I just had to have a bigger slow cooker than the one we had. It has given good service for more years than I wish to count but it just didn’t have room for a larger cut of meat plus the veggies and everything. This one by Hamilton Beach had tons of reviews at Amazon and looked like a winner to me.You can set it for a certain cooking time or for a desired temperature (via a probe), or just “cook until I stop you” with two cooking temperatures – high or low, (plus a “warm” setting). I managed to figure out the controls, without going to the instruction booklet, after a few starts and stops and much button poking.I’m not too sure how well the probe will work out. I has to be inserted through the lid and into the meat and the exact placement and depth may not be ideal in real world cooking. I have a remote thermometer that I think will thread through the hole but will only beep at me when temps are reached. The included probe plugs into the heating circuit and will switch the pot to warm when it reaches set point. (I think – still haven’t read the booklet.)This is the first run. A fair sized beef roast with most of a bottle of red wine and some beef broth. I coarsely chopped a large yellow onion and tossed that in with a few carrots and stalks of celery as aromatics with six or eight cloves of garlic. Salt and pepper and the usual mix of dried herbs: Bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and oregano. Two large whole potatoes went in there as well, the green beans were in another pan. All the liquids were strained and reduced for gravy, adding to it some sauteed mushrooms. I discarded the carrots and celery, using some of the onion and garlic for the beans along with a few pieces of ham.
A good enough pie. Not an outstanding pie. I looked for black olives and discovered none in the cupboard so I went with green ones. The fresh pepper rings are more of those cute Mexican sweet peppers I stuffed a few days ago. The sausage is from my last and best run at Italian sausage.Standard crust: Flour enough for the pie, salt, sugar, yeast, olive oil, and water enough to form a dough. Everything was pretty much by eye. Using last summer’s Awesome Sauce from a jar put up in August. Looking forward to making more this summer, hoping a drought doesn’t strike us again.
Mrs J likes ham and banana pepper rings on her pies. It’s a decent pie.I made the classic: Sausage, onion, and mushroom. I made a batch of Italian sausage from a new recipe this morning. I think it turned out great, much better than the last recipe I used. I stayed close to the recipe although I did add extra fennel and garlic, and splashed in a few tablespoons (per/lb) of red wine vinegar. I like that the recipe is for one pound of ground pork – it scales easily to whatever amount of pork you have. I used a pork shoulder that yielded 7-1/4 pounds of ground meat. I did add some extra fat that I picked up for just this purpose. I’m finding that the shoulders are too closely trimmed these days. Here’s another picture:
Hard to beat a stir fry for a quick and tasty dinner. They’ve been selling these baby carrots for a good while now and they are great in this dish. A few minutes in the pan and the raw is gone but they still have some snap to them. I wonder if they are hydroponic? Also in the dish are sliced purple onions, broccoli, re-hydrated mushrooms and a few red peppers that went into a sauce pan with the mushrooms to soften them up.