How many times have you cooked a meal in the crock pot and someone doesn't like all the ingredients. My kids did not all like the same thing. Someone liked carrots and someone else did not. One of our favorite meals was what we called a hobo meal. It is simply a meal in a pouch. Each person creates their meal the way they like it. The only problem is it takes a while to cook in the oven or on the grill. So it just did not work for dinner during the week. Now you can do that with your crock pot.
Step 1: Ingredients
Start with your favorite ingredients or what you have in the fridge and freezer. I am using hamburger, carrots, potatoes and onions. You can also make this with chicken or pork and most vegetables that go with the meat. For four servings I use:
1 lb hamburger (4 patties)
salt, pepper and garlic powder
Step 2: Prepare Your Vegetables
I peeled the potatoes and sliced them long way. About 4 pieces per potato. I peeled the carrots and cut them into pieces. About a inch or two long and if the pieces are big cut once long way. Peel the onion and slice into 4 slices. This is also good with mushrooms and peppers, I just did not have any today.
Step 3: Aluminum Foil
Now that you have your meat and veggies ready. You will need four large pieces of aluminum foil. I cut each piece about 20 inches long but it really depends on what you are putting in the foil. You want to make sure it is big enough to cover all you ingredients and seal good at the top.
Step 4: Making the Meal
Next you will put each of the vegetables in the foil. This is where each person gets to customize their meal. The kids will like making their own so let them help. You will need to season each piece as you go. I usually start with the potato and then add the meat and other vegetables. If you are not using meat or have a meat that does not have any fat (chicken breast) then spray the foil with a little oil so it does not stick. If I am not using meat or a meat with little fat I add 2 tablespoons of water to each pouch. This will help the vegetables cook. If you have extra vegetables just make a pouch of vegetables. Don't forget to add a little oil in the bottom and 2 tablespoons of water. This is also great if someone is a vegetarian because you can create one without meat.
Step 5: Seal the Meal
Now that you have everything in your meal you can roll it up and crimp the top so it is sealed. Seal all the meals and put them in the crock pot. Keep the crimped part on the top and lay them in the crock pot. It is ok if you have to mask it down some. Add a cup of water to the crock pot. It is ok that it is around the bottom pieces. They are sealed good in the foil.
Step 6: Let It Cook
Cover the crock pot and set it on low if you are going to leave it all day. I turned mine on at 7:30 am and left it until 6:30 pm. If you want to cook it on high I would only cook about 5 hours. Make sure you have the lid on good and do not open until you are ready to eat. The water in the bottom creates steam that helps cook the meal.
Step 7: Let's Eat
Take the meals out and open carefully. They are really hot. I usually pour mine in a strainer (one at a time) because there are juices in the bottom that you may not want in your plate. Now you have a unique meal for each person. With just the meat and vegetables they like. Have fun and try different meats and vegetables. Also it is a really easy clean up.