I am a fan of the Slow Cooker Recipe, particularly as working full time does not inspire me to be an instant gourmet when I get home from work with a hungry family to feed. I'm the only one in my family who cooks, so the meals are up to me. But let's face it, I love to cook - just during the week, I don't have much time to get creative so I'm open to lots of new ideas.
Because I just subscribed to Cooking Light magazine, I am now a member of their
e-mail newsletter and consequently receive lots of new recipes to try. I was very excited to see that last week's was a slew of slow cooker recipes. One in particular appealed to me, so I attempted to prep it on Sunday night and cook it on Monday.
Brazilian Feojada was the recipe I chose - the link to the recipe is here:
The good: It makes a ton of feojada, with lots and lots left over for lunches or even a second dinner later on in the week. The Daughter was also very happy to have a pork meal, for a change - as she really loves eating pork when we can get away with it. Other than that, however, there wasn't anything good to say about it.
The bad: Prep time was an issue - there was a LOT of pre-prep for this recipe; the time spent soaking the black beans could have been saved by purchasing canned black beans, and deboning/cubing/dicing up the meats and onion was time consuming as well. At the end of the cooking process, I also had to scoop out the meat and shred it with a fork, then replace it in the crock pot.
The expense was another issue - I don't know what the folks at Cooking Light are thinking, but they sure seem to believe that the average American has money to burn at the grocery store; probably because this is "gourmet" food made healthy. Still, it was a lot of money to sink on the three meats (pork shoulder, beef ribs, and pork hocks) for one meal. We are a family on a budget, and this meal was NOT budget friendly.
The ugly: Aside from the fact that I got a "What is this?" with a pouty expression from my spouse while he picked through the dish with a fork, it was BLAND. No real flavor - not savory, not spicy, not even meaty - just - blah. Add to this the fact that I had to make sure to get home early to remove the pork hocks from the dish before he got a look at them because that would have guaranteed his not even trying the dish. I also ended up scooping out quite a bit of bone that had disintegrated from the hocks during the cooking process.
Overall, I'd give it 1/2 a star on a 5 point scale with 5 being the top of the scale. Definitely not worth the time or expense, and I'm stuck eating it for the rest of the week now because The Spouse won't touch it again and The Daughter doesn't have access to a microwave at school.
Until next time, and may all your culinary adventures be tasty ones!