For all of the FanBoy love that seems to be sent to the Slow Cooker, it’s my least favorite way to produce a meal. Flavors tend to muddy, its hard to develop layers of flavor, and this culinary contraption seems to render a thinking cook obsolete: dump it in and turn it on.
Meat seems to be the best use, especially when you introduce beer into the mix. Both a low and slow cooking method and the alcohol in beer are meat tenderizers giving you a great final product. I can concede that it’s convenient for those of you who don’t prefer to spend all day in the kitchen babying a sauce or teasing a sour dough starter back to life, I tend to favor the high maintenance meals.
Given my skepticism of a Slow Cooker meal, I was thrilled with how this came out. I made it twice, once with a stout with about 4% ABV (Alcohol By Volume, it should be listed on the label of your beer) and the second time with a porter with 9% ABV. Because it’s the alcohol in the beer that gives it it’s tenderizing power, the higher ABV did the best job. Look for a beer that packs a punch, and you’ll have a fantastic crowd pleasing meal that takes only about five minutes of active time. I’ll just have to satisfy my need for involved cooking tasks with homemade beer slider buns.