Almost Beef Carbonnade in Crockpot

When I wake up, there are a hundred things running through my head.  At the top of that list lately has been knitting.  All I want to do is knit!  It seems that all I have time to do in the mornings are chores . . in the house . . outside the house.  There’s not much I can do to come up with extra time in the morning but I’m still determined to cook in the crockpot and have it taste really good. We aren’t much into “mediocre” when it comes to our food.  I can easily fix things that are edible enough but I’ve just never had much luck fixing things in the crockpot that we taste and say “Wow!  This is good!”  Yes, convenient, not much mess, but never outstanding food from the crockpot.  I am not giving up!

I had a package of “mystery” beef out for dinner tonight.  I have no clue what it is.  It’s in a FoodSaver bag so that means I probably bought it in a big package and what is written on it simply says “Use the pressure cooker!” which tells me it’s tough . . though handling it, it didn’t seem like it would be tough.  The plan was to cook it in the pressure cooker, make gravy and serve over rice.  That idea just didn’t thrill me and I thought of putting it in the crockpot.  Beef, a can of mushroom soup . . I could get by with that.  But I wanted more.

I’ll have to tell you later how this turns out but so far, it’s looking and smelling pretty darned good.  It does involve messing up a pan, in addition to the crockpot.  I’m calling this “Almost Beef Carbonnade”.  There’s no real recipe for what I did but I’ll recap it here.  Change it up as you like, add different spices or other ingredients.  That’s what makes cooking fun!

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Start by dredging the meat in seasoned flour and browning it (somewhat) in a bit of oil.

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Two onions were sliced, a couple of cloves of garlic were chopped, and sauteed in the oil remaining in the pan where the beef was browned.

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

There are a few tomatoes still on a couple of the remaining vines in the garden so I quartered some of those and added them.  I left out photographing a step but I browned 5 slices of bacon in the same pot I had been  using and added the bacon to the crockpot.

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Into the grease that was in the pan, and there was probably about 1 – 2 tablespoons, I added oil and spices – about 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs, and a bit more than 1 teaspoon of dried basil and oregano, along with about 1 teaspoon of black pepper.  I cooked, stirring until the flour was browned.

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

One tablespoon of “Better than Boullon” beef base to about 3 cups of water.  Next I found a bottle of wine that was open and added it.

Almost Beef Colonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

A little wine makes everything better and the sooner it gets used . . that’s one less thing in this house!

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

All of that made a yummy looking gravy!

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Almost Beef Carbonnade

Four sliced carrots were added, and I sprinkled some of the dried pepper mix that I made from the sweet peppers in the garden.

I added a little salt but will adjust the seasonings once it’s almost finished cooking.

If this doesn’t end up being a “WOW” dish in the crockpot, I’m giving up on the crockpot!



Tonight, I will fry eggplant, bake crusty bread, get out a jar of salad and boil some noodles  .. I should be able to knit til just a few minutes before dinner time.





  1. 1

    Did you ever try the Rotisserie Chicken in the crock pot?? This is one close to one I’ve used in the past . Everyone that has tried this has really liked it!

  2. 3

    Should have added that your Almost Beef Carbonnade sounds AWESOME!

  3. 4

    that looks good! can’t wait to hear how it turns out. I’ve never had much luck with a crock pot, except for vegetable beef soup in the winter.

  4. 5

    I too would like to find good recipes for the crock pot. Love one pan meals but the crock pot has let me down. Have to give it a try again. Maybe that will give me more Dreambird time.

  5. 6

    I’ve got a pot of “Leftover Dump Soup” cooking. I need to clear out a little space in the freezer so all the containers get emptied into a pot of stock… could be a little bit of this that or the other… once it all thaws and cooks a bit I might add some more veggies and see what it needs for seasonings. I’ve never had a pot of Dump Soup that wasn’t yummy! I’ll use at least half the pot for dinner tonight and lunches over the weekend the rest will be frozen in lunch size servings for my husband to take to work.

    • 7

      I always keep a “dump bucket” in a freezer. Whatever is leftover that doesn’t have enough to save for another meal goes in there – green beans, corn, peas, carrots, kale chips .. you name it. It makes the best soup because everything was already seasoned when it went in. I always serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches and it’s something we both look forward to having. Enjoy yours!

      • 8
        Diana in RR , TX says:

        I did that a lot when we lived in MN. Made great vegatable soup which I don’t like but Galen does. I love all the stuff that goes into it but not together.

  6. 9

    Your concoction sounds like it will be tasty, mostly because of how you spiced it, also using wine in crock meals turn out well (for me). I don’t have a lot of recipes I use but there are 3 I love.
    1. MY recipe for stuffed cabbage.
    2. Mexican pinto beans and chicken with peppers in Adobe sauce.
    3. A western rib recipe from a crockpot cookbook called “Tropical Ribs” (or something like that)

  7. 10

    How did it turn out???

    I use my crockpot often but am sometimes disappointed in the results; which has led to a down select of the meals I will do in it which leads to lack of variety which leads to a dusty crock pot! With cooler weather and busy boys schedules quickly approaching I’m looking for some great recipes to try and this sounds fabulous!

  8. 11

    after a lot of false starts with my crockpot, i found that almost everything that needed browning normally would need browning here as well. it wasn’t the easy, peasy way that i expected to cook, but it made a big difference and it still freed me from the kitchen in the long run.

    • 12

      I think you’re right. I like having dinner ready on time in the crockpot since the afternoons are when I’m usually outside working and am about out of energy when it’s time to cook dinner.