Posts Tagged 'slow cooker'

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

This recipe, originally from Cooking Light, was supposed to be a pot roast with turnip greens.  But I became ill in July (the reason for no posts for a while), and the turnip greens grew old and tough.  Besides, the one dish I made with turnip greens made me conclude that I did not really like them.  So I eliminated them from the recipe and made this delicious dish which is more like a stew.  This dish is so hearty that I didn’t even serve it with rice or noodles, although I think it would be good with a brown and wild rice mix. It also froze well for reheating on later chilly fall days.

This is a slow-cooker recipe, so cut your vegetables in reasonably even pieces.  These are the parsnips:

Also, use a decent red wine. This is the red wine I usually use for cooking, unless the recipe calls for something more specific. It is reasonably priced and has a hearty flavor that is good with meats.

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (3-pound) boneless buffalo chuck roast, trimmed of all fat (I had to use two smaller roasts)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups (2-inch) diagonally cut parsnips (about 1 pound)
3 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
2 cups cipollini onions, peeled and quartered (my grocery never heard of cipollini onions. I used a bag of frozen pearl onions)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

The vegetables

Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle buffalo evenly with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add buffalo; sauté 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Place parsnips, potatoes, and onions in a slow cooker. Transfer buffalo to slow cooker. Add tomato paste to skillet; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour broth mixture into slow cooker.

Place peppercorns and next 4 ingredients (through parsley) on a double layer of cheesecloth.

Gather edges of cheesecloth together; secure with twine. Add cheesecloth bundle to slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until buffalo and vegetables are tender. Discard cheesecloth bundle. Remove roast from slow cooker; slice. Serve with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid.  Makes 6 generous servings at about 7 grams of fat/serving.


Slow Cooked Venison Rolls

The man who did backhoe work at my house this summer walked in one day recently and handed me three packages of frozen venison meat from a deer he hunted this year. He said he knew I liked to smoke things, and that this was “backstrap” venison.  I wasn’t quite certain what that meant, but I thanked him, put two of the parcels in the freezer, and one in the refrigerator to defrost. It’s way too cold to smoke anything outside right now, but I wanted to try some of the venison, since I rarely get any (despite all the deer on my property eating my roses).

The frozen package looked like a roast, and I was envisioning some sort of hearty stew. Imagine my surprise when the lump of meat defrosted into very thin slices. Now this presented a cooking challenge. I have fond memories of a dish my mother used to make that we called “rolled steak.” It was thin slices of beef stuffed with chopped onion, placed on more onions, and slowly cooked on the back of the stove for several hours. I think the only seasonings were salt, pepper, and garlic powder. To me, as a child, this rolled meat dish seemed very fancy – although I now realize my mother was making inexpensive, tough meat stretch to feed our family. That dish seemed a little too timid to use with the venison, but I liked the idea of the rolls.  Venison is very lean, and takes well to long slow cooking that won’t dry it out. I decided I wanted something with a bit more spice and smoke than my mother’s plain rolls, and preferably cooked in the slow cooker since I had to go out later that day. This dish is quite spicy, although the sour cream tames it a bit. You can vary the spiciness by the amount of chili garlic paste you use.

Slow Cooked Venison Rolls

1 large onion, 3/4 of it sliced thin and the rest of it diced
1/2 pound of button mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound boneless venison slices
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 Tablespoons chili garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup non-fat sour cream

Place sliced onions, garlic, and mushrooms in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Lay venison slices on a flat surface and place about 2 tablespoons of minced onions at one end. (I’ve laid them on a flexible plastic cutting mat to keep the counter clean.)

Roll venison slices around onions,  placing rolls seam down.

Place venison rolls in slow cooker, seam down, on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle any remaining diced onions over the rolls.

In a medium bowl, stir together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, water, salt, and pepper. Pour over the venison. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours. At the end of the cooking, stir in sour cream.  Makes 4 servings at about 3 grams of fat/serving.

This venison is pictured served over mixed brown and wild rice, which adds about a gram of fat/serving.

Slow-cooker Burgundy Chicken

This recipe comes from 1,001 Low Fat Soups and Stews, an excellent book with lots of ideas for meals from hearty every day dishes to elegant food.  The burgundy chicken cooks while you are busy doing other things, giving you a great dish that only needs a bit of finishing when you get home.  It’s been great reheated, and the last bit is going into the freezer for a meal later on.

Burgundy Chicken in the Slow-Cooker

Slow-Cooker Burgundy Chicken

1 1/4 cups Burgundy wine (I used a mix of leftover burgundy and merlot)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, grated
8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1 bay leaf
4 large bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned and trimmed of all fat
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning (or mix your own with oregano, thyme, marjoram)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

Mix wine, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce in the slow-cooker.  Stir in the remaining ingredients, except for salt, pushing the chicken breasts, meaty side down, into the sauce.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Remove the chicken breasts from the sauce, keeping the sauce warm.  Once the chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, shred the meat (or cut it into strips), discarding the bones.  Remove the bay leaf, and season with salt as desired. Return the chicken to the sauce to warm.  Serve over spaghetti or linguini.  This makes 5 servings, with about 5 grams of fat/serving, plus an added gram of fat for a 2 ounce serving of pasta.  Splurge and add 2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese for an additional 3 grams of fat.  [9 grams for the whole deal.]

Down Home Buffalo Swiss Steak

There are definitely days when I’m not feeling very gourmet, and the slow cooker is my best buddy.  These are days when you want something hearty and comforting – and frankly that will make good leftovers.  Enter Swiss  Steak, something I remember from diners of my youth (or horrors, was it the school cafeteria?) And why is it Swiss, anyway?  Naturally, I used buffalo to lower the fat count.

Buffalo Swiss Steak

3 pounds of buffalo steak, preferably rump or chuck.  Don’t waste a succulent T-bone on this
1 large onion
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 15 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
1 can of tomato soup concentrate, undiluted

Cut onion in half lengthwise and then slice thinly lengthwise. Put onion in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Mix flour, salt, and pepper on a piece of waxed paper.  Trim buffalo steak of all visible fat, and cut into serving size pieces (6-8 pieces). Dredge both sides of the meat in the flour mixture (This means press them into the mixture so that the flour adheres to the meat.) Put the meat on top of the onions in the slow cooker.  Pour the can of stewed tomatoes and the can of undiluted tomato soup over the meat and onion.  Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours.  This has about 5 grams of fat per hearty 6 ounce serving

I served this with mashed potatoes.  You now how to make fat free mashed potatoes, don’t you – not the kind with cream and butter your mother used to make.  Cut potatoes into eighths. Put them in a pot and cover with fat free chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer until potatoes are tender.  Drain broth, saving it in a cup.  Mash potatoes with a potato masher, adding bits of the broth to moisten the potatoes as you mash.


I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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