Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not thrilling
Bloody Mary Steak

Bloody Mary Steak
Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes Volume 2 Copyright 2006

2 pounds beef round steak, cut ¾ inch thick
Nonstick cooking spray
¾ cup hot-style tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

1. Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 6 serving-size pieces. Lightly coat an unheated large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat; cook until brown, turning once. Place meat in a 2 ½- to 3 ½-quart slow cooker. Add tomato juice, garlic and ¼ cup water.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat sitting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4 ½ hours.
3. Transfer meat to a serving platter, reserving cooking juices. If desired, slice meat. Cover meat and keep warm.
4. For gravy, pour cooking juices into a glass measuring cup; skim off fat. Measure juices; add water if necessary to measure 1 ½ cups total liquid. In a small saucepan combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water; stir in cooking juices. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in horseradish. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve meat with gravy.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 196 cal, 4 g fat, 85 mg chol, 292 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 35 g protein

I'm just having one of those weeks where nothing I make is thrilling the pants off of me. This was good but not as kicked up as I was expecting. It basically tasted like Swiss steak, without the onions and peppers. It was good, sure, but not spectacular. The meat was really lean so it turned out borderline dry.

What bothers me about slow-cooking beef like this is that it shrinks down so much. I could have made two stir-fry recipes out of the meat used in this one recipe, so maybe that's why I had higher expectations.

I had such high hopes for this cookbook, I bought both volumes. I was disappointed. They use a lot of convenience products and I don't know, the recipes just didn't grab me. I own about 6 slow cooker cookbooks now, I think. I'm tried several from the library. Only about 2 of all of those do I have a lot of confidence in, Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook and Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes (my favorite). The truth is, you really can't just throw anything in a crockpot and have it come out well. Lean meats especially are very tricky. Boneless chicken breasts, impossible really.

Blast From The Past: Turkey Sloppy Joes from February 2007. That was a great slow cooker recipe from Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes.

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite crockpot recipe?


Anonymous said...

You know what I love about your blog? Your honesty and candidness!

Anonymous said...

I think bean soups do real well in the crockpot. Oh, and chili. Otherwise, like you, I'm disappointed often.

I have a couple of decent crockpot cookbooks .. if you're interested in the names, just let me know and I'll get them for you.

Anonymous said...

I have no problems cooking with boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot. The chicken is delicious -- melts in the mouth. What kind of problems do you have? Crockpots today cook hotter than the older ones, so one has to be careful not to overcook.