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Slow-cooking with the Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce results a rich, savory sauce that you can thicken either by adding a teaspoon of tapioca to the crock pot along with all the other ingredients, or by ladling out a cup of liquid from the crock pot (before adding the peas) and then whisking the hot liquid with a tablespoon of cornstarch until completely dissolved and then stirring this back into the crock pot for the final hour of cooking with the peas. Or, you can do what I did and serve the stew over rice without further thickening the sauce.
Any kind of stew meat, cut into chunks or large cubes, will work in this recipe--I used venison shoulder meat this time--and you can also use beef flank steak. Whatever you use, be sure to brown the meat first for the richest, meatiest flavor. I browned the venison in a combination of olive oil and bacon fat, using my large cast-iron skillet.
The following recipe served over rice should serve 4 as a main course--or feed two very hungry people.
1 lb stew meat, cut into chunks or large cubes
Oil for browning meat (approx. 1 1/2 Tbs)
6 to 8 small red potatoes (approx 3/4 lb)
1 small onion, sliced
2 carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bottle Colonel Mustard's Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
1 cup frozen peas (not thawed!)
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet and brown the meat on all sides. Remove meat from skillet, then add onions and saute until softened and starting to turn golden. Remove pan from heat.
Place potatoes, carrots and onions (including some of the pan drippings) in the bottom of the crock pot or slow cooker. Add meat, then pour in the entire bottle of sauce. Set crock pot on high (or auto hi-low for slower, longer cooking) and slow-cook for a total of approximately 5 to 6 hours, checking & stirring after 3 hours. **Note: You can probably set this on low and cook for about 8 or 9 hours, but I haven't tried that yet.** The goal is to cook until the meat is completely tender and pulls apart easily with a fork, and the tang of the mustard sauce has mellowed.
With about 1 hour left to go (e.g., at the 4 or 5 hour mark if cooking on high or high/low), stir in the frozen peas. This is also the time to thicken the sauce using the cornstarch method described above, if desired. Cook for at least 1 additional hour or until the meat is fork-tender and the sauce has a mellow, not sharp, tang. Serve in bowls, preferably over cooked rice.
PS: Looking for other mustard barbecue sauces? Browse our BBQ Sauce page where you'll find a couple, including Ole Ray's Classic Gold BBQ Sauce.