Fall Into Crockpot Season with BEEF

Contest Winners & Finalists

This fall, we partnered with the Housewives in the City blogging group to host the "Fall Into Crockpot Season with BEEF" recipe contest. Northeast residents had the chance to submit their favorite beef slow cooker recipe for a chance to be one of 30 finalists. From there, our panel of three judges were given the enviable assignment of preparing and sampling each dish, then grading it on taste, ease of preparation, creativity and appearance. Check out some of their awe-inspiring dishes below, along with our winners! CONGRATULATIONS to all!

Our thanks go out to those who entered recipes and congratulations to the grand-prize winners and finalists! 




Beef Carbonnade

submitted by Dea Zufelt -- Greenville, DE
Adapted from the 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson)

Beef, Bacon and Beer. What could be better than that?
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 oz bacon, cut into 1/2" dice
2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1" cubes
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp celery seed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups dark beer

1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Drain off all but 1 Tbsp fat in the pan. Reserve the extra bacon fat to use if needed when browning the meat.
2. Over medium high heat, brown meat in batches. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker.
This step is important, since browning the meat accomplishes two things: It allows the cubed meat to remain whole. The meat will be fork tender, but will keep the integrity of its shape. And it wont come out of the slow cooker as a mess of shredded beef. Browning intensifies the beef flavor. As Anne Burrell, of the Food Network, is known to say: "Brown the meat well, because Brown Food Tastes Good."
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook until soft. Add garlic, thyme, celery seed, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Sprinkle sugar over mixture and stir well. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add bacon and beer and cook until mixture thickens.
4. Pour liquid mixture over beef in slow cooker. Stir to blend. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours, or until meat is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles.




Crockpot Cuban Beef

submitted by Shannah Coe -- Stone Ridge, VA

2 lbs london broil or similar beef cut
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley paste
1 can diced tomatoes with juices
1 bottle pimento stuffed olives, brine reserved
3/4cup beef broth

INSTRUCTIONS Place beef in crockpot. Top with peppers, olives, tomatoes and onion. In a small bowl, combine broth, parsley paste, cumin, oregano and 1/2 the bottle of olive brine. Stir to combine. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove from crockpot and shred using two forks.




"Khoresht Ghaimeh" Persian Stew with Meat & Split Peas

submitted by Ranna Golden -- Ashburn, VA

* 4 cloves of garlic, minced
* 3 medium yellow onions diced
* 2 tbsp turmeric
* salt taste
* pepper to taste
* Garlic powder to taste
* 2 tsp Cardamom
* 2 lb stewing meat
* 4 tsp Advieh (turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, saffron)
* 8 Persian Lemons
* 2 cans (14.5oz) of stewed tomatoes diced
* 1 cup of dried yellow split peas
* 2 tbsp of tomato paste
* 1 large russet potato
* Waffle potato chips
* Abundant amount of vegetable oil
* 1 stick of butter
* Boiling water readily available
* The Dry Persian lemons and Advieh (Persian Spice Premade Blend) cannot be easily found at a common grocery store. I suggest finding it at a local ethnic foods or ideally middle eastern/Persian grocery store. I bought these two items from Sauson International Grocery off of west church road next to Salon vie in Sterling, Virginia.

Recipe Instructions: * To preface this, most Persian Stews are served with rice so you do have the option of making a large pot of jasmine rice with safari on top so that you serve the stew on with the rice. But for the purpose of this contest I am focusing on the stew and serving it over potatoes instead of ricemy own unique twist. * In a large frying pan, Sauté 1 yellow onion and minced garlic in oil until translucent. * Add turmeric, sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the 2 pounds of cubed stew meat. Season with Advieh and salt. * Place split peas in a slow cooker, add diced tomatoes on top to stew. * Pierce the dried Persian lemons a couple of times then add to the crock pot. * Add the cubed meat, onion and garlic mixture inside the crock pot. Add tomato paste, one cup of water, and season with salt. * Gently mix together making sure that the split peas and Persian lemons are submerged in the liquids so they cook thoroughly and soften. * Cook on low heat for 8 hours. If the stew looks too thick you can always add some boiling water to keep it somewhat soup like. Like a very thick soup. Continue seasoning with salt garlic powder pepper and advieh as needed. Do a little taste test to make sure you love the flavor progression. * This is the fun part. Ask Alexa to play middle eastern music at your desired volume so you feel inspired. While your crockpot works the Persian magic, stay productive by getting a large skillet and pour vegetable oil so the pan is fully coated. * Add 2 thinly sliced medium yellow onions into the pan and season with desired salt and turmeric. Have fun with this and follow your instincts and use your nose to smell throughout this process. It should smell like something you are excited to eat. * Add 2 chopped up fresh tomatoes in the shape of small cubes into the pan. Season with salt turmeric and pepper for taste. Let cook until it all shrinks down and turns thick and oily. Keep using your nose and instincts. You are talented and you got this!! Positive thoughts. * Once this all shrinks, push the tomato onion mixture to the side of the pan so it does not burn. * Add more oil to the pan so its fully coated again and then add thin circle sliced potatoes in single layer. Top these potatoes with the tomato onion mixture for flavor and so that the tomato onion mixture does not burn. Sauté for about 20 total minutes. After 10 minutes or until lightly browned, flip the potato so that the other side lightly brown. Be fair to both sides of the potato. Its important! * Season this delicious mixture with salt, pepper, cardamom (1 tsp), advieh, and plenty of turmeric for delicious flavor. Keep following your sense of smell and your instincts. Cook until the potatoes are browned to your hearts content. * Once the stew is done cooking after about 8 hours in the crockpot (the longer the better the flavors but dont cook longer than 12 hours as you dont want the stew meat to over cook). * Serve the stew on top of the base potato mixture. * Top with the potato chips for a nice crunch and enjoy! * Traditional Accompaniment: enjoy with some Persian "Sabzi Khordan" on the side. * Traditional Dairy Drink if you are feeling adventurous: this dish pairs well with a Persian Yogurt Mint Carbonated Drink called "Doogh". Its a traditional dairy based drink that is carbonated and served cold with or without ice topped with dried mint. It is definitely an acquired taste and you have to taste it to experience the unique flavors. It reminds me of vinegar flavor and kombucha if youve ever tried that. Enjoy!




Gluten Free Beef and Vegetable Slow Cooker Lasagna

submitted by Kim Van Dunk -- Caldwell, NJ

1 pound ground beef (85%), cooked, crumbled, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped kale leaves, packed tightly
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
16 oz. container cottage cheese, liquid from top drained
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cups jarred tomato sauce (I use a roasted onion & garlic variety - pick something flavorful)
16 oz. skim milk mozzarella, shredded, separated into three relatively equal piles
10 oz. box gluten free lasagna noodles (You can use regular lasagna noodles as well)

Cook the ground beef in a skillet. Break apart the beef into small crumbles as it cooks. When cooked through, drain well. Set the beef aside. Place the oil and onions into the skillet and saute over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until the onions have cooked down by half and are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the minced garlic and chopped kale leaves. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic salt and the cooked ground beef. Turn off the heat and set aside. Place the cottage cheese, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and black pepper into a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Set aside. Spread 2 cups of tomato sauce onto the bottom of a slow cooker. Using 3-4 lasagna noodles, line the bottom of the crock pot. You will need to break apart some of the noodles in order to line the entire bottom. Top with half of the cottage cheese mixture, half of the beef & vegetables mixture, and 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella. Create another layer of lasagna noodles. Top with 2 cups of tomato sauce, the remaining cottage cheese mixture, the remaining beef & vegetable mixture, and 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella. Make one last layer of lasagna noodles. Spread the remaining 2 cups of tomato sauce over top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded mozzarella. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours.


BBQ Beef Meatballs

submitted by Jennifer Griffin -- Philadelphia, PA

2 lbs ground beef mixed with 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder, onion powder, and seasoned salt. 1/4 tbsp Italian seasoning and basil. 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 1/2 cup bbq sauce.

Form into meatball and bake in oven 325 for 30 min.

In slow cooker add 1 bottle of BBQ sauce on low. Add meatballs and let cook for 1 hr. Turn slow cooker to warm if longer time is needed.

Serve on sub rolls with favorite cheese on top.


Slow-Cooked Shepherd's Pie

submitted by Kristen Martin -- Reading, PA

prep 15 mins
cook 8 hours, 30 mins
total 8 hours, 45 mins
yield 6 -8

2 lbs Ground Beef
1 package 12 oz chopped onions
2 tsps minced garlic
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 package (16 oz) frozen peas & carrots
3 TBSP Quick Cooking Tapioca
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black peper
2 packages (24oz) prepared mashed potatoes...or make your own

Cook beef in a large skillet over medium high heat, until cooked through. Transfer to slow cooker. Back in the skillet cook the onions and garlic until onions begin to soften and add those to the slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes, veggies, tapioca, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW 7-8 hours Top with prepared mashed potatoes and brown gravy is optional. Cover and cook on low until potatoes are heated through about 30 minutes courses dinner. Enjoy on a cold Winter or Fall night!


Beef Crepes with Provolone and Caramelized Onions and Sriracha Ketchup

submitted by Christine Tarlecki -- Mont Clare, PA

- A package of stew meat or beef cubes
- 1/4 glass of red wine
- 6 sweet onions
- A package of fresh whole mushrooms
- 4 fresh crepes
- Olive oil
- Butter
- Salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion salt
- Bottle of sriracha
- Ketchup

I started the beef cubes with the red wine in the crock pot with salt, pepper, and onion and garlic salt. After the beef and onions cooked for 5 hours in the Crock Pot, I added freshly sliced mushrooms, and let everything slow cook for another hour. My crock pot is smaller, so if using a larger crock pot, adjust the time accordingly. In my other white crock pot, I caramelized onions for about 12 hours- I used sweet onions sliced up, a dash of olive oil, and a teaspoon of butter, and let those onions create a caramelized flavor to add to this delicious dinner. When the beef was finished in the crock pot, I made the crepes (either fresh or frozen are great- I used Ikeas frozen crepes) then laid out provolone cheese on top, and added the caramelized onions. I spooned over the beef and mushroom mixture. The shredded beef had slow-cooked to melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness, and the onions were sweet and smoky. The provolone added a sharp kick, and I added garlic salt and a few drops of sriracha to the ketchup for a savory dipping sauce. This is a perfect recipe for one person to make in a smaller crock pot, to a family with limited time to get a protein-rich dinner on the table before practice or homework. Its also a great game day meal, as people can assemble their own crepes with as much beef, onions, or cheese as they wish.



Slow Cooker Fall Chili Recipe

submitted by Katie Hughes -- Centereach, NY

8oz lean roast beef
1 diced yellow onion
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and dried
2 cups of kale leaves, trimmed (or buy pre-cut)
1 large sweet potato, diced into ~1 inch cubes
1 carton beef broth (16 oz)
Seasonings (to preference): 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 Tbsp cumin, salt and pepper as preferred.

Instructions: Braise the beef in crock pot with beef broth for about 3 hours on high. Shred, retain 1/3 to ½ of broth. Add the rest of the ingredients then cook for 6 hours on medium. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or plain greek yogurt if desired. Serves 4-5 Enjoy! This recipe is perfect for a brisk fall day and can be adapted to serve more if cooking for a crowd! Kale and sweet potatoes are in season right now and provide a nice texture to this hearty dish.


Slow Cooker Italian Pot Roast

sumitted by Lisa Voicheck -- Aston, PA

Place 1 whole garlic bulb in a square of foil, drizzle with oil, wrap tightly and roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Peel and chop garlic.

2 bags (24 oz) baby medley potatoes, quartered
1 bag (12 oz) organic rainbow carrots (cut in bite size pieces)
4 Parsnips or (peeled & cut in bite size pieces)
2.5 lb Boneless Chuck or bottom Round Roast
1 can(10 3/4 oz) Condensed Tomato soup
1 can Hunt's (14.5 oz) Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 Whole Bulb Roasted Garlic
1/2 cup water
1 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Basil
1 Tsp Parsley

How to Make: Step 1 Place potatoes, carrots, parsnips and tomatoes into a 3.5 Qt slow cooker. Season beef with black pepper Place beef into cooker Step 2 Stir the soup, water, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, and vinegar in a small bowl Pour the soup mixture over the beef and vegetables Step 3 Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 11 hours (HIGH for 5 to 6 hours) or until the beef and vegetables are fork tender Remove beef, let stand Slice Beef Serve Alternative: Shred beef with a fork and add back in to vegetable mixture to make a hearty stew


Red Wine Crockpot Roast Beef

submitted by Timi Bauscher -- Kempton, PA
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 8 hrs

Ingredients: Beef round roast (2 lbs) fat trimmed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white whole flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb fingerling potatoes
1 large onion, large-diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (or prepared minced garlic)
3/4 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme

Pat roast dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess. In a medium skillet over high heat, sear roast in olive oil on both sides, 2-4 minutes until golden. Place in the bottom of a 4-qt slow cooker and arrange potatoes, onion, and garlic around it. Pour wine and beef broth over roast and arrange bay leaf and thyme on top. Cook roast on low 6-8 hours until roast is fall-apart tender and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf and thyme and slice/shred beef and serve with accompanying potatoes and onions. Enjoy with a glass of red wine, of course!  


A-1 Beef Roast

submitted by Kacie Meck -- Womelsdorf, PA

3-4 lb chuck roast
Russet potatoes
Medium onion
Baby carrots
A-1 sauce
Dry onion & mushroom soup mix
1 cup water Salt & pepper
Shredded cheese & sour cream to serve (optional)

1. Place chuck roast in crockpot 2. Chop desired amount of potatoes in chunks. Chop the onion. Add to bowl with baby carrots. 3. Add veggies around the roast in the crockpot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 4. In small mixing bowl combine dry onion & mushroom soup mix (I use Lipton), 1 cup water, 1 bottle of A-1 sauce. Mix and pour all over roast and veggies. 5. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours. I believe this tastes best when topped with sour cream and shredded cheese! ??


Slow Cooker Braised Beef Short Ribs

submitted by Rachel Clarke -- Sidney, NY

3-4 pounds beef short ribs
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
2 Tablespoon coconut oil (or regular oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
15 oz tomato sauce
4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 Tablespoons honey
2-4 sprigs fresh thyme (whole sprigs)
A few tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley for garnish **
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Cup reserved cooking liquid

Directions: Sprinkle both sides of the short ribs with salt, pepper and onion powder. In large pan over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is melted, add the short ribs. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Flip and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes or until brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-low, wait for pan to cool a bit so the next ingredient doesn't burn. Then add garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Pour the garlic into a small bowl and set aside. In medium-large bowl mix together the beef broth, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and honey. Whisk to combine ingredients until well blended. Add ribs bone side down and fat side up into slow cooker pour broth mixture and cooked garlic over the top of the meat that is now in the bowl of the slow cooker. Add fresh thyme sprigs to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. **When done there is extra sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker. Remove the meat from the cooker and put on a plate and set aside, remove 1 cup of liquid and set aside. In a small sauce pan melt 1 Tablespoon of butter on medium heat, once melted, slowly sprinkle in 1 Tablespoon of flour and whisk until blended and flour taste is cooked off, about a minute. Then slowly pour reserved liquid into the same pan and gradually whisk the mixture together until it thickens. Add Salt & Pepper to taste. You can make more gravy if you desire, we just like a little gravy added to our potatoes. I served my short ribs over a bed of mashed potatoes with a little gravy and sprinkled fresh parsley on the dish for color. (My recipe is from https://www.bigbearswife.com/slow-cooker-braised-short-ribs/)


Beef Goulash

submitted by Bridget Halenar -- Downington, PA

- 3 lbs of beef cubes for stew
2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, peeled and finely diced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 bay leaves and 4 sprigs of time, tied in a bundle with kitchen twine.
- 1 cup sour cream

Directions for Goulash: - Mix beef cubes, onion, and garlic and toss with flour salt and pepper in your slow cooker. - Add tomatoes, red pepper, paprika, and her bundle and stir well - Add herb bundle - Cook high 5 hours (or low 8-10) - Remove herb bundle, add sour cream, and mix thoroughly. - Replace lid, turn off pot, and let stand for 20 minutes. - Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. - Serve over egg noodles, rice, or barley. - Top with Gemolata (recipe below) Ingredients for Gremolata: 1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped (approx 1/2 cup) 3 scallions, finely chopped Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon Pinch of kosher salt & a few grinds of black pepper Directions for Gremolata: Combine all ingredients and allow to sit about 10 minutes before stirring well and serving.  


Virginia Roast

submitted by Amy Bell -- Springfield, VA

3 LB Beef Roast
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup peperoncini juice
6-8 peperoncinis
1 package Onion Soup
1 package Ranch Dressing
Optional: Diced potatoes Carrots Onions

Place water and peperoncini juice in crockpot then beef. Sprinkle the ranch and onion soup mix on top. Then place your peperoncinis around and on top of beef.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred and serve! Optional: Add veggies 45 minutes to an hour remaining!


Italian Beef Sandwiches

submitted by Lisa Bast -- Ashburn, VA

3-5 lb chuck roast- trim fat, no bone
1 cup of beef boullion (I use Knorr 0ne Beef Bouliion cube dissolved in 1 cup of hot water)
2 Bay leaves
1 package of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
2 TBS of Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of minced garlic

Cook 12-18 hrs on low in a slow cooker/crockpot. Shred the meat and return to the juice in the crockpot . Serve on hard rolls with horseradish, prepared horseradish cream sauce, or BBQ sauce of your choice. I like to double the recipe for hungry guys or game day. Leftovers freeze well!




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