As a busy mom, I LOVE my slow cooker. I actually developed a love for it while in college because it is so easy and simple to use. Today I am such a fan of the slow cooker that I have 3 of them. Small, medium and large. My medium slow cooker is over 10 years old and is a base model version. It is the hardest to clean since the ceramic part does not remove for cleaning, but it is my favorite and works like a champ! If you have yet to develop a fondness for the slow cooker, take the time to try something out. It is so easy to do that you are sure to become hooked!
An additional benefit to using the slow cooker is that is uses very little energy and will not heat up your house in the way that an oven will. So it is great to use for hearty meals in the winter but also for summer meals that won't warm up your house and can save you money too.
One of my favorite uses of the slow cooker it to make one crock pot roast into two meals. This is what I do:
* 3-5 lb roast. The type of roast you use probably depends on what you have in the freezer, and how lean you prefer your beef. If you want something lean select a roast from the round such as a london broil or bottom round roast. When using a lean cut expect to add more liquid to the slow cooker. But if you prefer the flavor of something with more fat, select a chuck roast.
* Seasonings - I have a roast seasoning that our local butcher shop sells. The local butcher is a great source for great rubs and marinaded!
* Onions if you like them
* Carrots, Potatoes, even Turnips can used
* Worcestershire sauce and or broth
Remove the roast from the packaging and generously season it before placing it in the slow cooker. Layer on onions if you like and additional vegetables if you like. Add a splash or two of Worcestershire sauce and, if you are using a lean roast, add a cup or so of broth.
*horrible photo of the seasoned roast. I will have to use the blue crock pot for photos next time.
Set on low or cook - depending on why type of slow cooker you have - and leave it alone for 8 to 10 hours. I prepare this the night before, refrigerate it overnight and turn it on to cook when I leave in the morning.
8-10 hours later your house will smell amazing and dinner will be practically done. Simply take the roast out (carefully as it will be hot and the roast falling apart) and slice it. Serve it pot roast style with carrots and potatoes if desired and a green salad or green beans.
As long as you planned on cooking a large enough roast that you have nearly half of it left over, you can turn the leftovers into BBQ beef sandwiches the next night. If you don't have enough left for a meal - make BBQ sandwiches for lunch.
* leftover roast - shredded by hand or with a fork.
* onions - again optional but we slice and cook our onions down to bring out their sweet flavor and serve them in the sandwich
* BBQ sauce - home-made or store bought, whatever works for you
* Condiments - ketchup, mustard and possibly mayo
* Buns or Dinner rolls
Warm up the shredded beef on low to low-medium heat. Stir the meat often to allow for even warming. Add BBQ sauce. I like to add a bit of Worcestershire sauce and some mustard too. You may also need to add a bit of water depending on how you like your sauce. Allow it to simmer on low for a few minutes while you toast the buns. Spoon the warm beef and BBQ sauce over the toasted buns. If desired add the onions and cheese.
Two days of easy delicious meals!
You can use a pork roast if you prefer but will need to add more liquid. Most pork roasts are pretty lean. A great liquid to add is apple or pineapple juice if you have them, both are great compliments to pork.