Slow Cooker Brisket

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 ½-pound) flat-cut beef brisket
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup beer (we used Budweiser)
  • ½ cup chili sauce (we used Heinz Chili Sauce)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • Crackers, Cheddar cheese, and pickles to serve (we didn’t use any of those)

Directions

  1. Take a 6-quart slow cooker out and spray the inside of it with cooking spray.
  2. Trim away any excess fat from the brisket until you’re left with a ½-inch thick layer (the way ours came in the package, it looked like it was already cut down to ¼-inch). Make several ¼-inch-deep cuts in both sides of the brisket, rubbing the brisket with salt and pepper afterwards.
  3. Take a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or grill pan out (we went with the skillet) and brush the inside with the oil. Preheat the skillet to medium-high, turning the heat down to medium afterwards. Place the brisket in the skillet, cooking until it’s browned, for 2 to 3 minutes per side (we seared the brisket on all sides). Turn the heat down if needed while browning the brisket. Place the brisket in the slow cooker afterwards.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the ground ancho, red pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle this onto the brisket, turning the brisket so the spice mixture can be applied all over. Make sure the brisket is facing fat-side up after the spice is done being spread all over. Pour the beer and chili sauce in around the brisket. Add the onion to the skillet, cooking it for 1 minute per side or until browned. Place the onion slices in the slow cooker, putting the lid on afterwards. Cook until the brisket is tender, 5 on  HIGH or 8 hours on LOW (we cooked ours on LOW).
  5. Take the brisket out of the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Let the brisket rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it. Serve with the onions, cooking liquid, crackers, cheese and pickles.

This is the first time we’ve ever worked with brisket and we loved it ! The meat was so tender and the fat just melted in your mouth. There is a nice level of heat in this but otherwise it’s hard to pick out one distinct flavor, you just know that you want to keep coming back for more !  We know that typically brisket is something you typically cook on the grill but the weather forecast wasn’t looking good and when we came across this recipe, we just had to try it ! It just sounded so d@#n good and we were right ! A nice alternative way to have brisket if the weather’s bad or you don’t have a grill.

We got this recipe from Taste of the South.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Budweiser, Heinz or Taste of the South.

Take care everybody !

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BBQ Tomatillo Tacos

Ingredients

  • 6 medium tomatillos, husks removed and halved
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 1 jalapeño, halved and seeded (we left the seeds in)
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 8 hard taco shells
  • 1 pound shredded barbecue pork (we used meat from the Three-Ingredient Slow Cooker Barbecue Pork, recipe for the meat below)
  • ½ cup chopped tomato (we didn’t use it)
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Three-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Barbecue Pork
    • 1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), trimmed
    • 1 (18-oz.) bottle barbecue sauce (such as Cattlemen’s Kansas City Classic Barbecue Sauce) (we used Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse)
    • 1 (12-oz.) can cola soft drink (we used Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola)

Directions

  1. Start off by making the pulled pork. Take a 6-qt. slow cooker out and lightly grease the inside of it. Add the pork to the slow cooker, pouring the barbecue sauce and cola over it afterwards. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or until the meat is tender enough that it shreds easily with a fork. Take the pork out of the slow cooker and shred it using two forks, throwing away any large pieces of fat that you come across. Try to skim the fat off the sauce before stirring the shredded pork back in.
  2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take a large rimmed baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil.
  3. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix the tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, garlic, oil, salt and pepper together. Spread the mixture out on the lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven for 10 minutes or until softened (ours took somewhere between 10-15 minutes and we flipped ours over after the initial 10 minutes).
  4. Take the roasted tomatillo mixture, cilantro and lime juice and place it in a blender, processing long enough for it to turn into a smooth sauce.
  5. Fill up the taco shell with pork and top with the tomatillo sauce, chopped tomato and queso fresco. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on afterwards and enjoy !

The pork has a sweetness to it thanks to the sauce but it’s also dripping with the sauce it was sitting in so make sure you have some napkins or paper towels with you while eating this. The tomatillo sauce has so much brightness to it. We were surprise that we didn’t get any heat from the sauce even though we left the ribs and seeds in for the jalapeño. Had we used tomatoes, it would’ve added more flavor and brought a different texture to the dish but we still enjoyed the taco regardless !

We got the Three-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Barbecue Pork recipe from Southern Living but we don’t know where we got the BBQ Tomatillo Tacos recipe from.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cattlemen’s, Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola or Southern Living.

Take care everybody !

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ lb. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ tsp. black pepper, divided (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice, divided
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice, divided
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 white onion, sliced (we sliced ours about ¼ in. thick) (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 oregano sprigs
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • 6 Tbsp. chopped white onion
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the pork up into 3-inch pieces, placing them in a large ziplock bag afterwards. Sprinkle the brown sugar, ½ teaspoon pepper and ½ teaspoon salt over the pork.  Add 2 tablespoons each of the lime juice and orange juice to the bag and seal, removing as much air as possible*. Refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
  2. Add the hot water and dried ancho chile to a large bowl, letting it sit for 10 minutes. Take ¼ cup of the ancho soaking liquid and leave it off to the side for now along with the ancho chile. Take a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker out and add the pork to it, discarding the marinade that the pork was in. Add the garlic, sliced onion, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, oregano, ancho chile, that reserved ¼ cup soaking liquid, the remaining 2 tablespoons each of orange juice and lime juice. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  3. Take the pork out of the slow cooker and place it in a container for the time being. Take a bowl out and place a fine wire-mesh strainer over it. Pour the cooking liquid from the slow cooker through the strainer, throwing away any solids. Measure out ½ cup of the cooking liquids, throwing away any leftover liquid afterwards. Take a large cast-iron skillet out and pour the canola oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the pork, searing it for one minute without moving it**. Take the pork out of the skillet and place it back in the container. Pour the reserved ½ cup of cooking liquid into the skillet, scraping up any bits of pork stuck to the skillet, pouring it over the pork afterwards. Add the salt and pepper to the pork, shredding the pork afterwards. Divide the pork up afterwards among the tortillas, topping each one with 1 ½ teaspoons of chopped onions (we didn’t measure how much much we used). Serve with the cilantro and lime wedges if you’d like.

*After getting as much air out as possible, we rolled the ziplock bag up as tight as possible to help the pork absorb as much flavor as possible.

**We weren’t sure if they wanted you to sear one side only or all sides but we decided to sear for one minute on the first side and 30 seconds – 1 minute on the other sides.

The pork tasted great the first day we had this but the second day, the flavors were even stronger ! The char on the outside of the pork brings a smoky flavor to the taco and is a nice contrast against the tender parts of meat. The toppings bring a freshness to the dish and the onions offer a nice crunch as well.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Barbecue Country Ribs

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (accidentally used 2 tsp.)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional (we used Frank’s RedHot Original)
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke, optional (we used hickory)

Directions

  1. Take a 5-qt. slow cooker out and place the ribs in it first. Take a large mixing bowl out and combine remaining ingredients together in it, pouring the sauce mixture over the ribs afterwards.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or until the meat is tender (we checked on the ribs after 5 ½ hours and ours were tender by that point).

This was such an easy recipe to make ! The meat was practically falling apart, it was tender. We weren’t sure if accidentally adding more garlic powder than the recipe recommended would mess up the flavor but the sauce tasted good to us so it was a happy accident !

This recipe came from Taste of Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Frank’s RedHot or Taste of Home.

Take care everybody !

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (we used 2 since they looked small and we left the ribs & seeds in)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. salt (we used Kosher salt) plus more for seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper) plus more for seasoning
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Basmati rice, for serving (we ended up using brown rice*)

Directions

  1. Take a slow cooker out (we used a 4 qt. slow cooker) and mix the tomatoes and sugar together in it. Take a 12-inch nonstick skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Now add in the following ingredients, constantly stirring for 1 minute or until the mixture’s fragrant: serrano, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, salt and pepper.
  2. Place the onion mixture in the slow cooker, mixing it together with the tomatoes. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper before nestling it into the tomato mixture. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 3 to 4 hours on LOW or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  3. Take the chicken out of the slow cooker and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Mix the heavy cream and chicken into the slow cooker. Serve immediately, sprinkling cilantro over your individual portions.

*As we mentioned in our post about our beloved saucepan, the basmati rice that was supposed to be served with this was no longer usable and we just didn’t have the money to buy more rice so we just served the chicken tikka masala with some brown rice we had cooked up previously.

This is a new favorite of ours, the tomato sauce mixture was just so flavorful. We love having a dish that’s spicy but this started to get a little too spicy for us so maybe we’ll try this again with just one serrano. The cilantro adds a nice fresh flavor to the dish. The brown rice wasn’t badd with this but the basmati rice would’ve been perfect with all the extra sauce that’s in this dish. You’ve gotta have rice with this dish. It’d be a sin to let all that go to waste. Also, the recipe talks about cutting the chicken into 1-inch pieces but it was a little on the big side for us so next time we’re going to cut them into smaller pieces.

This recipe came from Cook’s Country.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cook’s Country.

Take care everybody !

Slow-Cooker Smoky Chipotle Beef Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped (we finely chopped our yellow onions)
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (we left the seeds in)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. liquid smoke (we used mesquite)
  • 1 (3-lb.) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and halved
  • Salt and pepper (we used Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 12-18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Toppings (optional): sour cream, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced radishes and/or lime wedges (we tried it with radish slices, radish slices and pico de gallo, and tried a few tacos that only had avocado slices as a topping)

Directions

  1. Take a large microwavable container and add the onions, chili powder, chipotle, oil, garlic, jalapeño, tomato paste and cumin to it (the directions don’t say to but we mixed everything together once it was all in the container). Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions have softened*. Once the onions have softened, place the mixture into the bottom of a 5 ½- to 7-quart slow cooker. Season the beef with salt and pepper (we did so on both sides) and put it in the slow cooker afterwards.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook until the beef is tender, either 9 to 10 hours on LOW or 6 to 7 hours on high (we cooked ours on low heat).
  3. Once the beef is tender, take it out of the slow cooker and put it in a large container, letting it cool a little. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-size pieces, tossing out any excess fat pieces (we did try a piece of fat before throwing the rest away and it was so tender, it melted like butter in  your mouth). Skim any excess fat from the surface of the sauce left in the slow cooker (we didn’t do that).
  4. Stir 1 cup of the sauce in with the beef, adding in more if the beef starts to look dried out (honestly we just added our shredded beef back into the slow cooker with all of the sauce, stirring to combine). Season with salt and pepper if you think it needs it (we didn’t think it needed any more salt and pepper). Serve with the warmed tortillas and leftover sauce (and the optional toppings if you’re using any of them).

*After 7 minutes in the microwave, our onions were still crunchy but we decided to move on.

The chili powder flavor really comes through in this dish. The beef and onions were so tender by the end of the cook time. You really can’t go wrong with any of the toppings. The various toppings we tried all worked harmoniously together flavor-wise with the beef and most of the toppings added some nice contrasting textures to the dish.

We got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote America’s Test Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

Hot Wing Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (we used cooked breast meat from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese (we just shredded 8 oz. of cheddar cheese, we didn’t measure it)
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing (we used Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing)
  • ½ cup Louisiana-style hot sauce (we used Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce)
  • Tortilla chips and/or celery sticks (we just used tortilla chips)
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional (we didn’t use it)

Directions

  1. Take a 3-qt. slow cooker out and stir the first 5 ingredients together in it. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for one hour or until all the cheese has melted (we had to stir our dip around to see if all the cheese had melted). Serve immediately with the chips (and celery sticks if you want). Sprinkle the parsley over the dip if you’re going to use it.

We thought this was a tasty dip. You get the spice of the hot sauce but you don’t really get the heat so we’ll probably increase the amount of hot sauce next time. The chicken also adds a different texture to the dip.

We got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Hidden Valley, Frank’s, or Taste of Home.

Take care everybody !