Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Plethora of Pumpkin, Part 4

On a Plethora of Pumpkin, Part 3, I received the following comment from 'Amateur Chef':  "No more pumpkin, please.  I'll puke."

To that, I have only one response:

Though I pity your predicament, pumpkin provides the perfect possibility for a pretty pop when peckish.  Plus, not my problem pal.

So, this post is totally dedicated to "Amateur Chef."  Because of the above, and also because he/she told me that I couldn't make a "real meal" in a crock pot only.

I don't just write a food blog.  I also like to read food blogs.  They're interesting, and educational, and a good way to steal recipes (...I mean... use recipes for which I totally give the original party credit...)

One of the blogs that I find myself on a lot is "A Year of Slow Cooking."  This girl knows what she's doing.  Some of the recipes are completely nonsensical and ridiculous, but if I'm looking for how long to slow cook anything, I'm pretty sure I can find it there.  That is an important step in learning how to cook: Even if a recipe isn't the recipe that you're making, it can teach you important things about your recipe.  A pork loin, for example, cooks for the same amount of time in a crock pot (or on a grill, or in an oven, or whatever), no matter what else is in there with it.

This recipe uses the leftovers of my pumpkin dip, specifically the top of the pumpkin itself.

Disregard the big chunk of pumpkin in the front.  We're just
using the lid here.

I had another commenter (I love comments, btw.  Thanks, Shannon!), say that a "one pot meal is called a casserole."  That's true, and casserole is delicious, but it's November in Wisconsin, and I prefer a stew.  Plus, I'm not sure how casserole works in a crock pot.  A stew, on the other hand, is just as filling, just as delicious, and just as "one pot-y."

I feel like there really was nothing missing here.  Meat, carbs, green leafy vegetables.  It was warm, and had good flavor, and heated up well.  I will be making this one again.

A perfect one pot fall meal.  Nothing else needed.  If you want to, you can add more meat to this, but I felt like the mix was perfect.  Jeff, on the other hand, was picking meat out and leaving behind just the other stuff.  So, if you want, add more meat.  Three pounds would probably be the "norm."

Beef and Pumpkin Stew:
(modified from The New Slow-Cooker)

  • 1 lb beef stew meat (L)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (L)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (L*)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (L)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine vinegar 
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (L)
  • 3-4 large red tomatoes, diced (L)
  • 1 lb wild mushrooms, sliced (L)
  • 1/3 cup beef, chicken or vegetable stock - I actually used the cooking liquid from the spinach from the pumpkin dip (L)
  • 1 lb pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (L)
  • 1 lb celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (L)
  • 1/2 lb kale (L)
Season beef with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil, in a crock pot with a "brown" setting, or in a pan over medium high heat.  Brown in batches to avoid overcrowding, and saute until golden brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate.

Pour off any extra fat from the slow cooker and return to medium high eat.  Add the onion, thyme sprig, and pay leaves, and saute until onion starts to brown - about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cinnamon, and cook for 1 minute more.  Pour in the wine and vinegar, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add carrots, tomato, mushrooms, and stock.  Add beef, cover, and cook on the low setting for 6 hours.

Add the pumpkin, celery root, and kale.  Continue to cook for 4 additional hours.  The beef and pumkin should be very tender.

Remove thyme sprigs, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Kate, you're right, stew's are also one-pot meals. As would be any soup. So many of my slow-cooker recipes come out thick because there's rice in there to soak up all the liquid, that we have more of what I would consider casseroles coming out of my slow-cooker than soups or stews.