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Alright ladies-when you are putting a roast in the crockpot or stew meat in-do you brown it up first in another pan?

One of our sisters asked me that-I said honestly:  I don’t because I simply am not into cleaning up another pan. BUT I also admitted that by doing so you most certainly deepen the flavor of the dish.

If you don’t mind the extra clean-up, this is what I suggest:  

First, make sure you have a big enough pan!  Don’t squeeze it into an omelet-sized pan.  If you have it-use your cast iron skillet.  Dust the meat (no matter if it’s beef, pork or lamb)with all purpose flour, some kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Heat up the pan so that it’s quite hot.  Then add some vegetable oil.  When it’s nice and hot-add the meat.

Now the point to remember here is that you are NOT trying to cook the meat, just brown it!  You just want it to get a nice caramel color on all sides. Then put it on top of all the veggies.

With a cup of the liquid you are going to add to the crockpot, deglaze the pan, getting all the goodies off the bottom and pour it into its final destination.  Pour in the rest of the liquid and let our time-saving friend do the rest.

Another handy tip-when you are making a stew, make it with nice big chunks of meat!  Remember there will be shrinkage.
If you cut them in little bites, the meat will not be moist and tender-they’ll look like burnt peas and have the same texture-EW.

The same can actually be said for your veggies-they won’t shrink much, but they won’t be distinguishable either and that is just simply not tasty.

If anyone has any other tips that they have found helpful-let us all hear about them!



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trudy S wrote Sep 18, 2008
    • Definitely brown.  The flavor is much more intense...which you need when cooking it in the crockpot.  However, I do have a mate who screams every time he hears I am ‘boiling’ a good cut of meat.  He thinks meat only gets fried, broiled or grilled or you’ve ruined it!

      Trudy
      www.maxmimizeyourlife.us



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Sep 19, 2008
    • my home too prefers to grill everything-especially here in CA!  but there are just times when it’s really nice to come home and have that wonderful homey aroma hit you when you walk in and know you just need to set the table!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kmarie wrote Sep 19, 2008
    • I brown the meat too. I love the easy of raosting, create soups, even some desserts in the crockpot. The smell the ease, it is wonderful. Especially with the timer, I did not use my old one much until, I acquired one with a timer.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Sep 19, 2008
    • I just like that mine has the removeable container.  when we first married, there was no such animal!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Sep 19, 2008
    • I miss the removable container. When I moved to Maui I had 2 crockpots. I left one behind, the wrong one. Somehow I hung on to the Dinosaur that does not have the removable container. I should just break down and go to Costco for a new one. I’ve seen them with a locking lid so they can be transported to pot luck suppers!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Sep 20, 2008
    • Cindy, when I had my dinosaur, I almost never used it b/c I never felt I could clean it well enough!  Treat yourself, go to Costco and buy the one w/ the removeable liner.



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