Browning meats first helps to reduce
the fat content and enhance the flavor and texture of the dishes.
If you choose to skip browning the meats you can coat them with a little flour
if you want a thicker sauce at the end of cooking.
The exception is ground beef and that should be precooked to help it break up if
you are making spaghetti sauce or tacos. Ground meats will tend to clump in the
crockpot if you do not precook.
Crock Pot Spicy Beef
5 shallots sliced thin
3 garlic cloves minced
2 medium carrots sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1/3 C. ham diced small
1 piece of orange peel
1 bay leaf
3 lbs. beef chuck cut in 2 inch pieces
1/4 C. flour
1/4 t. peppercorns
1/4 t. thyme
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. dried sage
2 T. balsamic vinegar
3/4 C. dry white wine
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/4 C. fresh chopped parsley
In a slow cooker, combine shallots, garlic, carrots, ham, orange peel and bay
leaf. Coat beef cubes with the flour and add to cooker. Sprinkle with
peppercorns, thyme, cloves and sage. Drizzle with vinegar, pour in wine. Cover
and cook on Low for 8 hours or until beef is tender.
Blend the flour and butter together. Remove and discard the bay leaf and orange
peel. Blend in the flour and butter mixture. Increase heat to High and cook
until sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and
pepper. Add the parsley.