Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Dairy-free Paleo Crock Pot Beef StroganoffWhen I look at the history of my blog posts, I realize there are a lot of veggie recipes. You might start to think that I’m not a very good example of Paleo – where is all the meat? I honestly eat meat all the time, but for some reason, when I’m cooking and serving it, it just sort of gets eaten and the pictures don’t get taken and the recipe might not get fully developed. Most of the time, I’ll flavor something up quickly and simply and then use whatever cooking method I’m in the mood for and it’s done. Veggies and sides and salads, however, are where I tend to have more fun and play with flavors and textures a little differently. I’ll try harder to get some protein posts out there, but I actually still have a few zucchini ones waiting in the weeds…

Even though we are nearing the end of summer, it’s probably still a little early for a stew recipe. But in a previous post, I shared a recipe for Paleo Beef Stroganoff and it is consistently the top viewed and loved recipe on my site. It’s a pressure cooked meal, which makes it easy to get on the table during the week, and it’s ridiculously delicious. One lovely blog reader shared how much her family liked the recipe and asked about a slow cooker version. Then a dear friend of mine asked for one the other day too so I’ve decided to oblige, regardless of the fact that it’s supposed to be in the 90s. While I prefer other cooking methods for dishes that need to keep their distinct flavors and brightness, I’m a big fan of the slow cooker for cozy dishes like Stroganoff. You can always add some brightness with parsley, lemon zest, or zoodles as your base. I don’t like to dirty up a bunch of pots or use a lot of time browning meats ahead of time either, so as I’ve said before on this blog, if I’m using my slow cooker, I prefer to challenge myself to get the whole thing cooking in the time it takes me to scramble my eggs in the morning.

When you use your slow cooker, you don’t need to add a lot of moisture because the food you put in there will give off plenty. My slow cooker also runs fairly hot so I mention cooking it on high without the lid for the last hour. If you want this to have a thicker consistency and your slow cooker will do that, great! Otherwise, you might want to opt for the pressure cooker version where you can boil it down at the end. You can also just leave it a little soupy and serve it on top of a baked sweet potato or straight from a bowl. In either case, I hope you find the time to throw this together in the morning and love it when you get home.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs. beef stew meat

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. onion powder

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

1/2 onion, sliced

1/3 c. coconut cream (scooped from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk)

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

Directions

1) In a small bowl, mix together all of your spices. Place meat in a large bowl and sprinkle with the spices. Mix everything together, using your hands, and coat the meat well with the seasoning.

2) Place the sliced mushrooms and onion in the bowl of the slow cooker. Lay the seasoned beef on top. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 1/2 hours.

3) When the meat is tender and nearly done, add the coconut cream, vinegar, and any additional salt or pepper. Stir around and cook on high (with the lid ajar, if possible) for about an hour.

3) That’s it! Enjoy!

Serves 4-8

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Spicy Slow Cooker Pork

Pork with green chiles 2014I have had some busy mornings with busy afternoons lately and that can make it difficult to eat right in the evenings. Unless I pull out my slow cooker, of course. You probably know the rules already – for me, it has to come together quickly and I don’t want to do any extra browning of this or that. I just want to throw it all in the pot and come home later to something tasty. This does not disappoint!

I didn’t even thaw the meat. My pork was already cut into one inch pieces so I put the whole block in the crock pot, added the other ingredients, stirred it after a few hours, and a couple more hours later, it was done. If your pork isn’t frozen, that’s no problem – it just won’t take as long. The chiles I used were quite spicy so if you like it milder, go ahead and use mild green chiles. And you can serve this a lot of different ways. I went with a pile of spaghetti squash, but there’s no reason you can’t wrap it in a Paleo tortilla or top a baked sweet potato with it. Or even just eat it on it’s own. I’m already looking forward to leftovers!

Spicy Pork Slow Cooker Stew

2 lbs. pork, cut into 1″ pieces, frozen

1/2 onion, chopped

7 oz. diced green chile peppers, canned, hot or mild

1 c. full-fat coconut milk

4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. dried oregano, rubbed to release flavors

1 1/2 tsp. salt

cilantro, optional

Directions

1) Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Stir, breaking up the chunks of pork and combining everything well. Cover.

2) Cook for about 2 more hours until pork is tender.

3) Plate, top with fresh chopped cilantro, and serve.

Serves 6

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Sage

Crockpot Pork ShoulderWake up. Throw this together in 10 minutes. Come home later to an amazing dinner. If you don’t have a slow cooker, I highly recommend getting one. There is something magical about putting a bunch of ingredients into a pot in the morning and then coming home later that day to a marriage of rich flavors and crazy-tender meat. Pork shoulder is ideal for this kind of low, moist heat – it gets truly transformed.

Once you have a pot of shredded pork, there are all kinds of things you can do with it. In my house, it’s hard to even get it to the dinner table because everyone walks by and has to steal a bite. We liked this version just piled on our plate with the juices over the top, but you can wrap it up in a lettuce leaf or add it to your eggs in the morning. Whatever you want to do, pork probably makes it better.

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Sage

about 2 lbs. of pork shoulder, trimmed of most of the visible fat

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 a large onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic

1 large stalk of fresh sage, about 8-10 leaves

1/2 c. coconut milk

Directions

1) In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Rub this mix all over the pork shoulder, getting into the nooks and crannies, and set aside.

2) Put the chopped onion in the bottom of the cooker. Pour in the coconut milk, add the whole garlic cloves and fresh sage. Place the pork on top of the mixture and put the lid on. Cook on low heat for about 8 hours, until the meat is fall apart tender.

3) Remove the meat to a bowl and remove any excess fat from the meat that you don’t want. Strain the liquid at the bottom of the cooker into a fat separator or any container to put in the fridge. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or more and then remove the layer of fat that solidifies at the top.

4) When you are ready to eat, reheat the meat and juices together and pile on your plate.

Serves 6