I have been spending some quality time with a new slow cooker book.
The 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson. Judith has written scads of cookbooks and you can count on her recipes to be spot on. Paleo recipes are by default gluten free as The Paleo diet does not contain grains of any kind. Even if you are blessed with a full spectrum diet, this book includes flavors I have not seen in other slow cooker cookbooks and will feed you well.
Before I move on to the recipes I would like to pass along a life changing slow cooker tip. You do not actually need a slow cooker. It's true. You need a heavy, thick pot with a tight fitting lid, or tightly crimped foil, and an oven. I own one slow cooker and it is huge. It was purchased when we had a six+ person household and regularly cooked meals meant to feed an army. Now, dinner is often eaten by two people and that big slow cooker is gathering dust. I thought about purchasing a small cooker meant to feed two or three, but was not happy about buying another appliance, so I did some research.
The best slow cookers reach a temperature between 195-210F. I follow the directions listed in the recipe,
using a heavy ceramic dish with a good lid, set the oven to 200 and walk away. The results are perfect.
The recipes in the book are quite varied and span comfort foods like a Beef Stew and Chicken Soup to Curries, as well as meals with Asian, and Latin flavors. I have made
and Southwestern Brisket. I did not have to modify the timing or liquid content of the recipes at all, and look forward to cooking more from this volume. Are you ready to give it a try?
Serves 6 to 8
Juicy and full of flavor, brisket is tender and delicious and lends itself to a wide variety of sauces and seasonings. This version, which relies on New Mexico chiles for its rich, tangy taste, is mildly piquant.
•Large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker
2 tbspclarified butter, beef tallow or pure lard, divided30 mL
4 lbs double beef brisket, trimmed
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 stalks celery, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs pdried oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp cracked black peppercorns
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
2 bay leaves
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup beef stock
1⁄4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 dried New Mexico chile peppers
2 cups boiling water
1 to 2 jalapeño pepper, quartered
2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1.In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the clarified butter over medium-high heat. Brown brisket on both sides and place in slow cooker stoneware.
2.Reduce heat to medium and add remaining tbsp (15 mL) of butter to the pan. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cumin, peppercorns, sea salt and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, stock, coconut sugar and vinegar and stir well.
3.Transfer to stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until brisket is very tender.
4.About an hour before you’re ready to serve, in a heatproof bowl, soak New Mexico chiles in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, discarding soaking liquid and stems. Transfer to a blender and add approximately 1 cup (250 mL) of the brisket cooking liquid along with jalapeño peppers, if using. Purée. Add to brisket along with bell peppers. Cover and cook on High for an additional 30 minutes, until bell peppers are tender. Discard bay leaves. To serve, slice brisket thinly and place on a deep platter. Spoon sauce over and garnish liberally with parsley.
• Entertaining Worthy
• Can Be Halved (see Tips)
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 to 31⁄2 quart) slow cooker. Reduce cooking time to about 6 hours on Low or 3 hours on High.
If the whole piece of brisket won’t fit in your slow cooker, cut it in half and lay the two pieces on top of each other.
If you are using the outer stalks of celery, peel them before slicing to remove the fibrous exterior.
For the best flavor, toast and grind cumin seeds yourself. To toast cumin: Place seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and grind.
Add the jalapeño peppers, if you like heat.
Complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate mixture for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.
Excerpted from The Best 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.