Everyday Mom's Meals: Same Steps, But Somehow Easier

Monday, August 6, 2012

Same Steps, But Somehow Easier

When I hear or see the words "slow cooker" or "Crock Pot" attached to a recipe I immediately think it's going to be an easier way of making something. Maybe even as simple as put everything inside, turn on and come back when ready to eat. But let's be honest. Not all slow cooker recipes are like that. Some of them still take quite a bit of prep work, or as is the case in this one, include meat that needs to be browned first. So why then, do we take the extra step of putting it in the slow cooker? I guess for me, it's easier to take 10 minutes to brown some meat in the earlier part of my day than when I get home and am so tired picking up a spoon is too much! Yes, I still used the same amount of my time, but I guess it's the convenience factor of something waiting on me completely cooked and ready to eat. Not to mention the fact that usually when something has slow cooked all day, the flavors are much more developed and intense. So when a friend told me she has been making taco meat in her Crock Pot all summer, I thought "genius"! Now I will be totally honest with you, her recipe includes putting raw ground beef into the slow cooker, along with some other ingredients, and by the end of the day, it's cooked through. Or so she says. I'm not trying to doubt her, but any other recipe I have using ground meat it's always browned off beforehand, and that's what I'm comfortable with in regards to food safety. If you're okay with putting raw ground meat into yours, by all means, go ahead. Plus, if I pre-cook it, I can also drain it before it even goes in. That being said, this is my new favorite way to cook taco meat. It comes out so much tastier after allowing the flavors to meld all day. And how great to serve from all day during a party, or if your family members all eat dinner at different times! So even though the same number of steps are involved, I still feel this is somehow easier, and it still makes me happy to know dinner (or a main part of) is waiting on me!

Crock Pot Taco Meat
1 lb. ground beef (I also like using ground buffalo)
1 (1.25oz) packet taco seasoning, or use 7 tsp of my homemade mix
3/4 c. water
1/4.c. salsa, I use my homemade restaurant style

In a medium skillet brown meat and drain fat if necessary. Place in Crock Pot. Add water and seasoning. Stir well. Add salsa and stir to combine. Cook on low for 4 hours.
*NOTE* If your Crock Pot tends to be on the hot side like mine, add just a little extra water to be sure not to burn.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Aug. 6, 2012
Shared on Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen Aug. 6, 2012 
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Aug. 7, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 8, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Aug. 9, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 10, 2012 
Shared on Mommy's Sweet Confessions Aug. 12, 2012
Ground Beef at Very Good Recipes
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The Country Cook said...

I completely agree. Sometimes the steps are the same, but lots of times, we just have more energy to prepare it in the first part of our day, rather than the latter. Just nice to come home & it's already done. Plus, that extra time in the crock, seems to really add to the flavor. Thank you so much for sharing on WP!! It's going to be my personal favorite recipe tomorrow!! Hope you have a great weekend!!

Krista said...

Thanks Brandie! I agree. For some reason it's not so daunting at the beginning of the day! I love meals when I can do a few steps throughout the day b/c for whatever reason the minute the clock hits 5 everything seems to become chaos! Hope you have a weekend too!