Personally, I have not had much success using ground beef in a slow cooker. Usually, the texture has been a little on the soft, mushy side and not to my liking. However, I have found that if you brown the ground beef to extra well-done, it seems to maintain a more appetizing texture through the slow cooking process. Raw hamburger doesn’t work at all – it ends up far too soft with an unappealing raw color.
Once, thinking it was round steak, I added a pound of frozen hamburger to the slow cooker. When I got home, I had this pink, shredded, ground beef mush. It was the worst slow-cooked meal ever. It was so bad that the dogs wouldn’t even touch it.
I have had several requests lately for slow-cooking recipes that include ground beef. In spite of my past experience, I thought I would experiment with some recipes and started with my Grandma’s Cabbage Casserole. This is a simple 3-step meal that is easy and inexpensive. Surprisingly, it worked! The casserole turned out delicious, and my family loved it.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4-6 sliced potatoes, rinsed
- 1/2 diced onion
- 1/2 head sliced cabbage (more if needed)
Brown the beef until it is well done with salt and pepper. Add soup and soy sauce. Mix well. Layer half the mixture on the bottom of slow cooker. Layer the sliced potatoes, onion and cabbage. Top with the remaining beef mixture. Slow cook on low 6- 8 hours. Serve with a salad and a vegetable of your choice. It's good old-fashioned comfort food!