Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Variations on Shredded Meat Add Zip to Slow-Cooker Dishes

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Variations on Shredded Meat Add Zip to Slow-Cooker Dishes

Article excerpt

Variations on shredded meat

Lots of people love their slow cookers. Just as many folks don't. We tend to be in the latter group.

Our objections come down to taste and texture. Too many slow cooker recipes taste just like every other slow cooker recipe, no matter what the ingredients. And after bubbling away for so many hours, most recipes end up with that just-shy-of-mush texture.

So we decided to see whether we could come up with a stack of slow cooker recipes that didn't sacrifice ease, but satisfied our need for variety.

Our inspiration? Barbecue pulled pork and chicken.

CROCK POT SHREDDED MEAT

No time for a slow cooker? Combine all the ingredients plus an extra 1/2 cup of liquid in a large saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, then proceed with the recipe.

Start to finish: 4 to 5 hours on high, 8 to 10 hours on low

Servings: 4

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 cup white wine, low-sodium chicken broth or apple cider

11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or country-style pork ribs or rib chops

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon Italian herb mix

1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, liquid of choice, meat of choice, peppercorns, bay leaves, Italian herbs and salt. Cover and set to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours. The meat is ready when it is fork tender and falls apart easily. Remove and discard the peppercorns and bay leaves. Shred the meat using 2 forks, discarding any fat or bones.

Variations on the recipe:

- Quesadillas: Drain any extra liquid from the meat. Spread over large tortillas, sprinkle with shredded cheese, black olives, scallions and diced jalapenos. Top each with another tortilla. Toast on both sides in a dry skillet. …

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