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Crock-Pots: They aren’t just for Dinner Anymore

Nov 06, 2014 01:18PM ● Published by Joani Taylor

One of the unspoken niceties about fall is the financial relief of turning off the A/C. Isn’t it lovely to have the reprieve where we neither have to heat nor cool our home?  As we begin to turn off the grill outside and tuck ourselves in for the winter, I look forward to hunkering in with my favorite comfort foods. Have you broken out the slow-cooker yet?  

Rocky Mountain Power reports that small appliances like electric woks, electric griddles and slow-cookers, are a great way to save on the high cost of heating the oven or range top. Coming in at around $30, these small and handy appliances of the 1970’s that are making a comeback are not only frugal to use but to purchase too.

Today’s chefs use them for roasting squash, baking pies and stewing up breakfast. You can find a plethora of Crock-Pot recipes on various websites devoted to honoring the magic of slow cooking. Check out CrockPotLadies.com, GetCrocked.com and 365DaysOfCrockpot.com for some inspiration.

Here’s one of our family favorite go to recipes I learned years ago at a cooking demonstrations at a Tupperware party. It has some surprising ingredients that I bet most of you have in your kitchen right now. No bellbottoms or avocado green containers are required.  

2lbs Beef or Pork - You can use pretty much any cut of meat. Short ribs or pork loin are good choices.1/2 c. flour 
3/4 c. Ketchup
3/4 c. Cola
1/2 Onion (thinly sliced)
3-4 Baking Potatoes (I like to use 3 very large ones and then cut them in half when serving)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Directions: Dredge 2lbs of the meat of your choice in a mixture of salt and pepper seasoned flour. Preheat a skillet to a nice hot temperature and brown all sides of your meat in olive oil (about 2 tablespoons). It’s tempting to skip this step (and I do on occasion) but the added flavor this adds to the meat, coupled with the pan juices and thicker sauce the flour creates is worth the additional dirty pan. Place the meat in your slow-cooker and top with the onions. Combine the Ketchup and Cola in the skillet you browned the meat in and scrape up all those bits of yumminess on the bottom. Pour the sauce mixture over the meat. The two ingredients paired together make a nice BBQ flavor plus, the cola actually acts as a tenderizer for the meat. 

Poke the potatoes with a fork, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the potatoes in heavy duty foil or two layers of regular foil. Place the potatoes on top of the meat with the fold of the foil on top. Cover and cook on low for 7 or 8 hours until the meat is falling apart and the potatoes are fork tender. Serve with a salad or your favorite veggies and enjoy.     
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