Monday, December 21, 2009

Braised Brisket and Roasted Pears

You know, I love my crock pot. And I call it a crock pot, not a slow cooker, for no reason other than crock pot is fun to say. I also like the word crockery. There's a whole slew of reasons to like the word crock, but I'm not going to elaborate. Cause, you know, I don't have much time. There's so much to do right now, and I'm actually ahead of the game this year, amazingly. But, one of the reasons I like my crock pot so much during the winter is why everybody who likes them likes their crock pot: it's so darn easy. Throw a bunch of stuff in it and just forget about it all day long. Dinner is made. As I have said, all I have is time, but what I mean is that I have time for something to take a long time to cook. What I have absolutely no time for is meals that require my attention, because a little fifteen month old guy requires it more. I've tried a few times to cook while he was pulling on my legs and whining to be picked up. He's very convincing. And you know what? I'd rather be reading Who Says Boo for the billionth time. (Well, for the most part...) What I mean is that I'd rather be snuggled on the floor reading another book than having him whine and cry, for what? Just to cook something more complicated? One day I'll get that luxury back again. In the meantime, I eat just fine with super easy stuff like this. There's also infinitely less clean up. One pot. Love it.

2 lb brisket
12 ounces red wine
Half 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes
1 large red onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 or 4 garlic cloves
thyme, salt and pepper
Slice the onion in thick rings and layer the bottom of the pot with them. Place the meat on the rings. Add everything else. Put it on for low, eight hours. Serve on egg noodles or polenta with fresh chopped parsley. We also had a nice cabbage slaw with it that I got from Everybody Likes Sandwiches. I dressed it in the morning and picked at it all day, that's how good this salad was.

The other day, I made an Asian inflected dish in the crockery pot with chicken thighs. It was tasty, sturdy fare for a cold day.

4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup tamari
2 small onions, diced
1 knob of ginger, grated
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. lemon lime syrup (I had this on hand, I would sub the juice of a lime and a tbsp. brown sugar)
1 tsp. 5 spice blend
Chopped scallions and parsley to finish.
All in the pot, 4 hours high. When finished toss in diced scallion and parsley. Serve with rice.

While the brisket was doing its thing, I roasted a bunch of pears. I used a recipe for vanilla roasted pears from Smitten Kitchen. Roasted pears are lovely. I usually like doing them a bit plain, but this recipe was on the sweet side. But not too sweet at all. I liked it hot out of the oven with egg nog ice cream. And think about the pan you use because the pear caramel that is made, exquisite though it may be, can ruin a good pan. I made quite a few, good for snacking plain or stuffed with some nice soft and sharp cheese.


  1. looooooooove IT. Wish I could eat it.

    <Love, Mamou

  2. The crock pot is great, especially for the winter and busy moms for all of the reasons you cited. I've never roasted pears but I'm curious now, they look great!

  3. Thanks, Mamou!

    Christine--the pears are really great, so easy, and they keep surprisingly well!