Saturday, February 6, 2016

In The House Stew

Kristy at The Crislers has asked for crock pot recipes.  If you’ve got one, you can go to her blog and help her out by leaving your recipe there.  If you don't have a recipe, you should go there anyway and read her blog.

I love my crock pot (slow cooker, for those of you who call kleenex “tissue”).  A few days ago I made this recipe for the first time.  It was very well received by the clientele here in the Common Household, all three of us.  It doesn't quite meet Kristy's request for "tried and true" recipes, but I think it's a good one.

I also have two other crockpot recipes on this blog, here (Peanut Chicken) and here (Financial Crisis Soup).  (But my all-time favorite “soup recipe” is here.)

I am calling this “In the House Stew” because I changed the original recipe in major ways, based on what I did or didn’t have in the house.  (Sometimes I simply can’t face the grocery store.)  My husband always wants me to change my recipes by adding cream of mushroom soup, but the very idea disgusts me.  Even thought I didn’t make that change, he truly enjoyed this stew. 

The whole reason I decided to make this in the first place was because I had a sweet potato (okay, actually, it was a yam) in the house.  My husband usually calls such a yam The Ornamental Sweet Potato.  I am prone to buy a yam for some recipe or other, and then not have the enthusiasm to make that recipe, so that the yam sits on display forever, looking nutritious.  This time the yam was fresh and I did not want it to become ornamental.

Here are the changes I made.  I would bet the original recipe would be even more delicious.

- I used beef instead of pork, because I had beef in the house.  Major shift in taste.

- I used half a can of plain diced tomatoes, because that’s the amount that was leftover in the fridge.  The stew was quite thick, probably because it had only half the liquid it was supposed to have.  Next time I will use a whole can.

- because the tomatoes didn’t have green chilis in them, I added 1/16 tsp red pepper. 

- On a whim I decided to throw in a stick of cinnamon.  Yum! Took it out about half-way through cooking, when it had unfurled and the house was smelling nice and cinnamony.

- I used regular yellow onions instead of scallions, because I had onions in the house, but no scallions.  Also, are scallions the same as green onions?  Either way, I didn’t have them in the house.

- I never got around to putting in the lime juice, although I did have it in the house.  I think lime juice would go better with pork than with beef.

- I did not put in cilantro, because I didn’t have any in the house.

- I cooked it for about 6 hours.

- I fully intended to serve it as suggested, with a salad of black beans, orange, and red onions, but got engrossed in actual paid work, so I never got around to making the salad.

Cuban-Style Pork and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew
A Weight Watchers recipe

7 SmartPoints per 1 ½ cup serving.
Prep Time: 15 min    Cook Time: 7 hr 5 min          Serves: 4        Difficulty: Easy

This stew's both a little spicy and a little sweet. Serve with a salad of black beans, orange and red onion tossed with low-fat vinaigrette.


1 pound uncooked sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
(I used one large yam.  I have no idea how many pounds it was.)
1 pound uncooked lean only pork loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
14 ½ oz canned diced tomatoes, with green chiles
1 clove garlic clove, minced
1⁄4 cup unsweetened orange juice
2 medium uncooked scallion, chopped (green parts only)
½ tsp table salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped


1. Place potatoes, pork, tomatoes, garlic, orange juice, scallions, salt, cumin and pepper in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 7 hours.

2 .Stir in lime juice and cilantro; cover slow cooker and cook for 5 minutes more. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving (including some cooking liquid).

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Just in case you want to exactly replicate my stew protocol, here is my revised recipe.

In The House Stew

1 large uncooked yam, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound uncooked lean beef stewing meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
half of a 14 ½ oz canned diced tomatoes
large dollop of minced garlic – probably about 1 ½ tsp
1⁄4 cup unsweetened orange juice
2 small yellow onions, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp table salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp black pepper
1/16 to 1/8 tsp red pepper


1. Place all ingredients in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 5-6 hours.

2 .Remove cinnamon stick after a few hours.


Sweet Potato Rolls is another delicious way to use a yam,
Ornamental or Not.


Angie said...

I need to use my crock pot more often. These recipes sound wonderful.

Cassi said...

I bought some sweet potatoes a couple of weeks ago and hadn't used them yet either. Today I peeled one, cubed it, boiled it, and smashed it with some butter, salt, and pepper. That was lunch, and it was delicious.

I love my crock pot --I'll have to head over Kristy's blog now :-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I think it's funny how much you overhauled the original recipe;) You are brave!

smalltownme said...

I make a lot of "in the house" stuff! Yours all sounds really tasty!

The Crislers said...

You are so, so dear. I put out a desperate cry for help, and zoom! CHM to the rescue! I have the ingredients for Peanut Chicken and In The House Stew right now (I realize that defeats the purpose of the second one's name, but we never have orange juice In The House- my children are going to be so excited!). I feel a little less overwhelmed now.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I am so late to this post (and probably entirely too late to Kristy's blog) but I have to say that your cooking style and my husband's are very much alike. Although really, the fact that you can actually remember what you put into your stew is very impressive; I don't think he remembers what he does once an hour or so has passed. My dh calls his creations "stuff in a pot."