As a former work-at-home mom who's now an in-the-office mom two days a week, I am very reliant on my slow cooker. I love spending a few minutes in the morning to come home to a delicious meal at night. And on days where one or more of us have somewhere to be in the evening...or we just want to get a workout in before bed....simply throwing together a salad or cutting up some raw veggies and, boom, dinner's done? Best thing ever.
So what happens when the slow cooker goes kaput? A problem, is what, that turned into a pretty awesome solution.The other day, I was prepping a beef stew for the slow cooker (this beef stew, called beef daube provencal. You're welcome...because you WILL be thanking me for sharing when you make this delicious and healthy dish). I was just dumping the second batch of browned beef in the slow cooker, which I had filled with the vegetable mixture and turned on, when POP! A small flame erupted from the socket and blew out.
YIKES. The socket still worked, but I was not going to run the risk of setting the house on fire by plugging it back in and walking away for eight hours. Healthy cooking does not include massive property damage! Instead, I dumped everything into a cast-iron Dutch oven, turned the oven to 225 degrees (about the temp my slow cooker reaches) and left, hoping for the best.
And was it EVER the best: tender meat, veggies with just a little bite and an amazing garlic flavor throughout the dish. The long, slow braise did this dish, which does fine in the slow cooker, a world of good. I admit, I might not have done it if I couldn't call my husband and ask him to come home at lunchtime to check it out, but now I'm thinking what else I could super-slow cook in the oven. The healthy possibilities are endless!
Have you ever had a happy accident that turned out awesome?