of the BBQ sauce. Cover the pot and cook on low for about 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

Once done, carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on a platter or large dish. Use two forks to shred the meat into bite sized pieces. Spoon the onions, garlic and chiles from the slow cooker over the chicken. Pour the remaining BBQ sauce over the meat and stir in the liquid smoke. Taste and season with additional salt as needed.

Assemble each sandwich by placing a large mound of the pulled chicken and sauce on top of each bun/roll. Serve with additional toppings/condiments as desired.

 

Pork

Slow Cooker Kālua Pig

Kālua Pig

 

It’s ALOHA FRIDAY and what better way to kick off the weekend with some island grindz? And it sure doesn’t get any easier or more ono-licious than Kālua Pig made in a Crock Pot!

 

Sure, you could go traditional and dig an imu in your backyard to channel the Hawaiian spirit. And heck – I would definitely be the first to give you mad props if you did! But as my family have continually denied my pleas to dig a large hole in their yards, I’ve had to settle for conventional methods and use slow cookers.

Kālua Pig

It really is a fool proof method of creating delicious Kālua Pig since you throw everything into the pot and then twiddle your thumbs for the next 10 hours. But the secret is the addition of banana leaves and liquid smoke which truly impart the authentic flavors an imu provides.

I like to serve my Kālua Pig over sticky rice with mac salad or sandwiched in my beloved Kings Hawaiian rolls with a tangy slaw. However you choose to serve it, your loved ones will adore you for channeling the flavors of the islands onto their plates.

Alohas!!!

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Slow Cooker Kālua Pig

Ingredients:

5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
sea salt (Hawaiian sea salt if possible)
black pepper
3-4 banana leaves
½ small white onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
4-5 dashes liquid smoke
Using paper towels, dry off the pork and generously season with the sea salt and black pepper.

Line the bottom of the slow cooker with banana leaves, setting aside one to top off the pork. Place the seasoned pork shoulder in the cooker and top with the onions, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Wrap the remaining banana leaf over the top and cover the slow cooker. Cook the pork on low heat for 10 – 12 hours.*

Once done, carefully remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a platter or large dish. Using two forks, shred the meat into pieces.

Skim and discard the fat and oil from the liquids left in the slow cooker. Pour the liquid over the shredded pork and stir in the liquid smoke. Taste and season with additional sea salt as needed.

Serve over rice or my favorite Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls.

*You can also cook the pork over high heat for about 5-6 hours but I prefer the texture of the low and slow method.

Poultry

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka MasalaIN A CROCK POT!!!!!! Yep, you heard me!

When I saw this on Pinterest, I just had to try it. I adore Chicken Tikka Masala and although I’m quite happy with the America’s Test Kitchen adaptation that I often use, I couldn’t resist trying out a slow cooker version.

True to the wonders of crock pot cookin’, I simply threw the ingredients into the pot, slapped on the lid  and let the goodness work its magic for 8 hours.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

How did it taste? Really great! The chicken was quite flavorful and tender. As for the sauce—creamy and luscious. The only change I would make would be to reduce the amount of garam masala by half. The original recipe from Cooking Classy calls for 2 tablespoons which was pretty heavy handed for me but depending on your flavor preference (and the type of garam masala you use), you may like the full amount.

And although it may not be spot on to my beloved New Indian Cuisine, it’s still quite scrumptious and you just cannot beat how darn easy it is to make.

Want the recipe? Head on over to Cooking Classy.

Desserts/Pastries

“Easy-Peasy” Dulce de Leche

Here’s the thing. I heart my Honey. And when you heart someone AND you love to cook/bake, you usually try to find ways to make things that they heart eating.

And one of the things that he loves is caramel……in fact, all things caramel-like. In the past, I’ve made him caramel candy, caramel cupcakes, flan with TONS of caramelized sugar, etc., etc. I was running out of ideas until I stumbled upon the Cupcake Project’s post a few weeks ago on Dulce de Leche.

True, Dulce de Leche differs from Caramel. Caramel is typically sugar cooked down (with or without a tad of water, depending on your preferred method). Often it’s “stopped” with cream or butter if you’re using it as a sauce. Dulce de Leche is a heavily sweetened milk that is slowly cooked down. Different in approach but both have very similar flavor profiles. And I knew the BF would love either I made.

But what caught my eye was the cooking method described by the Cupcake Project. Usually recipes for Dulce de Leche are extremely time intensive, cooking large amounts of milk and sugar down—while needing to carefully keep an eye out to not scorch or burn the mixture. All this method required was a can of condensed milk and a crock pot. Seriously…it was a Set It–And–Forget It situation. Heck–I can do that! And BAM–8 hours later, I was opening a decadent and luscious can of Dulce de Leche. And the options are limitless for what one can do with Dulce de Leche. This particular can was going towards some cupcakes I was working on.

Do I recommend people trying it? Heck Yes! It was SO easy! I will definitely be doing it again. Placed in an airtight container, the Dulce de Leche can be stored in your fridge for up to a month. But trust me….it won’t make it past a few days. But then again, I live with a “Love All Things Caramel” monster 🙂

Take a can (or two, or three) of condensed milk. Remove the label and COMPLETELY submerge under water in a crock pot. Set on low heat.

8 hours later…and it’s ready!

Carefully remove from the crock pot.

Wipe can clean.

Slowly open the can and watch the ooey-gooey goodness creep out 🙂

Carefully stir to eliminate any accumulated lumps and you’re all set!!!

Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than that 🙂