Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Beans

Beans being soaked and prepped to be used as next test subject

About three days ago I bought a slow cooker also known as a crock pot. It's a 5 quart (what the heck is a quart?) version that I picked up at Canadian Tire for only $25. It's seems so odd that you can buy any kitchen appliance that cooks food for so little money but there you have it. Amazing! It's probably the best value I've gotten in years.

As it's only been three days, I've only made three things in it since cooking times range between 12 and 18 hours so far...
  1. pork pot roast
  2. chicken with tomato sauce
  3. a two bean corn chili
After a few experiments cooking this way I am dumbfounded that the meat tastes so dry. After all it's being cooked in liquid for hours. What the heck? My pork pot roast tasted drier than my pork pot roast I cooked a while back using a conventional oven. It seems like such a shame to use an animal to make sub standard food.

The chicken, the second trial run, was just as dry. Eventually I fixed it by making it into a thick chicken stew, by adding more water and cooking it a bit longer. Both dishes tasted fine but the meat was dry.

After doing a bit of asking around the answers I have come across to solve this problem boil down to two explanations.
  1. the meat being cooked is too lean
  2. the food is not being left to cook long enough
I will have to do more research and get back to you. In the meantime I can say that the crock pot technology is great for making mushy carrots and celery which would be great in a soup or a stew of some kind.

I am currently cooking a bean chili. I'll let you know how that comes out. It smells good for whatever that's worth.

First test subject: carrots and celery on a pork pot roast BEFORE

carrots and celery on a pork pot roast AFTER

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try a pressure cooker next. Squeeze in the juices and vitamins.
We got a deep fryer for Xmas, Woo! Battered twinkies here I come.