Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits + #StubbsInsider Giveaway

This post and giveaway was sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q , however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits

This holiday season, I’ve made a vow to make all my meals with love, happiness and smiles. Not just the big celebration dinners, but also the crazy night meals when we’ve been out all day running errands, visiting with family or volunteering with our favorite charity (Brown Santa).  Some times on these chaotic nights, I get grumbly about making supper, but shortcuts with Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q products  keep me grinning even after sitting in shopping mall traffic or spending hours trying to figure out which bulb in a string of lights has burned out.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits in slow cooker

For this slow cooker recipe, I’ve used Stubb’s Smokehouse Bourbon Cookin’ Sauce. This convienient product (which is gluten free) works in both the skillet and slow cooker. It contains a flavorful sauce pouch made with bourbon, garlic and rosemary along with a spice packet that can be used to prep the meat. Browning Stew Meat

One little hint extra step I have for this quick and easy recipe is to brown the stew meat before putting in the crock pot. While this may seem unnecessary (and you can skip if absolutely pressed for time), it does create an amazing caramelization on the beef which helps to create a more complex flavor experience. Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits -  an easy slow cooker meat that will satisfy your guests this holiday season.

Don’t just think of Stubb’s ONLY as a way to fix traditional Texas BBQ. They have so many delicious Bar-B-Q sauces, marinades, rubs and Cookin’ Sauces that offer bold flavors to spur on your creativity in the kitchen this holiday season.

Of course, I love to create my own new holiday recipes as well as revisit family food traditions, but why recreate the wheel on every single side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter family gatherings when Stubb’s has complied a delicious collection of recipes for the season?! stubbs-roasted-brussels-sprouts

Yes-sir-ee, the Stubb’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts will be a delicious compliment to my Slow Cooker Cranberry-Orange Beef Stew with Rosemary Garlic Grits. You need to try these, so amazing!   

stubbs-cranberry-orange-beef-packageTo help you get cooking with down-home but daring style, I’m hosting a giveaway for one reader to win a Stubb’s Prize Pack that includes a spatula, T-shirt, Stubb’s hat and coupons for free Stubb’s products (yeehaw)!  Just enter via the Rafflecopter app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Instructions
for stew
  1. Sprinkle stew meat with spice packet from Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce (or simply season with salt and pepper for alternative preparation).
  2. Heat large, heavy-duty skillet to medium-high heat and brown stew meat in single layer. Don’t overcrowd, work in batches if necessary, draining cooking liquid between.
  3. Add browned stew meat to 6-quart slow cooker along with chopped onion, cranberry sauce, orange segments, orange zest, bourbon and Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce. Stir to combine.
  4. Top slow cooker with lid and simmer on high heat for 4 to 6 hours, or until beef tender. If desired, add 1 cup fresh cranberries to last 1 hour of simmering.
  5. *** If you can’t find Stubb’s Cookin’ Smokehouse Bourbon Flavor, the use this substitute. To season stew meat before browning, sprinkle with mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. For liquid, add 1 cup beef broth, 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and add an additional 1 ounce of bourbon whiskey.
for grits
  1. Add water to saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in grits, sage and salt and then reduce to medium-low for simmer.
  2. Simmer for about 7 minutes stirring frequently. When thickened, stir in cheese until incorporated. Remove from heat.
  3. To serve, place a mound of grits on a plate and use a slotted spoon to remove beef, onions and fruit from slow cooker. Top with optional garnishes of grated orange zest and chopped parsley.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce

Disclaimer: I was provided compensation for the development of this recipe and my time at #FreshSummit, however this blog post, my opinions and enthusiasm are provided complementary! 

Jennifer Fisher of TheFitFork.com at Litehouse Foods booth PMA Fresh Summit 2016

 I was in Orlando earlier in the month for Fresh Summit 2016, a massive trade show that brings together produce industry peeps from around the world to showcase innovation, provide inspiration and track trends. With more than 1,100 exhibitors on the expo floor, there were fruits, veggies, nuts, and fresh packaged foods at every turn. But, were there meatballs? Why, yes, there were!

litehouse-pma-booth-menu-2016That’s right; I was cooking up a storm again for Litehouse Foods in their beautiful, backyard inspired booth. With football playing on the big screen, a spread of apple cider and snacks, and good eats coming from the kitchen (including my Sriracha Lime Meatballs), this was the ultimate homey hangout.

 

Sriracha Lime Dressing over meatballsHopefully in your house, the crowd gathering for these (Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce will not be smaller than at the packed expo. Although, there WILL be a  crowd (just sayin’) becase this super simple, slow cooker recipe is a real weekend AND weeknight winner.  Just toss in a short list of ingredients into a Crock Pot, pour over a bottle of their new Srirarcha Lime Dressing and walk away. In a couple hours, you’ve got the ultimate football party appetizer to skewer up on toothpicks or a fusion-inspired, “take-out” take off dinner that you can serve with the slow cooker sauce over rice. My kids loved it!

Slow Cooker Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce is a super simple, easy party appetizer or easy weeknight main dish.

The Sriracha Lime Dressing is a new “sweet heat” product from Litehouse Foods that you can find in the fridge shelves of your produce department – they also make a Mango Habanero version. What I love about these two dressings is that they are super flavorful without being off the charts hot, only have 20 calories per serving, and are made with fresh ingredients that you’ve heard of – no weird chemicals or preservatives. You can also try this dressing as a glaze on chicken, dip for your spring rolls, or drizzle for your salads and wraps.

*I’ve also provided alternate instructions for the sauce in case you can’t find this dressing.

far-east-sriracha-lime-meatballs

 

far-east-sriracha-lime-meatball-appetizerServe meatballs over rice for supper or on a little bed of rainbow slaw for a healthy, balanced appetizer!

 

 

 

 

 

What are you cooking in your slow cooker these days? Can you take the heat or do you like things milder? Big plans, races, events for fall — I’m doing a Spartan Beast this weekend!  Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

(Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce
Print Recipe
Get the party (or dinner) started in spicy-sweet style with this crazy easy recipe that uses frozen meatballs and salad dressing. Lots of protein, low carb.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
(Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce
Print Recipe
Get the party (or dinner) started in spicy-sweet style with this crazy easy recipe that uses frozen meatballs and salad dressing. Lots of protein, low carb.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
Ingredients
Servings: servings dinner
Instructions
  1. Place frozen meatballs in 4-qt slow cooker. Add bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, red onion, soy sauce and Sriracha Lime Dressing and mix to coat.
  2. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 2 to 4 hours., stirring at halfway point. Serve on a toothpick as an appetizer. Or, serve with rice or noodles along with sauce in slow cooker for a meal. 
  3. *If you can’t find the dressing, swap for this mixture whisked together in a bow: 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup lime juice, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons corn starch, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.   
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

{Slow Cooker} Steak & Squash Harvest Stew

Steak and Squash Harvest Stew comes together in the slow cooker for a hearty, healthy meal that is perfect for dinner on busy weeknights -- weekend meals too!I felt it for a second, the cooler morning that is. So I pulled out fringy scarf, boots and slow-cooker – yeehaw, fall weather is here. But, it was a total fake out, ended up being 90 degrees that day. Even though I shed my fall finery, my Crock Pot creation was a dinner winner not about to be tossed.  Rich, meaty, hearty and amazing nutritious thanks to wholesome ingredients like lean beef, pumpkin, acorn and butternut squashes.

You absolutely must pin this photo below if you like healthy, hearty and helpful! 

Steak and Squash Harvest Stew comes together in the slow cooker for a hearty, healthy meal that is perfect for fall and winter meals.

I originally made this recipe for my friends at BeefLovingTexans.com, I almost tried to call it Chili but then remembered some Texans don’t think beans belong in chili. Well, heck, I don’t care – I think everything belongs in chili! This one has a bit of chipotle chili powder to add smoky spice, but feel free to tone it down or kick it up with your favorite chili seasonings. chipotle-beef-butternut-pumpkin-chile-browning-meat

The beauty of this recipe is just dumping all the ingredients into a slow cooker and walking away. I prefer to sear my chili meat (I cubed up a sirloin steak) because that magical caramelization process that happens in the skillet creates a deeper, more complex flavor. But, if you are pressed for time, the stew still turns out dang delicious if you just dump the uncooked beef straight into the slow cooker crock.

I was worried the kids would be suspicious of the trio of winter squashes in the dish – pumpkin, acorn and butternut. But, they loved it and a new autumn family favorite was born – especially when paired with some cast-iron skillet cornbread. I can’t believe I’ve never shared this recipe in photo below — it’ll be served up on the blog next week! COME BACL!

Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread Skillet

So, why don’t you make this Steak & Squash Harvest Stew for supper this weekend – free yourself up some time to hang out with the family, hit a hay ride, visit the pumpkin patch, get lost in a corn maze.  It’s also a great little warmer-upper for those chilly afternoons tailgating and talking all things football or for the neighborhood Halloween potluck!

So, do you have a special family chili (errrr, I mean “stew” recipe)? Doing any special fall activities this weekend? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Steak and Squash Harvest Stew comes together in the slow cooker for a hearty, healthy meal that is perfect for dinner on busy weeknights -- weekend meals too!
{Slow Cooker} Steak & Squash Harvest Stew
Print Recipe
Fall in love with this healthy, hearty stew featuring pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash -- toss in slow cooker to skimmer all day, come home to dinner!
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 to 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 to 8 hours
Steak and Squash Harvest Stew comes together in the slow cooker for a hearty, healthy meal that is perfect for dinner on busy weeknights -- weekend meals too!
{Slow Cooker} Steak & Squash Harvest Stew
Print Recipe
Fall in love with this healthy, hearty stew featuring pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash -- toss in slow cooker to skimmer all day, come home to dinner!
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 to 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 to 8 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chipotle chile powder and “bloom” in skillet by stirring around constantly for approximately 1 minute. Add stew meet and brown; add to 4 qt. to 6-qt. slow cooker.
  2. To slow cooker, add onion, squash, beans and pumpkin. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, syrup, red pepper and salt. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  3. Serve with desired toppings such as sour cream, cheese and green onions
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Shiner Bock Beer Short Ribs with Chipotle Cheese Grits for CrossFit 16.1 Recovery

Shiner Bock Beer Beef Short Ribs can be made ahead in the slow cooler -- and then the grits only take 10 minutes make.Oh hello, how was your weekend? Mine was very meaty and gritty, let me explain! First up, I had to, ahem, knock out Cross Fit Games Open 16.1 Workout. And, when I say “knock out” I mean muster up every gram of grit I have to lunge around with a really-heavy-to-me 65 lb. overhead bar. Seems everyone else was worried about the Chest-to-Bar Pull ups in this WOD which I nailed unbroken (need to have some silver lining in the recap).However, the Achilles heel of my scrawny rear is any task that requires more butt strength than getting up off the couch. I kid, but still.

CrossFit Games Open 16.1 Workout - thefitfork.com

In the end and with many rest breaks, I lunged 275 meters with more than half of my body weight above my head  (tongue out!). . . at the finish of one set I half dropped the bar on my head. That hurt. As I bragged mentioned, I killed the Chest-to-Bar Pullups and the positive visualization of whipping those out is what would get me through the last few lunges in each round.  And, the burpees – well, they were burpees. One young beast of a girl at the gym scored nearly double to me – so awesome, so humbling!  Right now I am hanging at 14h place in my age group for the South Central states region (and will surely drop significantly by Monday night when all scores are reported), I’m really happy that I challenged myself to do something that was out of my comfort zone. That’s what it’s all about, right?!

Shiner Bock Short Ribs and Chipotle Cheese Grits

So, I rarely write a race or workout recap without also including a recipe –for me the love of food and fitness are forever entwined.  So, anticipating my fatigue from the CrossFit 16.1 WOD, I knew I was going to need a protein-rich meal to bring the old bod back to life. In the morning before heading out, I threw some beef short ribs and a bottle of beer in the slow cooker to work their magic. To prep dinner, I only needed 10 minutes to whip up some grits and toss a salad – thank you Crock Pot for doing all the heavy lifting at dinner!

Chipotle Cheese Grits are ready in 10 minutes and add South of the Border meets The South flair to dinner.

Hope you enjoy this recipe for SHINER BOCK BEER SHORT RIBS WITH CHIPOTLE CHEESE GRITS – I originally created it for the Texas Beef Council – head on over there if you’d like to learn a little more about this cut of beef or get my useful slow cooker tips. It’s a super easy and forgiving recipe that will pamper your primal meat cravings without any fuss. Not normally on my diet, the Chipotle Cheese Grits were a delicious treat . . . and using some of the beef liquid reserved from the Crock Pot complemented the peppers’ smoky heat and kicked up the flavor of often bland grits into beast mode!  And, the ribs were literally fall off the bone tender which I feel was somewhat metaphorical for the state of my muscles.

ancho chili slow cooker pot roastIf you are looking for another beef slow cooker meal,with Texas flair, check out Ancho Mama’s Pot Roast —  cook up a chuck roast and serve over potatoes, in tacos or on a salad.

So, did you break a sweat in the CrossFit Games Open WOD 16.1 ? Have you ever eaten or made beef short ribs? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

Shiner Bock Beer Beef Short Ribs can be made ahead in the slow cooler -- and then the grits only take 10 minutes make.
Shiner Bock Short Ribs with Chipotle Cheese Grits + CrossFit 16.1 Recap
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Shiner Bock Beer Beef Short Ribs can be made ahead in the slow cooler -- and then the grits only take 10 minutes make.
Shiner Bock Short Ribs with Chipotle Cheese Grits + CrossFit 16.1 Recap
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Ingredients
For Short Ribs in Slow Cooker
For Chipotle Cheese Grits
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub olive oil in bottom of skillet, bring to high-heat.
  2. Pour Greek seasoning into shallow dish and roll each short rib though to coat.
  3. Add seasoned short ribs to skillet, searing quickly for about 30 to 60 seconds per side. Remove from heat.
  4. Add broth, beer molasses, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper sauce to slow cooker, stir to combine.
  5. Add short ribs to liquid and place lid on slow cooker. Cook on low setting for 10 to 12 hours.
  6. Ten minutes before serving, remove 1 cup of strained short ribs cooking liquid from slow cooker, add to medium pot.
  7. Add water, salt and chipotle in adobe sauce to pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add instant grits, stirring frequently for 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened.
  8. Remove pot from heat and cheese, stir until combined.
  9. To serve, make a pile of grits and place a short rib on top. Present with strained short rib juice, if desired.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

{Slow Cooker} Sugar Free Peach Sauce

Sugar Free Peach Sauce is  great by the spoon and also on pancakes, ice cream and in smoothies!Using a slow cooker in the dogs of summer?  Normally I associate this appliance with winter and making stews and pot roasts. But, in an effort to keep from heating up my kitchen further during this 100+ degree heatwave, so it makes perfect sense to me!  I think you’ll love this Sugar-Free Peach Sauce recipe that is super easy to whip up in the crock pot, is deliciously aromatic as the spices mingle together – and it’s a great way to take advantage of a bumper crop of summer peaches.

bagging peaches for freezerIf you REALLY have a windfall of fresh peaches that you can’t eat up before overripening, then check out my How To Freeze Peaches.

If you don’t have fresh peaches, feel free to swap in frozen peach slices (store bought or home packed) – it’s a pretty forgiving recipe.  It is my experience that the store-bought peaches need the higher range of Stevia listed in the recipe.

 

 

Sugar Free Peach Sauce on Vanilla Frozen YogurtEnjoy this healthy fruit sauce either warm or cold by the bowl full– and also used as a topping on yogurt, waffles, protein pancakes and in smoothies. It is also great to pack up into a small container and send in your child’s lunchbox.  Instead of eating a processed sugary treat, peaches make an excellent source natural carbohydrates for quick brain and body energy – plus, you get the extra benefits of fiber, potassium, vitamin C.

Sugar Free Peach Sauce on Waffles

Sugar Free Peach Sauce simmers all day in a slow cooker and makes a packable lunchbox side dish or healthy topping for pancakes, ice cream and more.

Do you have a summery recipe for the slow cooker? Or, just a peach recipe that will tempt me? Please share in the comments below —  XOXO, Jennifer 

Sugar Free Peach Sauce is great by the spoon and also on pancakes, ice cream and in smoothies!
Slow Cooker Sugar Free Peach Sauce
Print Recipe
This sugar-free peach sauce makes a summery topping for ice cream, pancakes, and yogurt -- or just eat by the spoonful. An easy slow cooker recipe.
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Sugar Free Peach Sauce is great by the spoon and also on pancakes, ice cream and in smoothies!
Slow Cooker Sugar Free Peach Sauce
Print Recipe
This sugar-free peach sauce makes a summery topping for ice cream, pancakes, and yogurt -- or just eat by the spoonful. An easy slow cooker recipe.
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
16 5 minutes
Cook Time
6 - 8 hours
Instructions
  1. Blanch, peel and pit peaches; cut into slices. Or, if using frozen (easiest method), partially thaw in microwave. Place fresh or thawed frozen peaches in the food processor and process until flesh is getting smooth, but still slightly chunky. Pour peaches into slow cooker set on LOW for 6 - 8 hours, stirring a couple times during the day. After 8 hours, stir in lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger. Sever warm or cool. May be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or freezer up to 6 months.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Brisket Tacos with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Pickled Rind Relish #TacoTakedown

Brisket Tacos with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Watermelon Rind Relish - TheFitFork.comI enjoyed a one-of-a-kind, sorta-strange experience as only Austin can host at the Taco Takedown that was held this past weekend near the be-hip-or-go-home scene at SXSW (South by Southwest).  I’ve been in quite a few cook-offs including the iconic Pillsbury Bake Off in Vegas with $1 Million prize (obviously I didn’t win), the Crisco Cook Off in Nashville as part of the Country Music Festival, and even many times in my home-town Hatch Green Chile Cook Off where I hold bragging rights as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner.

Taco Takedown Contenders - TheFitFork.com

The right to battle it off as a finalist in most of these showdowns required each recipe to make it through some sort of qualifying round, being made and examined in a test kitchen by professional chefs and pre-judged on factors like presentation, fit within a certain category, creativity, convenience, taste and so on. Typically, pages of rules, do’s and don’ts, and lists of disqualifications were also involved.  However, not at the Taco Takedown – basically all the info I was given was just show up with your best taco. So, of course I started over analyzing and guessing at the non-existent details. And, in the end I decided to fly by the seat of my pants. I wondered what kind of taco would win – surely in Austin, a freaky taco would beat a traditional taco any day.

My Beefy Man Hunk Taco Model

My Beefy Man Hunk Taco Model

That’s why I wrapped all my loves, as strange as the combo might sound, in one tortilla – viola, a Beef Brisket Taco with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce (and Pickled Rind Relish) recipe was born. Well, I guessed wrong because a Crispy Chicken with Avocado Taco dished up by Evin at Food Good, Laundry Bad took top honors.  As partial as I was to my wacky yet wonderful watermelon beef taco, I have to admit, the winner was really, super-ultra-deluxe good – and it was fried, how could I compete with that?!  But, I got to go home with the beefy man-hunk taco model — so, really, I was the WINNER!

 

Brisket Taco with Watermelon BBQ Sauce - TheFitFork.com

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of meaty beef, and summer-sweet watermelon and a surprise of spiciness, these are a few of my favorite things (is there a song here . . )?  I knew these flavors would mingle together for a memorable taco –as they did. I didn’t want to smoke the brisket, so I had four massive slow-cookers breaking down the beef into the perfect tenderness for fork shredding.  But, holy-moly, it took a long time to shred 27 pounds of brisket!    The BBQ sauce was a not-too-vinegary, not-to-tomatoey sauce sweetened with watermelon just and spiced up with Sriracha. Probably the most unique thing going on was the pickled watermelon rind that was diced up in the salsa. A true southerner uses ALL parts of the watermelon. And, of course, I topped it all off with some salty, crumbly queso fresco cheese.  Pickled Watermelon Rind Relish - TheFitFork.com

Use this Spicy Watermelon Barbecue Sauce on beef — but also on chicken, baked beans, fish, sausage, pork and more. I’ve also used it as a salad dressing!

Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce - TheFitFork.com

Because you’re probably not cooking for a 250 person crowd, I’ve scaled down the recipe for you to feed about 8 and maybe some leftovers!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve wrapped in a tortilla and called a taco? Please share in the comments!

 

Brisket Tacos with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Watermelon Rind Relish - TheFitFork.com
Beef Brisket Taco with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Pickled Rind Relish
Print Recipe
Beef Brisket Taco with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Pickled Rind Relish -- a strange but good recipe that will rock your next backyard party.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Brisket Tacos with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Watermelon Rind Relish - TheFitFork.com
Beef Brisket Taco with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Pickled Rind Relish
Print Recipe
Beef Brisket Taco with Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce and Pickled Rind Relish -- a strange but good recipe that will rock your next backyard party.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
10 hours
Ingredients
For Brisket:
For Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce:
Pickled Watermelon Rind Relish:
Servings: servings
Instructions
For Brisket:
  1. Add ingredients for brisket into 6 - 8 quart capacity slow cooker. Cook on low setting for 10 hours. Remove brisket from cooking juices and strain out onions and peppers. Chop of onions and peppers, set aside. Cut excess fat of brisket and use fork or fingers to shred beef. Stir back in onions and peppers.
For Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce:
  1. Prepare BBQ sauce by adding all ingredients together in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and reduce to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Pour desired amount over beef, remainder may be stored in the refrigerator for a week. Makes about 2 cups.
For Picked Rind Relish:
  1. To make relish, toss together all ingredients in medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To Serve:
  1. To serve, place sauced, shredded brisket in tortilla. Top with relish and queso fresco.
Recipe Notes


Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Easy Autumn Dinner! Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce

Fall weather is here! Fall flavors are here! Fall family togetherness is here! All I want to do through the end of the year is gather my family ‘round the dinner table for a hearty and healthy meal paired with productive, thought-provoking conversation with my three teens. After all, one is leaving the nest next year and the others aren’t far to follow.

Sometimes the dinner chatter is really deep – like the other night my middle son posed the question, “Do you believe that retaliation can ever be justified?”  I’m thinking, “oh no” what happened, who did what to whom? The good news is that these three brothers who usually get along so well, still do – the query was actually one asked in school. Apparently, my son was the only kid who vocalized that retaliation, in any form, is not okay. He said, “If everyone gave an eye for an eye, then the whole world would be blind.”  So true!  Although he paraphrased this wisdom from Ghandi, I still got that warm fuzzy feeling of good parenting — ahhh, I’m doing an awesome job.  Then, youngest son – “I will so smash your computer if you take that last dinner roll.”

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

So, let me just say, there was no retaliation against mom after serving a (gasp) new food to the kids – lamb.  My husband and I have both had lamb in the past, served as chops or roasts with the nasty mint jelly – it’s not something I’ve ever thought to make myself. But, American Lamb sent me a big ole boneless shoulder roast and some votes of confidence that I could create something really delicious with this often overlooked meat.

 

 

So, I came up with a fall-inspired recipe for Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Glaze and I served it over some insanely mouth watering Caramalized Onion and Kale Sweet Potatoes – I will share this sweet potato recipe later this week (you do not want to miss it)!

Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce Caramalized Onion Kale Sweet Potatoes Jennifer Fisher

So, these are the things I learned from the lamb experiment. The lamb was delicious and braised up just like a beef chuck roast and shreds up really nicely to serve over sweet potatoes, rice, or even in a sandwich – my kids thought it was really great! I also realized you could easily make this recipe in a slow cooker rather than the Dutch oven – just set it on the low setting and slow cook for 8 – 10 hours.  Another thing I learned is that fresh cranberries lose their color when you cook them all day. That’s okay — I still needed to reduce the sauce down, just threw in some extra. Bam, there you go – meaty, sweet, tangy, total deliciousness.

braised lamb shoulder with cranberry ginger sauce title

Braised Lamb with Cranberry-Ginger Glaze Recipe

  • 1 3 – 4 lb. boneless American lamb shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (divided)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (divided)
  • ¼ cup honey
  1.  In 6 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high.
  2. In small bowl, mix together pepper, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and thyme. Rub into lamb roast, coating evenly.
  3.  Add lamb shoulder roast to heated pot and sear for approximately 3 – 4 minutes on each side until browned nicely.
  4. Lower heat and add chopped onions, cranberries, wine, cranberry juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger. Top with lid and simmer on medium to medium low for approximately 3 hours or until fork tender and easy to shred.
  5. Remove roast from pot and discard unwanted fat.  Pour off approximately ½ of cooking juices and add remaining fresh cranberries, remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, and honey.
  6. Simmer this mixture for approximately 15 minutes until cranberries have popped and sauce reduced and thickening.
  7. Serves 8

The American Lamb Board provided me with product for this post, but all thoughts, comments, opinions and recipe are my own.

Just curious , have YOU ever cooked lamb at home before?

#MyAdventure with Artichokes & the Art of Yoga

Okay, random enough for you – artichokes and yoga?!  Well, actually the pair makes perfect sense to me since discovering new ways to cook favorite foods and pushing myself into challenging and sometimes even uncomfortable situations (literally) are two of the ways I satisfy my adventure-seeking soul.

travel dress lightweight wool

I was very excited, yet a bit skeptical, when Icebreaker.com invited me to try out their New Zealand Merino wool fitness, outdoor and travel clothing for my next adventure. My first thought was wool in August – now that will definitely be a memorable experience! However, this company makes clothing in all weights that perform beautifully in the extremes of weather – cold and hot!  The clothing I ordered didn’t itch like traditional wool, didn’t leave me feeling sticky and clammy like synthetics and was never soggy or stinky like cotton can be.

The Villa Plume Dress (above) is my new favorite dress – which is a huge testament to its awesomeness because I love LOVE dresses and have a closet full to compete! What I appreciate about this 200-lightweight wool dress is that it feels as comfy as wearing my favorite nightgown around town, but is super stylish and dressy enough for business meetings or just heading to the market to shop for – ARTICHOKES! Plus, for summer trips – I just tossed it in my luggage and it came out totally wrinkle-free!

lightweight wool underwear for travel

So, on a trip to Mount Vernon this summer, I packed along some other Icebreaker gear – the Siren Hipkini Underwear. Sorry, you’re not going to get to see me modeling these panties (ha) but trust me – the underwear are under there! While I was traipsing through George Washington’s lower gardens looking at the bounty of fruit and vegetable crops (including one of his favorite — the artichoke!), I thought I was going to melt – it was pushing 100 degrees and the Potomac River humidity was only adding to the sweatfest. Thank goodness for my lightweight wool undies – they wicked moisture right away and were quick to dry. Too bad Martha and her ladies in waiting didn’t have these itty-bitty green bloomers!

merion wool running socks icebreakersI also was able to try out the Women’s Multi-Sport Ultra-Light Micro Socks as I ran around the Mall in Washington, DC – lightweight for summer sports, non-chaffing toe seams and cute colors! I’ll be stocking up on more of these for my upcoming race season!

 

artichoke plant mt vernon

At artichoke growing in the garden at Mt. Vernon.

 

When I got home from #MyAdventure, I really had a hankering for those artichokes I saw growing in George’s garden. I’ve always purchased artichokes already prepared and marinated from my local gourmet store — Central Market has some delish ones on the deli bar.  I’ve seen recipes for grilling artichokes and steaming artichokes the way my mom did back when I was a kid (I remember my parents dipping artichoke leaves into garlic butter as a special appetizer), but I was always a bit intimidated by these big thorny thistles.

Then, I had a light bulb moment – why not make them in a slow cooker? The low, slow cooking method would surely yield a tender treat – and I was right! Plus, I loved the convenience of just popping them in the slow cooker and then leaving to run errands for a few hours rather than standing around in the kitchen waiting for them to steam for 45-ish minutes. Also, instead of a decadent butter dip – I added a drizzle of Caesar dressing and a few Parmesan cheese sprinkles to keep things healthy. It’s a recipe I created for Litehouse Foods; check it out for the rest of the story and more mouthwatering photos!

caesar slow cooker artichokes

Caesar Slow Cooker Artichokes Recipe

  • 3 medium artichokes
  • 3 lemons (divided)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine or cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup garlic croutons crushed into crumbs
  • 4 – 6 ounces Caesar salad dressing (I used Organic Caesar from Litehouse)
  1. Prepare artichokes by first washing under water and shaking dry. Next, cut off stems and remove small lower leaves with paring knife. With larger knife, cut ½” off the top of artichokes to remove the prickly spines. Use kitchen shears to snip off remaining spines on lower leaves. Cut one lemon in half and rub on exposed areas of artichoke to prevent oxidization.
  2. Pour broth, wine, garlic and bay leaf into bottom of 4 quart slow cooker. Place artichokes, bottom side down into slow cooker. Cut second lemon into slices and place a slice on top of each artichoke. Add remaining slices of that lemon to the broth mixture.  Put lid on slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 3 hours, or until softened and leaves pull off easily.
  3. Transfer artichokes from liquid to serving platter. While still hot, gently squeeze to pull apart leaves and stuff with bits of Parmesan cheese and crouton crumbs. Sprinkle remaining cheese and crumbs on tops of artichokes. Drizzle artichokes with Caesar Dressing and serve with third lemon that has been cut up into wedges.

The rest of #MyAdventure focuses on the “art of yoga” or in my case — it’s often “the agony of yoga.” I used to be a very flexible person but that bendiness got left behind a long time ago. However, I’ve been trying to build a few minutes into each day to practice some yoga moves to reclaim my flexibility – I hope the focus on a greater range of mobility will keep me from getting injured in my running and workouts as I get older.  The fitness wear from Icebreaker was perfect for my little yoga session — check out the cool and comfortable Dart Shorts and Sprite Racerback Tank from Icebreaker. These items were ultra-light weight (150 gauge wool) and super soft — almost like wearing nothing!

icebreaker merino wool shorts and tank for yoga

If you haven’t tried working out in wool, you definitely should! Head over to Icebreaker, they are having a great end-of-the-season sale and have free shipping on orders over $99 and have a “love it or send it back” policy with free return shipping. I will definitely be trying out their cold weather gear come ski season – I am always the one that is too cold and I’m not going to let that happen this winter!

Icebreaker provided me with product in return for my review, but did not tell me what to say or how to say it – all opinions are my own!

Have you ever worked out in lightweight wool?

Do you have a favorite artichoke recipe, please share!