I have already expressed my dislike about the season of Fall. However, the one good thing about Fall is that you can get the slow cooker out of the recesses of your pantry to make dinner. Here is a confession. Part of the reason I don’t like to make dinner is because I am tired by dinner time. The beauty of the slow cooker is that I can optimize my most productive time of the day, morning, to prep dinner. Then voila! When I am at my lowest energy point of the day, dinner is already cooked and just waiting to be served up. Plus it makes your house smell delicious all day.
Once the temperatures cool down, my slow cooker gets used at least once a week. I often make the meat for chicken tacos in the slow cooker but sometimes what really sounds good, is the comfort of ground beef tacos. In the past, I have always made the ground beef for tacos on the stovetop, but that means cooking at dinnertime instead of prepping it in the morning and letting my slow cooker do the work. I found a really great recipe on Skinnytaste.com for slow cooker beef tacos that I thought I would share. I have made my own tweaks to the recipe due to my personal preferences.
Slow Cooker Beef Tacos
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 small can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of water (or more if you like your taco meat with more sauce)
1 bay leaf
Flour or corn tortillas or taco shells
- Brown the beef in a large nonskillet skillet over high heat, breaking it up into small pieces. Once it is brown drain fat. Add onion, red bell pepper, garlic and dry spices, cooking for 2-3 minutes until soft. Transfer to slow cooker along with the tomato sauce and water. Add bay leaf. Cover and cook on high 3 hours or low 6-8 hours. Discard the bay leaf.
- Heat the tortillas or taco shells for 30 seconds in the microwave. Top with meat and your choice of toppings.
I also love slow cooker meals because we always have enough leftovers for several lunches and maybe a dinner or two. I often make this or another slow cooker meal on Sunday to cut down on cooking during the week. Here I used the taco meat to make a taco salad for lunch the following day.
So dust off those slow cookers and enjoy having dinner already done at dinner time. It could almost be as good as having your very own live-in chef (ok probably not). And if you have any great slow cooker recipes please share. –June
The smells of slow cooking spread around the house and impart a unique warmth matched only by the flavour of the food. -Yotam Ottolenghi