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Slow cooking meats

An easy way to cook meat for people and pets

MetPet.com Staff Writer

Westbend Oval Slow Cooker Although kibble has improved dramatically in the last decade, it's nice to have a break from heavily processed food to something fresh.  Try using a slow cooker like this Westbend model to turn inexpensive cuts of meat into butter soft treats.  The slow cooking over low heat within a closed environment breaks down tough cuts of meat and the savings from using less expensive cuts more than pays for the cooker. 

The new models inherit the slow cooking idea from the traditional crock pot but their light weight metal pans can be removed from the bottom heating element and put into the dish washer.  The nonstick surface of the heating element can be used as a grill and the pot can be used on top of the stove.

Here's our basic recipe for beef:

- buy any inexpensive cut of beef.  3-4 lbs fits easily into the pot with 6-7 lbs requiring a tight fit and stacking.  Due to the nature of the cooker, the meat at the bottom of the pot will be softer as it keeps in constant contact with the broth produced by the cooking.  At some point during the cooking you can rotate the meat if you prefer to have more uniformity of texture. 

- sear (this step is optional) the outside surface in the pot itself or in a skillet on the stovetop

- place the seared meat and the pot onto the heating element

- set the temperature for low if you prefer to cook overnight without having to wake up and turn the cooker off early in the morning.  Place the cooker on a hard surface such as a countertop away from anything flammable.  We find that it does not generate that much heat but it's best to err on the side of safety.

- leave 6-12 hours depending on the amount of meat.  Unlike making a souffle, timing is not critical.  The longer you cook the meat, the less meat and the more broth you will have.

- turn the pot off and let it cool for half an hour.

- remove the meat from the pot and cut in on a cutting board into meal-sized slices.  Cover and place in the frig.

- the broth in the bottom of the pot can be used later to flavor kibble or (by whisking in a few tablespoons of flour in a small pot on the stove) be turned into gravy.  At room temperature, the broth will likely form a thin white film of fat.  If you like, this can be spooned off and discarded. 

- the slow cooking method makes great meals for your lucky dog but can also be used to make delicious and very reasonably priced meals for all your two legged eaters as well

 

 
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