Slow Cooker Recipes from Crock-Pot #4

I like to use slow cooker liners. Whenever I buy a box of them, there is invariably a little handout inside that includes a few recipes. They are great for folks starting out with slow cookers!

This is a simple version of an Italian favorite!

Chicken Marsala
Cook time on Low: 6-8 hours
Cook time on High: 4-5 hours
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-5

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 stick butter
8 oz cream cheese
2/3 cup Marsala wine
21-1/2 oz mushroom soup, canned
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1.2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Place chicken, butter and spices into the stonewear.
2. In separate bowl, mix cream cheese, wine, water, and mushroom soup.
3. Pour mixture over over the chicken.
4. Cover and cook as directed above.

Be careful not to overcook the chicken as it will get tough.

I tend to prefer crimini or button mushrooms for this dish. I also like pre-roasted garlic over garlic powder. Both of these substitutions will give the dish a richer flavor.

— Ann Cathey

Slow Cooker Recipes from Crock-Pot #1

I like to use slow cooker liners. Whenever I buy a box of them, there is invariably a little handout inside that includes a few recipes. Some of these I have tried variations on, some I have not. In any case, they are great for folks starting out with slow cookers!

Here’s one that is sure to please sammich eaters.

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Cook time on Low: 10-14 hours
Cook time on High: 4-6 hours
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

2-1/2 pounds pork roast
14 oz. BBQ sauce, whatever you prefer
1tsp brown sugar
1Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 medium onion, chopped
8 hamburger buns or hard rolls

1. Place pork roast into the slow-cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on Low or High, as preferred.
3. Remove the pork roast form the stoneware, and pull the meat into shreds.
4. Remove any liquid from the stoneware, retaining for later use if desired.
5. Combine the pork with remaining ingredients in the slow-cooker, Cook on High for 2 hours.
6. Serve the barbecue pork on hamburger buns or hard rolls.

I prefer to drop the diced onions into the bottom of the pot and laying the pork roast on top before cooking. This cooks the onions pretty much to death, but allows the flavor more action in the meat. It can also help tenderize the meat.

When removing the pork for shredding, reserve those onions to toss back into the final mix. I will also reserve the fluid for making tamales, soups, and even to use a couple of tablespoons here and there as a treat for my dog.

This recipe also works well with beef or venison.

— Ann Cathey

Crock-Pot Boxty

–Intro to Boxty

Crock-Pot Boxty – expand on this in the instructions

Ham bits
juices off ham
diced Portabello
1/4 cup roasted garlic cloves (loosely packed)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1TBSP dried onion bits
cabbage head, diced

Allow the pot to cook on low until all the cabbage is soft and slightly mushy. Serve over plain mashed potatoes and top with a sprinkle of grated cheddar.


I apologise for not have any photos of the resulting supper, but I was too busy eating it!


–Ann Cathey

Crock Pot Adventure – Pork Chops

In my kitchen, the “manager’s markdown” items at our local groceries are a boon. Today’s dinner menu is based around several of them that had been purchased and frozen for use on days such as this – when I can’t immediately think of anything to cook.

As I perused the freezers (a top and a chest), my mind began to formulate a plan. Here was a bag of pork chops, there a pack of fresh chives; here a red wine/onion broth from a previous crock pot adventure, there a package of sliced Pancetta. In the dry cabinet there were three large white potatoes. I pulled out a casserole style crock pot and some olive oil spray, and began to compose.

I sprayed the inside of the crock as it does not easily accommodate the liner bags I prefer to use. This one is a 3.5 quart, long and sleek and low. Perfect for chops and other such cuts of meat.


The potatoes were washed and sliced in rounds. This is how they are sliced for German potatoes (potatoes, onions, and butter, baked into a lovely hot side dish). they were layered into the bottom of the crock with a little seasoned salt and a light spray of olive oil in between the layers. This was topped with a sprinkle of diced chives, and a thin layer of the Pancetta.

Essentially bacon and potatoes – what could be a better base?


Roasted garlic schmeer

The next layer was the pork chops, the meat of the meal, as it were. They were arranged in a neat, single layer. A bulb of roasted garlic was squeezed out and spread on top of the meat. Already aromatic and slightly sweet to the taste, it would become moreso with this second roasting, flavoring the meat and the potatoes beneath in one fell swoop.


Frozen broth


The broth was set into the microwave on low to thaw from the frozen brick it had become. Full of onions and based in a red wine, the broth was reserved from a previous pork chop crock. Waste not, want not, as they say. In this case it came in quite handy for another dish of pork chops when I had a noticeable lack of red wine available in the kitchen.

Broth over the pork, you can see the previously cooked onions

Broth over the pork, you can see the previously cooked onions

The broth was gently poured over the contents of the pot, covering every available surface. It was followed by a light sprinkle of seasoned salt, then the pot was sealed for the next several hours.

DSC_0381While the pork was roasting, the bread and cheese side was conceived, discussed, and executed.

Pulling out all the leftover cheeses in the fridge, we cubed them and tossed them in a bowl. This included all the odds and ends from a party and some bits that had just not yet been consumed. There was a bit of Monterrey Jack, a couple of different cheddars, a tomato and basil mozzarella, some Romano and parmesan, and I don’t recall what all else.

Using a can of crescent roll dough, it was laid out flat and instead of being cut into the recommended triangles, the seams were pinched shut and it was sliced into 6 squares.

DSC_0385The squares lined a pan of large cupcake cups. The cheese was liberally spooned into each shell. The tops and sides were pulled over the cheese and patted into place. The tray baked at the recommended temperature for 12-15 minutes.

The resulting savory pasty was nom-o-rific!

DSC_0384When the pork was ready, we emplated with the potatoes and pastry for a fantastic meal.






— Ann Cathey

Lamb Loaf – Off the Cuff

We’ve had another grand adventure in manager markdown shopping today. It has led to the creation of a stuffed meatloaf of a flavor you may not expect.

Several pounds of lamb and chicken tenders, fresh herbs, and lovely veggies were all available at the grocery today, much to my surprise. Of course, it all came home with me. The plan for how to combine the ingredients started forming in the aisle and was ready to execute by the time I got home.

Chicken Tenders and Ground Lamb

Chicken Tenders and Ground Lamb

My partner in the kitchen and I set about to make something not just tasty, but rich and luscious for supper.


To start, 2 pounds of ground lamb were combined with a sprinkling of Herbes de Provence. This was flattened out across a square plate to form a nice base layer for our intended rolled loaf. The layer of lamb was lightly dusted with seasoned salt.



Rosemary, Thyme and Sage

Rosemary, Thyme and Sage

The fresh herbs were stripped off the stems, then roughly chopped to release the flavorful oils they contain for easier infusion into the meat. This mixture of rosemary, thyme, and sage was then sprinkled evenly across the giant lamb patty.





Next came the chicken tenders. These were laid out across the lamb and herbs to form a second layer of meat. This layer was smaller than the lamb layer to allow the lamb to seal around the chicken when rolled.



Rolling the Loaf

The meat was then carefully rolled into a loaf. Lamb is very tender and the loaf threatened to split, so it was left on the plate to cross the room to the crock pot. There it was gently tipped into place. A little more seasoned salt was sprinkled across the top.

The roasted garlic came out right about now. I pushed about a dozen cloves into the top of the loaf, having forgotten to add them to the inside. Talk about a happy accident.

Loaf in Crock

Loaf in Crock

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic









Mint Mead

Mint Mead

We broke with our common practice of cooking with a wine this time. All we had on hand were some heavy reds, so we took a chance on something much sweeter. We reasoned that mint and lamb go well together, and honey is good with chicken, so we went with Ursa Major’s Mint Mead*. A quarter cup was drizzled across the meat.



Some lovely organic carrots were cleaned and laid in place to either side of our savory loaf. Fingerling potatoes were washed and added across the top of everything. We sealed it up and gave ourselves over to patience for a few hours.



Loaf with Carrots nested


Fingerling Potatoes added



Two hours later, my kitchen is an olfactory wonderland. The mead, meat, and herbs are hot and perfuming the air. If the smell is any indicator, we will eat well tonight. The cooking process continues…

The power went out for about an hour, but our plucky crock-pot stayed hot and kept right on cooking. At the six-hour mark, it was time for the unveiling. We didn’t even have to open the pot for the savory aroma to tickle our nostrils. Once it was open, the sweet steamed up to tease us a bit more. It was admittedly difficult to wait long enough to take the remaining photos before tasting this dish!

Roasted Loaf with Veggies

Roasted Loaf with Veggies

The loaf was firm and lifted out of the pot fairly easily. Cutting it was easily accomplished, the meat being quite tender. The potatoes on top came out a touch dry, but the carrots had cooked well down into the mead and juices, and were falling apart as they were lifted to a plate.

Roasted Loaf

Roasted Loaf

The top of the loaf, of course, took on the flavor of the roasted garlic most strongly, while the bottommost lamb absorbed the mead and offered a sweeter, lighter flavor. The chicken played up the fresh herbs delightfully, offering distinct flavors of rosemary and sage from bite to bite. Interestingly enough, it was the potatoes that attracted the thyme flavor.

First Cut in the Loaf

First Cut in the Loaf

IMG_0149I did not have to add any extra salt or pepper, though some palates may prefer some. A pat of butter on the meat and veggies, however, added a very nice scent and flavor touch.



Emplated Meal

Emplated Meal

All in all, this experiment is a smashing success. It may be a bit expensive for weekly rotation, but is well worth the trouble for special occasions. Depending on how you slice the loaf, it will handily serve anywhere from 4 trenchermen to 8 portion-concious individuals.


— Ann Cathey


*Ursa Major is a small homebrew project that takes up a large portion of my kitchen. The mead and beer produced are hand constructed by my partner in the kitchen, Christopher. For information on his project, please see Ursa Major Beverages on Facebook.