The slow cooker was working overtime during the recent half term holiday and it reminded me of just how lovely it is to come home at the end of a busy day and not have to worry about cooking dinner. When I went freezer diving for some meat, I found a pack of stewing beef. My usual go-to recipe for this cut of meat is Carbonnade Flamande, a rich beef in beer stew that is very popular in Belgium and Northern France. (Click through for the recipe.)
I wanted to try something a bit different this time though, so I headed to my tin of seasoning sachets to see if there was anything I could use. I found this pack of Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork mix and decided to try it with beef.
The on-pack instructions tell you to combine the contents of the sachet (mainly sugar, smoked paprika, garlic and onion) with 125ml tomato ketchup, 2 tbsp brown sugar and 3 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar. This was a great way of using up all the ketchup sachets that were cluttering up the fridge.
I used up the end of a bottle of BBQ sauce to replace some of the ketchup and used balsamic vinegar, along with the brown sugar.
A good mix produced a really thick, sweet and smoky sauce that already smelt really nice.
My meat was straight out of the freezer so I unceremoniously dumped the sauce on top and left the slow cooker to work its magic.
Eight hours later, I had a decent looking beef stew.
I used a couple of forks to pull the beef apart and served it with rice. We loved the sweet smokiness of the sauce and I'll be very tempted to try recreating this from scratch next time.
This used up the end of a bottle of BBQ sauce and several sachets of ketchup that were squished in the bottom of the fridge door, along with a sachet of Pulled Pork seasoning that has been in the cupboard for ages, so I'm adding it to this month's #KitchenClearout linky.