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This recipe is so simple and SO good. And it combines two of my favorite things, slow cooking and cooking with beer. Once the winter sets in, the slow cooker is my best friend. And the flavor of this stroganoff is just WOW at the end of the day. The dijon really adds just the right amount of bite.

slow cook stroganoff

Slow Cook Stroganoff
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into thin slices
2 medium onions, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, quartered (I used cremini)
6 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 bottle of beer (I used a Porter)
Egg noodles, for serving

Slice beef, chop the onions and mushrooms, then toss them into a gallon zip lock bag with the minced garlic. Add the bottle of beer and refrigerate overnight.

In the slow cooker, toss beef, onion, and mushroom mixture with 2 teaspoons coarse salt and teaspoon pepper. Cover, and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours).

Prepare the egg noodles. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water. Ladle 2 cups of cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute (It happens very quickly!). With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture, then sour cream and mustard.
Serve over the cooked noodles.

Why haven’t I made this before?! Simple and delicious. Just meat and veggies. My aunt said it was my grandpa’s favorite, and I can see why. I love vegetables when they’re been cooking in delicious cooking liquids all day (I can’t wait for the ones from in the turkey at Thanksgiving). And pickling spice? So good! I think I might try making my own next time too!

corned beef and cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage
via martha stewart

2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges (root end left intact)
1/2 pound small potatoes, halved if large
6 sprigs thyme
1 corned beef brisket (about 3 pounds), plus pickling spice packet or 1 tablespoon pickling spice
1/2 head Savoy cabbage, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
Grainy mustard, for serving

In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, place celery, carrots, onion, potatoes, and thyme. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice; add enough water to almost cover meat (4 to 6 cups). Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, 4 1/4 hours (or 8 1/2 hours on low). Arrange cabbage over corned beef, cover, and continue cooking until cabbage is tender, 45 minutes (or 1 1/2 hours on low). Thinly slice corned beef against the grain and serve with vegetables, cooking liquid, and grainy mustard.

Simply delicious. Mondays are our night for slow cooker meals. Husband leaves work a bit early to get ready for his hockey game and it’s nice when there’s a meal ready, as he usually has little time at home before he heads out. This pork ragù was simple, hearty and over rice it’s perfect for a pre-game meal. I served mine over a roasted spaghetti squash to keep it paleo, and the combination was dreamy. Definitely my favorite alternative the traditional noodles.

pork ragu

Slow Cook Pork Ragu
adapted from damn delicious

2 tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil
2 1/2 pound boneless pork loin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup finely grated carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup red wine
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tablespoon minced fresh parlsey

Season pork loin with orgeano, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add pork loin and sear both sides until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place pork loin into a slow cooker and top with crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, and wine. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Remove pork loin and bay leaf from the slow cooker and shred the meat before returning to the pot with the juices; season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes. Cook rice according to directions. Serve immediately topped with pork mixture and fresh parsley.

I had never made meatballs from scratch before. And I might never buy them from the store again. Homemade meatballs are amazing! We meant to make these in the slow cooker like it called for in the original recipe, but got started a little late and just ended up cooking them on the stove top. No matter, they were still utterly delicious. We served them over a tiny bit of pasta, but next time I might try a little polenta instead (the true Italian way, or so I’m told).

sunday meatballs

Italian Meatballs
adapted from design and dishes

For Meatballs
1.5 pounds lean ground turkey (or any mixture of ground beef or pork if you’re not counting calories)
1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 egg
1 large clove garlic, crushed
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

For Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil or parsley

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese. Using hands, mix all the ingredients and form small meatballs, about 1/8 cup each (no more than 2 inches across). Set aside in the fridge for about a half hour.
In a medium sized pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. Add crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Drop meatballs into the sauce, cover and simmer about 25 minutes (or on low in the crock pot, for 4 to 6 hours). When meatballs are ready, adjust salt and pepper to taste and add fresh chopped basil or parsley. Serve over pasta or polenta.