Root Beer Spruces up the Crock Pot

Some days when I get stuck late at work I start to itch to get home. I know Sam is there waiting to greet me with a warm hug. Similarly, I get that feeling when I’ve put up a dinner in the crock pot in the morning before leaving for work. I think about it later in the day just sitting on the counter, all cooked and ready to greet me with a warm hug of aromatic comfort smells – it’s something I want to get home to.

Laura Frankel, a Jewish Chicago chef and mother who trained under Wolfgang Puck, also loves to return from her day job in a busy kitchen to a meal simmering in a crock pot in her home kitchen. She wrote an entire cookbook filled with recipes for the slow cooker wherein she goes well beyond stews and proteins, whipping up desserts, sides, and more. Each recipe takes some prep time (think mostly chopping and browning) but several hours later, after your hands have been off doing other things, your mouth, and if you’re a generous soul, the mouths of others, will delight in a finished dish.

When I saw her root beer BBQ sauce I knew I wanted to try it. Cider, root beer, molasses – all these complex sweet liquids are poured into the slow cooker unceremoniously along with acidic notes of citrus, onion and garlic. Then go do something else for 6 hours. At the end of your productive time you have yourself the perfect sauce for thickly cut, bright-red beefy Grown and Behold flanken on the bone. They will cook even longer, giving you a 10 hour chunk of time to prepare yourself to eat the most meat-falling-off bone -tomatoey-sarsaparilla succulence.

Root Beer Flanken
Adapted from Laura Frankel’s Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes

2.5 cups of root beer (do not use diet)
¾ cup apple cider
1 cup ketchup
½ tsp lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup of fresh orange juice
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, minced or grated
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 package Flanken
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

Start by making the sauce for the flanken. Put 2 cups of root beer, 1/4 cup of apple cider, the ketchup, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, molasses, garlic, onion, salt and pepper into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, add the remaining ½ cup of root beer and ½ cup of apple cider, diced tomatoes and flanken to the slow cooker. Make sure the flanken are submerged in the liquid. Cook on low for 10-15 hours and keep on warm until you are ready to eat (you can set this up before Shabbat and eat it for Shabbat lunch).

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. FAL says:

    This recipe certainly sounds delicious and i as well as a few of my friends would like to try it. I have just sent you an email regarding this recipe just in case you don’t read this first. BUT, can you please give a clue as to what constitutes a “package of flanked” in relation to pounds perhaps? Thank you in advance.

    1. Anna Hanau says:

      Hi there
      A package of flanken is one strip — it’s about 1lb. You can purchase our pastured flanken here. Enjoy!

  2. FAL says:

    Thank you for your speedy reply Wow 1 pound of meat to a rather large amount of liquid…proportions seem odd to me but far be it from me to question the people who have developed the recipe and tested it. Ok i will pass it on to my cyber friends who have been waiting on the feedback. Take care.

  3. egechter says:

    Note that you cook the liquid for 6 hours before you add any meat so it does reduce in volume. And the final dish does have a high sauce to meat ratio – everyone I served it to liked it like that. You could use up to 2 lbs of meat for the recipe.

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