Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lettuce Wraps.

I lied when I said I was putting away my slow cooker for the season.  Despite the warmer weather, I can't seem to part with that miracle kitchen appliance just yet.  My cravings for heavy stews and chilis have gone away with the cold, wintery weather but my desire for easy, delicious dinners has not.  So last week when I was using Chef Google to help figure out what to make for dinner, a search of slow-cooked stew beef recipes brought up a dish I just couldn't resist making.  The original recipe was for a beef rice bowl but, since I was in the mood for lighter fare, I thought of a better way to eat that slow-cooked deliciousness.  Lettuce wraps!  Here's how to make them.

Slow Cooker Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps with Apple Slaw:
  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 1/4 cup corn starch 
  • 2 tbs sesame oil (or substitute olive oil... I just like the sesame flavor)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tbs molasses
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (fresh or dried)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 apple, julienned
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 tbs mayo (I prefer homemade!)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Lettuce pieces, washed (choose a sturdy variety!)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  1. In a large bowl and working in small batches, lightly coat the beef with corn starch and place into the slow cooker.  
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, water, honey, molasses, ginger, and garlic.  Pour over the beef and set to cook on low for five to six hours, or until the meat is tender and breaks apart easily with a fork.  
  3. Thirty minutes or so before serving, put the julienned apple, carrot, and cucumber into a bowl with the mayo, apple cider vinegar, and a few cranks of freshly ground pepper and then mix to coat (DO NOT salt until ready to serve or your slaw will turn into a floppy mess).
  4. Right before serving, flatten a piece of lettuce onto a plate and place a few forkfuls of meat in the center, top with the apple slaw mixture (don't forget to salt it!) and a sliver or two of avocado and get ready to make another.  You will devour that first one in a hot second.
According to Lee's taste buds, this slow-cooked beef has dethroned the Cuban pork shoulder as the best meal to ever come out of my crock pot.  And with all the crock-potted meals I've fed him over the last few months, you should trust him.  He really is an expert.

Apple Slaw. // A lettuce wrap sans avocado. Not nearly as tasty.


  1. ^ for real real. Those look crazy delicious. What a good idea to use a slow cooker for lettuce wrap filling too! I never ever use mine, but our cooktop has been out of commission for a month now and this would be the perfect way to break it out!

  2. Whoa. This looks amazing. Anything with soy sauce AND molasses has to be good! Thanks for another great recipe idea, Briana!

  3. Great pictures of your food creations. Delicious!

  4. Thanks for the suggestion! I made this last night and it was fantastic! We didn't make the slaw (ran out of apples) but simply put on a bed of rice and romaine lettuce, topped with garden tomatoes. Huge hit! Only downside - there weren't any leftovers!


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