Cooking Keto with Kristie

Keto Together: Day 3 – Hunk of meat and the slow cooker

If the idea of a hunk of meat for dinner doesn’t excite you, then we can’t be friends. 

“Hunk of meat” simply emphasizes the versatility of Day 3 of Keto Together. Pork, beef, or chicken–it really doesn’t matter what you use. 

If you have veggies that need using that can stand up to long, slow cooking, toss those in too!

Because using moist heat cooking makes nearly any cut of meat tender, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is what seasonings and fat to use. 

In the YouTube video, I give several options for meat, veggies, seasonings, and fat. You can also see me make two different meals in my crockpots and quite literally make it up as I go, taking less than 20 minutes to get two meals cooking without me having to do more than serve it up later.

My two meals

First, I used a chuck roast that I found at the bottom of a freezer shelf. It was fully thawed by the time I placed it into the crock pot. 

For seasoning, I stuck with traditional seasonings that I use for beef roasts: garlic, salt, Worcestershire, dried rosemary, and pepper. That’s it! And the rosemary is pretty optional. I minimized the seasoning because I knew the veggies would add a lot of flavor too.

Beef needs onion, so I chopped one medium onion to add along with two stalks of celery that were starting to lose their crunch. I cut them large enough to be recognizable after 6-8 hours of slow cooking.

Last, I added 2-3 tablespoons of butter on top of the beef and veggies. 

The roast was small, and not quite a pound. My 13 year-old who is tremendously picky, devoured it. David and I stood back and watched as he scraped the last of the meat from the pot. Both of us were grateful that I’d filled a second crock pot.

For the second crockpot, I used a small pork roast, about 2-3 lbs. We enjoy Mexican food and as I was looking for things to use, a jalapeno and two cans of chilis and tomatoes were waiting to be used. 

I seasoned the roast with cumin, chili powder, garlic, oregano, salt and paprika. For the veggies, there was ¼ of a large bell pepper, 1 jalapeno and half of a medium onion. All of that went on top of the pork. 

For the fat, I once again used 2-3 tablespoons of butter before pouring the can of tomatoes and chilis over top along with the juice of a lime that was about to expire. You can omit it, but I used it because I had it, we love the flavor, and the acid makes the meat more tender. 

When the meat was fork tender, I shredded it in the crockpot, mixing the juices and veggies with the meat. Easy sides were half of an avocado that needed using, sour cream, and shredded cheese. 

As I tried to figure out what to make for Jonathan, who in the past wouldn’t dare consider eating a mix like that, began sampling. He picked over the onions, jalapeno, and peppers, but enjoyed the meat with some sour cream and shredded cheese. I tried not to stare! 

Need a guide to a successful keto crockpot meal?

Here’s my formula:

  1. Start with a hunk of meat. Beef, including ground beef is perfect as is pork, chicken, or turkey. Large pieces such as whole chickens, turkey breasts, and roasts work well. Inexpensive cuts of meat are ideal because they become more tender when cooked under moist heat.
  2. Add seasonings straight onto the meat. Salt, garlic, onion powder are good with anything. For beef, bay leaf, Worcestershire, rosemary, and dried chiles are ideal. Chicken and turkey have a more mild flavor and are delicious with Ranch, Southwestern, or Italian flavors (see below). Our favorite pork recipes use Mexican flavors, but can also be good with citrus flavors such as my Orange-braised pork which is similar to Asian flavors.

Remember that slow cookers tend to intensify flavors, so your seasonings will pack more punch.

  1. Choose veggies that hold up to cooking over time. Cut them in large pieces so that they don’t cook into oblivion and so that they can be picked out to accommodate individual preferences. Also choose veggies that season such as onions, celery, and peppers. Veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, and broccoli will add texture as they soften, but don’t back quite the same flavor punch. 
  2. On low heat, dairy can be fine to use in a slow cooker. Cream cheese, cream, and butter can yield a creamy sauce when cooked along with the meat; however, if your slow cooker temperature gets too hot even on low settings, the dairy can separate. 
  3. For fatty cuts of meat, there’s no need to add water. If you’re adding a can of tomatoes or adding fat like butter, then you should have plenty of moisture in the pot; however, if you’re cooking at higher temps, then you may need to keep an eye on your dish and add broth or water as needed in ¼ cup measures.
  4. Let the crockpot make the entire meal by adding protein, fat, and veggies. Limit sides or condiments, or seasonings to simple options such as sour cream, guacamole, cheese, or simple sides such as salsa verde, cauli rice, etc.
  5. When possible, cook on low heat for the best flavors and more tender meat. 

If you have leftovers from your crockpot meal, find creative ways to use them. Some of our favorites are omelet fillings, soups/stews, casseroles, or frittatas.

Keto-friendly seasonings

While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of possible combinations here are four super simple ways to add flavor. If you don’t have all of the spices, try the combinations you do have. 

Ranch flavoring–use parsley, garlic, onion powder, chives, salt, pepper, and dill (optional). 

Southwestern flavors–cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic, oregano, paprika, smoked paprika, chipotle, ancho, or dried chilies.  The last four in the list are completely optional.

Asian-inspired seasonings–rice wine vinegar (or small amounts of red wine vinegar), coconut aminos, soy or tamari (if you use soy), 5 Spice powder, ginger, garlic, fish sauce (a nice salty option if you don’t use soy sauce), toasted sesame oil.

Italian seasonings–dried Italian herb mixes, oregano, rosemary, basil, garlic, onion powder, more garlic, and tomato based sauces. 

Don’t forget to share your own crockpot creations using #ketotogether. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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3 replies »

  1. As someone who struggles with knowing what seasonings to use or how to flavor anything without a recipe that was a joy to read.

  2. I made the Mississippi Roast, soooo good and the gravy i’ve Never enjoyed gravy so much as that gravy.

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