Crave: Want something hearty? Try these protein-packed classics

photo by: Shutterstock Photo

Slow-cooking a pot or rump roast yields a filling, classic dinner.

The slow cooker is perfect for preparing less expensive, tougher cuts of meat, because the moisture produced during the long cooking period breaks down the meat’s connective tissue, causing it to become more tender.


Beef Pot Roast

Yields 8 servings.

Ingredients:

1 envelope (.7 ounce) Italian dressing mix

1 beef chuck shoulder pot roast or bottom round rump roast, boneless (3 to 3 1/2pounds)

2 onions, cut into 8 wedges each

2 cloves garlic, peeled

6 potatoes, cut into chunks

1/2 pound baby carrots

1/2 cup beef broth

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Press dressing mix evenly onto all surfaces of roast. Place in slow cooker and add onion wedges, garlic, potatoes and carrots. Pour in broth.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, or until roast and vegetables are tender.

3. Remove roast and vegetables from slow cooker. Place vegetables on a platter, and cover with foil to keep them warm. Strain cooking liquid, and skim off fat.

4. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups cooking liquid with cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute, or until gravy is thickened.

5. Carve roast into slices, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with vegetables and gravy.


Barbecue Pork Chops

Yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

4 thick-cut pork chops*

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup barbecue sauce

Directions:

1. In a bowl, combine olive oil, chicken broth, garlic, paprika, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, oregano and basil, and whisk to combine. Pour mixture in slow cooker.

2. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Add to slow cooker.

3. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, basting occasionally with broth mixture.

4. After 4 to 6 hours, remove pork chops from the slow cooker, and discard broth mixture. Place pork chops back in slow cooker, and add barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for another 1 to 2 hours. Let pork chops rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If using boneless pork chops, cook time will be closer to 4 hours, while bone-in chops will require about 6 hours. Time may also vary depending on thickness. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, which is 145 F for pork.


Pulled Meat Sandwiches

Yields 8 servings.

Ingredients:

1 boneless pork shoulder or beef brisket, skin and excess fat removed (about 3 to 4 pounds)

1 can (12 ounces) root beer

1 onion, halved

2 cups barbecue sauce

8 sandwich buns

Directions:

1. Place meat in a slow cooker. Add root beer and onion.

2. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until meat is tender.

3. Remove meat and set aside to cool slightly. Discard cooking liquid.

4. Shred meat and return to slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce.

5. Cover and cook on low for an additional 1 hour to allow the sauce to soak into the meat.

6. Serve hot on sandwich buns.

— Recipes from Capper’s Farmer archives

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