I’ve essentially stopped using my slow cooker ever since I got my new favorite appliance. However, I love the idea of being able to throw some ingredients in the pot in the morning and magically having a completed dinner waiting for me when I wake up in the evening. (Yep, I start work again tonight. ick.) Unfortunately, the quality of the dinner is never guaranteed as was proven to me tonight.

This morning, I dragged my Crock-pot out of my appliance graveyard in the garage. I plugged it in and threw in 2 chopped onions, and 3 chopped carrots.


I tossed 2 pounds of grass fed “beef stew” with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and put them on top of the vegetables. I set my Crock-pot to cook on low for 8 hours.


Yes, I should have added a little liquid to the pot but in the past, I’ve always ended up with a soup (especially if I’m not using a thickening agent) and I didn’t want a soup today. When I woke up, the house smelled wonderful but my meat looked pretty dry when I peeked through the lid. Uh oh.

When I tasted the beef, some pieces were tender and delicious but others were dry and powdery. I think it was a combination of no additional liquid in the pot, too long of a cooking time, and a hodge podge of grass fed beef cuts that was both lean (dry pieces) and fatty (yummy pieces). To salvage the stew, I tossed in a cup of my sister’s homemade salsa verde and some chopped, blanched lancinato kale.


I served it with roasted cauliflower seasoned with Tabil (oven set at 400 F convection bake: roasted covered with foil for 12 minutes and then uncovered for 15-20 minutes).


Next time, I’ll make sure I’m using a fatty, connective tissue laden cut of grass fed beef (which I’ll cut up myself) and add a cup of broth to the pot.

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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