Slow-Cooking on a Budget

beef shins

If you’re on a budget, your slow-cooker could be your new best friend. Slow cooking foods is a fantastic way to stretch flavor and get more bang for your buck.

By slow cooking you can:

  • Build flavors over a longer period of time
  • Tenderize cheaper cuts of meat (like beef shins) that would be tough if cooked quickly
  • Use cheaper staple foods (like dry beans) that more thinking ahead, but overall cost you less money
  • Prepare a large quantity of food for very minimal effort
  • Pair your slow-cooked dish with a quick-cooking starch (like rice or pasta) to strech your dollar even further

 

Recipes for the slow-cooked dish shown @ top of post:

Beef Shins cooked in Switchback (beer) and Stubbs (BBQ sauce)

  • Mix together 1 cup beer, 2-3 Tbsp. bbq sauce, 1 tsp. each minced garlic, salt, chili powder, and 1/2 cup chopped onion.
  • Add 1 cup water and stir gently.
  • Add beef shins.
  • Cook on low 8+ hours.
  • Serve with slow-cooked beans and rice.
Mexican-Style Slow-Cooked Beans
Mix and soak overnight (covered):
  • 1 cup dried beans (I use a mixture of chickpeas, beans, and brown or green lentils) – do NOT use red or yellow lentils because they will get super-mushy
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 rounded teaspoon salt
Drain beans in morning (but do not rinse).
Pick through to make sure there are no twigs or little rocks or other things that don’t belong.
Add to crockpot:
  • drained beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (white or yellow is best here – red gives off a strange flavor sometimes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups veggie stock or water
  • optional: replace 1/4 cup of stock or water with salsa
  • optional: add additional chopped veggies like carrots, celery or sweet peppers
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Stir well before serving over rice, pasta or quinoa.
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Even more slow-cooker ideas and recipes from my blog:
Lentejas (Spanish lentils)
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…and find more budgeting ideas here: Shopping Better on a Budget
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Kat Salemno

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