Pulled pork photo from pixabay t0zita

Image: Pixabay

The slow cooker, often known by the brand name Crock-Pot, is a wonderful invention. I have several of them in different sizes and love to rustle up soups, stews, chilis and more in there. One of the best things about a slow cooker is you can put your ingredients there in the morning, head out the door to work, and come home to a kitchen which smells amazing and a pot full of yummy dinner which is all ready to serve. There are plenty of crockpot recipes to choose from, but today we're going to look at some Texas favorites for diehard meat fans—one pork, one beef and one chicken.

Texas-Style Pulled Pork

The intramuscular fat in many cuts of pork make it one of the best choices for use in a  slow cooker. We are flavoring the pork with mustard, chili, onion, thyme and more, then serving it Sloppy Joe-style over buttered toasted hamburger buns. This recipe makes eight servings.

Ingredients:

4 pounds pork shoulder roast
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 minced garlic cloves
1 chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon chile powder
8 split, toasted hamburger buns
Butter, as needed

Instructions:

Add the pork roast to the crockpot. Pour in the broth, apple cider vinegar and barbecue sauce, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce, thyme, garlic, onion, brown sugar, mustard and chile powder. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or until you can shred the pork with a pair of forks. After shredding it, return the meat to the crockpot and stir the meat to cover it in the juices. Now serve the pulled pork hot, in the buttered buns.

Barbecue Beef Brisket Flat

A beef brisket flat is a thick cut of deep pectoral muscle from a boneless brisket. It's leaner and thinner than regular brisket and does very well in the following recipe. Sweet onion, garlic, cumin and Worcestershire sauce are used to flavor the brisket in this recipe, and it's great served with mashed potatoes and one or two kinds of vegetables on the side. This recipe makes six servings.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chile powder
1 tablespoon beef soup base
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 sliced sweet onion
3 finely sliced garlic cloves
2 1/2 pounds beef brisket flat
3 tablespoons chile sauce
1/4 cup beer

Instructions:

Rub the chile powder, soup base, cumin, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce over the beef. Put the onion and garlic in the crockpot and sit the beef on top. Whisk the chile sauce into the beer, then pour this around the meat. Cover and cook on low for seven hours or until fork-tender, then take the lid off the slow cooker and let the beef sit in there for 20 minutes. Now slice it across the grain and serve with the pan juices spooned over.

Easy Tex-Mex Chicken

This is one of the easiest recipes you can make with chicken, all you need are chicken breasts, tomatoes and taco seasoning to make it. Recipes like this were why the slow cooker was created in the first place! Serve the chicken hot over egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breasts
20 ounces canned Rotel tomatoes
20 ounces water
1 package taco seasoning

Instructions:

Pour the tomatoes (don't drain them) into a bowl and stir in the water and taco seasoning. Put the chicken in the crockpot then pour the tomato mixture over it. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

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