Deconstructed Cottage Pie for the Slow-cooker

My awesome Crock-Pot

My awesome Crock-Pot

Last weekend I ordered gluten-free Cottage Pie at The Common Man. That was where I found the inspiration for this article. It was really yummy, hearty, and warm. I wanted to try my own interpretation of it, but didn’t have a ton of time on my hands, so I thew all the ingredients in the crockpot. Voila! It was awesome.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

2-3 lbs of ground meat. I used 2lbs 85% lean grass-fed beef + 1lb 94% lean ground turkey
6-8 small red potatoes, chopped into even, bite-size pieces
6+ carrots, sliced into rounds or chunks
6+ stalks celery, sliced into chunks
1 package baby bella mushrooms
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1 cup beef or veggie stock (not absolutely necessary, but made for a nice broth at the bottom)
4 TBSP Kerry Gold garlic & herb butter
Pinch dried rosemary and thyme
1 tsp each garlic and onion powder
salt & pepper to taste

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

  1. Add all the veggies plus garlic to your crockpot first.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all meat with spices and salt and pepper and tomato paste. (This is optional. You can just throw it all into the crockpot if you want, but this way will lead to better-incorporated ingredients).
  3. Add a couple table spoons (slices) or butter into your veggies.
  4. Add meat on top of veggies.
  5. Add remaining butter to the top over your overflowing crockpot.
  6. Cook on high for about 5 hours or until veggies are soft.

NOTES:

  • Use a large crockpot. If you have a smaller one, cut back on the meat by 1 lb and use a few less potatoes
  • The meal was very rich. If you’re sensitive to a lot of fat, use leaner meats. Don’t omit the garlic and herb butter unless you absolutely have to because it adds a richness and depth of flavor.
  • I served this over rice for some added carbs.
  • Great for leftovers!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Thighs with Coconut Milk and Veggies

With the chilly fall weather upon us the slow-cooker has been making its way back onto the counter quite frequently. For my birthday I received a brand new Crock-pot that is

My awesome Crock-Pot

My awesome Crock-Pot

literally like the Cadillac of slow-cookers. Thank you, 9am ladies! I had a bunch of ingredients that I needed to use, so I thought I would just throw them all in to make a spicy-chicken-butternut-curry type dish. As I type this blog post I am eating a bowl and it is hitting the spot for sure. The texture is awesome. It’s almost like a creamy chicken stew with some heat, but it’s still very sweet from the coconut milk, carrots, and butternut. Sometimes experiments are the best meals. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Family-size package of boneless chicken thighs, ~10 thighs
1 butternut squash (I am lazy and buy the halves that are already peeled)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
5-6 Carrots
1 Lime
Cilantro
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Ground Ginger

Optional Spices to add some HEAT:
Red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper

Instructions:

  1. Process chicken thighs, trimming off excess fat. I take the big hunks off. Place in slow cooker.
  2. Pour coconut milk over chicken.
  3. Add spices: 1 tsp each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder. Black pepper to taste. Dash of ground ginger.
  4. If you want spicy…sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper.
  5. Add the juice of one lime.
  6. Add about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or whole leaves. They wilt down well.
  7. Chop butternut into uniform sized pieces and toss in the pot.
  8. Peel and slice carrots and add those.
  9. Turn your slow-cooker on high for about 4 hours, or on low for 6+ hours. Mix everything up a couple of times throughout if able. Chicken should shred and some of the butternut should melt into the coconut milk to form a creamy broth.