Stout Corned Beef in the Slow Cooker

I invited my Mom and Grandma over for dinner this past Saturday for a St. Patrick’s Day feast.  We play a mean game of Scrabble and drink a lot of wine at our get togethers-they’re always really fun. Our delicious dinner below. We had the, corned beef,  double roasted potatoes and sformato of carrots along with wine and bread. It was delicious! I will post the recipies for the carrots and potatoes separately.  They will be listed under the ‘holiday’ tab to the right.


All too often corned beef is served after it’s been boiled to death and the fat sticks to it in a most revolting way. Unfortunately the carrots, potatoes and cabbage that people throw in with it rarely stay crispy or retain any of their original flavor-they are merely vegetables that taste like corned beef and are mushy.  Ew. Really. It turns my stomach just thinking about it.  That’s why I made the potatoes and carrots separately.

 Well I say no more!!! Corned beef can be absolutely delicious if prepared properly. The corned beef recipe makes corned beef the way I always wanted it to be-not mushy, not fatty and after being in the oven the tips of the top layer of meat are actually a bit crispy.  And the recipe is really pretty darn easy! The sauce that goes with it has a clean, slightly sweet, tangy, briny taste that allows you to alleviate the need for additional mustard all together if you want to (but I still had a blob on the side-I can’t get enough mustard). It reheats beautifully.


Stout Corned Beef in the Slow Cooker


For the Brisket

  •  2.5-3lb flat cut corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
  • 1 pint Murphy’s stout
  • 1 scallion, sliced thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 pinches fennel seeds
  • Splash of cider vinegar
  • A few peppercorns

 For the Glaze

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1&1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Remove brisket from wrapping and rinse. Pat dry and place in slow cooker with the fat side down.
  2. Add everything for the brisket above to the slow cooker on top of the beef, set it on low and cook for 6-7 hours.
  3. When it’s cooked and the meat can be easily separated by pushing through it with a wooden spoon remove the brisket and set it aside. Remove all of the fat that you can and discard.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. Strain the liquid in the slow cooker and discard the remnants. Place the strained liquid in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Allow to boil and then simmer a while to reduce slightly.
  6. Place the brisket into a shallow baking dish, pour enough liquid over to cover it half to ¾ of the way and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7.  Serve immediately.

Shredded Beef Tacos-slow cooker

Yummy yummy yummy!!! I love tacos. I love tacos even more when the beef has been cooking all day, the house smells awesome, and there’s creamy avocado, tangy sour cream, bright red tomatoes, oniony scallions and cheese on the taco. It’s like a bite of heaven.

I’m a big fan of the Skinnyms website. They have great recipies and hey-why not eat a healthy version of something delicious that won’t make you pop the button on your pants?


Shredded Beef Tacos-slow cooker


  • 2 lb chuck roast
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can green chilies, drained
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup lime juice-1 lime
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

For taco assembly:

  • Shredded (not pre-shredded) cheddar and monterey jack cheese
  • A super-ripe tomato sliced, seeds and watery parts removed
  • Avocado-sliced
  • Scallions-chopped
  • Fat free sour cream


Place the onions, chilies and garlic in the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker. Season the beef with salt and pepper on all sides and place on top of the onions.

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the tomato sauce, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Pour the spice mixture over the beef and cover.  The beef will not be completely covered-and it’s ok.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, then keep warm until serving.

Once the beef is cooked and tender, use two forks to shred the beef. If there’s any fat bits floating in the mixture pull them out with a spider and discard. Stir the beef with the cooking juices and keep warm in the slow cooker until ready to serve.

This makes a ton of meat for tacos. I bought carb-balance Mission Tortillas (the small ones) and nuked them in the microwave for a few seconds to heat them up then set up the assembly line-tomatoes, sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado and beef.  Other ideas too: chipotle sauce, hot sauce, lettuce etc…

The beef also reheats really well for left overs. I had myself a nice lunch at the office the next day.

Recipe adapted from:

Chili in the slow cooker

If you can’t already tell i LOVE LOVE LOVE my new slow-cooker.

I’ve made so many chili recpies over the years but wanted to try a new one and I came across Jimmy Fallon’s chili recipe on Martha Stewart’s website. It was for the slow cooker and sounded pretty good. This is my adaptation. It came out great!! My slow cooker is a 5 quart and this was almost to the top rim so any smaller size cooker will not be good to use.  The recpie called for 12 ozs of amber beer so I bought a pint bottle of one of my favorites as you can see below but you could use any amber beer. The benefit of buying a pint bottle-you get to drink the remaining beer that doesn’t go in the  chili.



Chili in the Slow Cooker


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3.5 lbs ground beef-the leaner the better
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped small
  • 1 large shallot chopped small
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced or put through a press
  • 1/2 serrano chile, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/8-1/4 cup chili powder depending on taste preference
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 28oz cans San Marzano tomatoes-if whole chop them up or use diced, with juices
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 12 ozs amber beer, I used Fullers London Pride
  • 1 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8 oz can corn, drained
  • tortilla chips for serving
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese (grate your own) for serving
  • Sour cream for serving
  • Cilantro-fresh chopped for serving
  • 2 cups white rice, prepared as per package directions, to serve underneath chili (my husband’s idea)


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary add beef, season with salt and pepper,  and  cook until no longer pink. Transfer beef ot a colander to drain fat. Repeat until all of the beef is cooked.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining tbsp oilve oil to skillet and add the onions, garlic and serrano, season with salt and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the beef and onion mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Then add the spices and stir to combine. Then add the tomatoes, cilantro and beer. Cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally, for 5 hours.
  4. Add the beans and corn, stir to combine, and cook another 30 minutes. Serve in bowl with desired toppings and/or rice.

Sloppy Joes in the Slow-Cooker

Football season is back and I love making yummy food to have while we watch it. Since I’m now obsessed with my new slow-cooker that works so well I wanted to make Sloppy Joes. I looked all over the internet for a slow-cooker Sloppy Joe recipie for a slow cooker and didn’t find any that sounded right so I came up with my own. They were so delicious!! Just the right amount of sauce and a bit tangy. Perfect for a chilly Sunday evening. The ingredient list is small and they’re very easy to make. I eat mine open-faced as you can see below. They’d be great with some grated cheese on them as well.

Sloppy Joes in the Slow-Cooker


  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2-2 cup ketchup
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium skilled over medium-high heat brown the beef until it’s almost done and then drain out the fat. Add the green pepper and onion and cook until the beef is done. Then drain again.
  2. Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Add everything to the slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on low. Serve on toasted buns.

Note: the ketchup amount is to taste as I like mine a bit more ketchup-y. But do what you like 🙂

Hearty Beef Stew-Slow Cooker

After making the Enchilada Soup the other day I wanted to use my new pretty slow cooker again so I turned to Cook’s Illustrated.  I have a subscription to their online site and this recipe is from them. There’s also a VERY useful tutorial about how to cut a large piece of meat into small ones. Since I bought a 5lb chuck roast for this it was useful to read before I started in on the cutting. I’ll paste that at the end of the recipe.

This stew was good.  Tasty, heart, meaty.  Since it was the first time I made it I followed the instructions. Next time I’ll put less potatoes and more carrots and peas and perahps some other veggies. I served it over egg noodles.

Hearty Beef Stew-Slow Cooker


  • 5 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (see illustrations below)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped medium
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. Dry the beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Distribute half of the beef in the skillet and cook, without stirring, until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Stir the meat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until completely browned, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Transfer it to a slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and heat 2 more teaspoons oil until just smoking. Brown the remaining beef and transfer it to the slow cooker.
  2. Return the skillet to medium heat and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until shimmering. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red wine; turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits off the skillet bottom. Pour into the slow cooker.
  3. Stir the chicken broth, 1½ cups of the beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Following the illustrations below, nestle the potatoes and carrots around the edges of the slow cooker. Cover and cook, on either low or high, until the meat is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low or 6 to 7 hours on high.
  4. When the meat is tender, remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and transfer to a carving board; allow them to cool slightly. Set the slow cooker to high (if necessary). Whisk the flour with the remaining ½ cup beef broth until smooth, then stir into the slow cooker. Quarter the potatoes and return them to the slow cooker. Continue to cook on high until the sauce is thickened and no longer tastes of flour, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Stir in the peas and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving

To keep the potatoes from falling apart during the long cooking time, put them into the slow cooker whole and nestle them around the edges of the cooker, where the heating coils reside. This recipe takes 9 to 10 hours on the slow cooker’s low setting or 6 to 7 hours on its high setting.

From  Serves 6-8

And here’s their useful meat-cutting info:


Cutting Stew Meat

For stew meat pieces that are cut from the right part of the animal and regularly shaped, we suggest buying a boneless roast and cutting the meat yourself. A 3-pound roast will yield about 2 1/2 pounds of beef, perfect for searing in two batches.

  • 1. Pull apart the roast at its major seams (delineated by lines of fat and silver skin). Use a knife as necessary.
  • 2. With a knife, trim off excess fat and silver skin.
  • 3. Cut the meat into cubes or chunks as directed in specific recipes.

Recipe Testing

Arranging the Vegetables in a Slow Cooker

  • In recipes where the meat is only in the slow cooker for 4 to 5 hours, it is important to arrange the vegetables around the edges of the slow cooker, nearer the heating elements, so that they will cook evenly. Also, this technique is useful in recipes where potatoes are added whole to the stew.

Beef, Sugar Snap Pea and Broccoli Bowl

I love when I receive my new issue of Cooking Light Magazine in the mail. There are always a ton of great recipies and most of them can be put together really quickly.  The recipe that I adapted the recipe below is from the October, 2012 issue.  I added and removed a few items from the original recipe and it turned out great.  It took all of 25 minutes start to finish, including prep.

Beef, Sugar Snap Pea and Broccoli Bowl


  • 1 3.5 oz boil-n-a-bag brown rice
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 12 oz boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin strips then cut in half
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 large bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 lb fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced horizontally and thinly
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • sliced green onions for garnish


  1. Cook rice according to directions.
  2. While rice is cooking combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add beef and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Place the beef in the skillet but use your fingers and shake off excess marinade into the bowl. Reserve that marinade.  Cook the beef for 2 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove the beef from pan and set aside. Add the broccoli and cook until thawed but not cooked through, then add the next 4 ingredinets through sesame oil to pan and cook until broccoli and peas are crisp-tender. Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Add beef to the pan, cook 1 minute until thoroughly heated.
  4. Serve stir-fry over rice and garnish with green onions.

Santa Fe Soup

Winner winner chicken dinner!! Not only is this chili-like soup very delicious it’s a SNAP to make!! The ingredients are similar to chili but the liquid is much thinner.  Feel free to switch other beans in or use turkey. This makes  4 quarts so, in my house, enough for 2 frozen containers and 3 containers for the next few days for lunch or dinner.  I think this would also be excellent with crushed tortilla chips on top or used to scoop out the soup. So versatile!! I will be making this all fall and winter!!

Santa Fe Soup


  • 2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1 oz package ranch-stype dressing mix
  • 2 1&1/4 oz packages taco seasoning mix
  • 1 16oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 16oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 16oz can pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small can green chilis
  • 2 16oz cans yellow and white corn undrained
  • 2 cups water
  • Garnish: sour cream, grated sharp cheddar (not pre grated as it won’t melt properly), sliced green onions

Instructions: (I said it was really easy didn’t I? 1 step)

  1. Cook meat and onion together in a large stock pot until meat is browned and onion is soft. Stir in ranch dressing mix, taco seasoning into meat and stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients with juices from all. Add water. Simmer for 2 hours.  If mixture is too thick gradually add additional water to desired thickness. Garnish with sour cream and/or cheese and/or sliced green onions.

Makes 4 quarts. Needs to simmer for 2 hours (but it’s worth it I promise!!)

Adapted from Recipies Worth Sharing cookbook. This is a GREAT book-all of the recipies are from various community cookbooks from all over the country. This particular recipe is from the community cookbook Food for Thought from Junior League of Birmingham, Inc.  Burmingham, Alabama.

Barbacoa Beef


You know why this is a crappy photo? Because for 4.5 hours I’d been smelling this beef cooking in the oven. Quite frankly I was in such a hurry to eat it that I didn’t care how the photo came out. I took a bite and took a picture. That should give you a clue about how awesome this smells. I have to tell you-it tastes even better.


Barbacoa Beef


  • 3 lbs beef eye of round or bottom round roast, all fat trimmed
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth


  1. Pre-heat oven to 275f.
  2. Place garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles and cloves in a bowl and use immersion blender to liquify (or use blender or food processor).
  3. Trim all fat off of meat, cut into 4 large chunks. Place dutch oven on stove over med-high heat with 1 tsp oil and brown meat on all sides.  Add liquified spices, bay leaves and beef broth. Cook, covered, in oven 4 to 5 hours, checking every once in a while to make sure there’s enough liquid. Once cooked shred it with two forks, discard bay leaves and adjust seasoning to taste. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes to let the liquid thicken.
  4. I served mine with warm tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese and guacamole to make the tacos and Gina’s cilantro lime rice and corn salsa on the side. Perfect!!!  My husband made some awesome tacos with the rice, salsa and all of the toppings. It was delicious.

Slightly adapted from awesome Gina at SkinnyTaste

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