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10 Essentials for Crock-Pot Recipes

Make the Most of a Tough Situation
The tough meats need some love, too.
The tough meats need some love, too.

One of the reasons people call home cooking comfort food is because it's so satisfying to eat. What makes a slice of roast beef or bowl of stew so fulfilling is due, in part, to the connective tissue in tougher cuts of meat. Cuts, like chuck, have lots of connective tissue and loads of flavor. In fact, a good rule of thumb is that mature and less marbled meats have more flavor than the cuts you're probably used to buying. Once you tenderize them with a few hours of low heat, and melt the connective tissue to a syrupy consistency that will add great texture to any sauce, you'll have a meal fit for a Sunday at grandma's house.

Taking advantage of these tougher cuts is a great way to save money on food. The advantage is all in the preparation. A piece of meat that you'd never consider throwing on the grill will make a great meal in a slow cooker.