Still playing around with my new-ish crockpot, I tried three of the Asian inspired recipes from the Crockpot® slow cooker recipe book this past month. First up was their recipe for Asian Beef with Mandarin Oranges on page 246.
I cooked it on high for 5 hours (they recommended 5-6 hours) but the beef still came out way too tough. Flavor was somewhere been bland and weird. I served it over brown rice but was less than impressed.
Next, I tried the Asian Short Rib recipe on page 225:
I served this over pan fried polenta and stir fried bok choy. This was really yummy – not sure if it was because of the beef fat or because it was slow cooked on low over 8 hours, but the beef was so tender that it fell off the bone. Flavors were great – loved how the honey offered just enough sweetness to balance the soy sauce and beef broth. I would totally make this again.
Last was the Asian Noodles with Pork and vegetables on page 222.
This was also terrible. I cooked it on high for about 6 hours to even get the pork tender enough to come off the bone. But as the meat rested, it got really tough. The sauce was very salty and was absorbed by the 2 16 oz bags of frozen asian vegetables added at the end of the roast. I hadn’t realized you can buy bags of “frozen asian vegetables” but I found them at Safeway®- it’s broccoli, chestnuts, snappeas and carrots. I added some leftover frozen edamame for good measure. The recipe calls for it be served with soba noodles, which I did. The veggies with the noodles wasn’t so bad.
Maybe the moral of these experiments is to always cook slow and low in the crockpot? Not sure. Going to take a break from the crockpot for a while.