The slow cooker – my new BFF
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 beef brisket (3 - 4 pounds)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
¼ cup tomato paste (ketchup works in a pinch)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
Heat the oil in a pan and season the brisket with salt and pepper. Sear brisket for a few minutes per side. Add garlic and onions. Important – if you have a Crock-Pot Versaware programmable slow cooker (shown above), which has a ceramic pot that can be used on the stovetop, the above steps can be done directly on the stovetop. If not, use a pan for searing. Put all remaining ingredients into the stoneware. Stir well. Cover, and cook on low for 5.5 to 7 hours, or until meat is cooked. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Slow cookers also make a great rice pudding. Just combine in your slow cooker 1.5 cups of Arborio rice with 6 cups of milk, a half of cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Cover and turn the cooker on low for 4 to 6 hours. Give it the occasional stir to prevent lumps. To jazz it up, add handful of white chocolate chips and chopped, toasted pecans during the last 15 minutes. Or reduce the sugar, and add a healthy drizzle of maple syrup and chopped walnuts. In the unlikely event there’s any left over, serve it for breakfast with fresh or frozen fruit.