As a busy mom, I love my slow cooker meals! Beef tips remind me of a childhood favorite. I cook them with mushrooms and red wine, then serve over brown rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, ND
"This is one of those recipes you always come back to," says Jean Glacken from Elkton, Maryland. A flavorful tomato sauce and mildly spiced meatballs make a hearty sandwich filling, or they can be served over pasta. "I broil the meatballs first to quickly brown them," Jean notes.
“Mom made this when we were kids, and it was always my first choice for birthday dinners,” recalls Kristy Hawkes in South Ogden, Utah. “Now I do the prep work in the morning and just let it simmer all day. When I get home, all I have to do is boil the spaghetti, brown some garlic bread and dinner is on!”
Before heading to work in the morning (I'm a dental assistant), I'll get this going in the slow cooker. Then it's all ready to serve - usually with hard rolls and potato salad or another salad - as soon as my husband and I walk in. When my son - one of three children...24, 22 and 19 - moved to another state recently, I cut up beef roast in smaller portions, repackaged it and sent seasonings for a two-person slow cooker as his housewarming present.
-Lynn Williamson, Hayward, Wisconsin
Tender cubes of beef are treated to a burgundy wine sauce and savory vegetables in Sherri Mott's robust entree. "I made this often when I worked full-time," she writes from New Carlisle, Indiana. "It's good over noodles or mashed potatoes."
This is a favorite because I can flour and season the steaks and refrigerate them the night before. The next morning, I put the ingredients in the slow cooker, and the dish is ready when I come home from work.—Sarah Burks, Wathena, Kansas
I fixed this roast the first time I cooked for my husband-to-be more than 20 years ago. For dessert, I made chocolate pudding spooned over marshmallow. He thought he'd died and gone to heaven! —Carol Mulligan, Honeoye Falls, New York
What better way to celebrate the holiday than with this hearty one-pot meal. The beef, potatoes and carrots are tender and full-flavored. "I often fix this for St. Patrick's Day, but it's good any time of the year," notes Dawn Fagerstrom, a field editor in Warren, Minnesota.
Come home to warm comfort food! This is based on my mom’s wonderful recipe, though I tweaked it for the slow cooker. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan to each bowl for a nice finishing touch. —Marcella West, Washburn, Illinois
This layered Southwestern meal just can't be beat. It gets its spicy flavor from green chilies, chili powder and cumin. Using a slow cooker liner inside of the cooker makes it easier to lift and remove the meal so it can be cut into individual wedges.—Judy Ragsdale, Queen City, Texas
Before putting in the slow cooker, trim the fat from the roast to avoid greasy gravy. If your roast weighs 3 or more pounds, cut it in half to ensure even cooking. Margaret Thiel - Levittown, Pennsylvania
If I'm cooking for a party or family get-together, I can put this beef in the slow cooker in the morning and then concentrate on other preparations. It's a great time-saver and never fails to get rave reviews.
—Ginny Koeppen of Winnfield, Louisiana