Category: Beef


Meatloaf in the Crockpot

Crockpot Meatloaf

I love trying to adapt regular recipes for use in my crockpot, and one of my favorites is meatloaf. Though really it’s just as easy to do it in the oven, I like the easier clean up of using my slow cooker, along with the fact that I can get everything going in the morning (when I prefer cooking), and have it be done and ready to go by dinner.

Any meatloaf recipe should work. I like to use one pound of ground beef with one pound of ground turkey along with whatever else I feel like tossing in. Meatloaf is very forgiving. When I bake it in the oven I use actual diced onion, which helps keep it moist. In a crockpot that’s not really an issue so I take the lazy route and just use powder. Read More


Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili

A few months ago, several cooking shows aired a bunch of episodes focusing on Cincinnati Chili. I’d never had it, and since I’m not traveling to any of the featured locations anytime soon I figured I’d better find out how to make it myself.

I love chili and was intrigued by the addition of not only putting it on top of spaghetti, but topping it with cheese, onions and even kidney beans. A whole bunch of my favorites, all in one bowl.

Using several different recipes I found online, I’ve been able to tweak it to just the way we like it. The originals all called for allspice, cloves and a lot more cinnamon, but we found that we just weren’t crazy about the combo (heresy, I’m sure). If you want to try those yourself, just add about 1 tsp each.

This is also very good served over roasted spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti, which tastes just as delicious and cuts out a bunch of carbs. (I needed two squashes for the five of us.)

Cincinnati Chili

2 lbs ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups beef broth

3 T chili powder
dash cinnamon
dash cayenne (optional)
1 T paprika
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 bouillon cubes
1 15 oz tomato sauce
1 T red wine vinegar

Brown the meat, onions and garlic in a pot for about five minutes, then add the beef broth and continue cooking until beef is browned and broken up. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer uncovered for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add salt if needed.

Two-way chili: serve on top of spaghetti
Three-way chili: serve on top of spaghetti with shredded cheddar cheese
Four-way chili: serve on top of spaghetti with cheese and chopped onions
Five-way chili: serve on top of spaghetti with cheese, onions, and kidney beans


Crockpot Taquitos

The title of this post is actually misleading – the only part of these taquitos that get made in the crockpot is the shredded beef filling!

Taquitos (also referred to as rolled tacos, though I refuse to call them that) are a favorite of the whole family. A local quickie Mexican restaurant sells them, but I’ve only gotten them a few times because they taste like they’re just heated-up frozen taquitos from a box (and yes, we’ve tried those too!).

Anyway, so I wanted to figure out how to make these myself, and here’s what I’ve come up with. The first time I did it I tried to shred the beef with two forks, which, as you can imagine, took forever. Now I transfer the beef and about 3/4 of the liquid into a food processor, pulse it a few times, and voila, done! I also like my taquitos extra-crispy (see picture above) so I let mine cook just a tad longer in the oil.

I’ve got these in the crockpot right now (Cinco de Mayo!) and the house smells amazing after just a couple of hours.

Recommended equipment:
~ 1.5 to 2 qt crockpot
~ Heavy-bottom pan
~ Splatter screen
~ Cooling/draining rack
~ Tongs

Crockpot Taquitos

~ 1.5 – 2 lbs beef stew meat, or other beef of your choice (other than ground)
~ 1 packet of taco seasoning mix, or homemade taco flavors of your choice
~ 1 4oz can of chopped green chiles
~ 1 cup of water (or beef broth)

Put all ingredients into a small crockpot (I actually use my little guy for this, you don’t need a lot of room and it only goes up about halfway) and gently stir to combine. Set on low and let cook for about 6-8 hours.

Transfer beef and about 3/4 to 1 cup of the liquid into a food processor (you can add more liquid as you need to, especially if it looks dry). Pulse just a few times to get the beef shredded up (or, if you’ve got kids in braces like I do, you can shred it a bit finer, too).

Using warmed up corn tortillas (place about three tortillas and a cup of water in your microwave and microwave for 30 seconds), place about 2-3 tablespoons of shredded meat (I don’t actually measure, just put in what looks right) just off-center on the tortilla and roll up.

Shallow fry (about 350 degrees and no more than 1/2″ of oil) in a heavy-bottom pan on one side for about 30 seconds or until golden brown, and turn over. I use my tongs and a fork to keep the taquito in the oil just long enough that it doesn’t come apart, and after it’s “set” it’ll sit by itself in the oil just fine. I do three taquitos at a time in the pan so it doesn’t get overcrowded.

Remove finished taquitos from the oil onto a rack to drain and immediately sprinkle just a bit of salt on top. Serve warm or at room temperature with sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, and whatever else you want!