Two Easy Overnight Dishes: Crock Pot Onion Beef and Potato Stew and Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Caramelized-Onion Pot Roast and Potato Stew


    When I was looking for easy recipes for the winter, I came across several great crockpot recipes. What’s easier than throwing several ingredients in a slow cooker and leaving it overnight to cook? When I first tried this caramelized-onion roast dish, I discovered that it turned out to be a great mix between french onion soup and beef stew. I had planned to serve it with mashed potatoes but decided to add potatoes the pot instead. The following day, we added half a bag of frozen mixed vegetables to the leftovers with additional beef broth for a tasty beef vegetable soup.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:



        •       2-3 pound beef boneless chuck roast, excess fat trimmed

        •       1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

        •       1 teaspoon salt

        •       1/2 teaspoon pepper

        •       3 medium onions, sliced 

        •       4 medium new red potatoes, cut in quarters or eighths

        •       1 can (14.5 oz) fat-free, reduced-sodium beef broth 

        •       3/4 cup regular or nonalcoholic beer

        •       2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

        •       3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

        •       2 tablespoons cider vinegar



    Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place potatoes and onions in 3.5- to 6-quart slow cooker; place beef on onions. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over beef, onions, and potatoes. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until beef is tender. Use two forks to shred beef into smaller pieces. Skim fat from beef juice in cooker, if desired, and ladle stew into bowls. Serves 8-12.



        •       Stir after 6-8 hours to submerge beef and evenly mix juices.

        •       Omit potatoes from the crockpot recipe and serve beef and onions with a slotted spoon over mashed potatoes instead.

        •       Add 8-16 oz. of frozen, mixed vegetables (thawed) and extra beef broth to any leftovers the following day to create a beef vegetable soup.



    Pumpkin Cheesecake


    There is a restaurant near our house that serves a seasonal pumpkin cheesecake each fall which is sometimes a deciding factor in choosing where to eat out for our family in November. I wanted to see if I could create something similar at home, but with less fat, and was pleased with the result. I had never made cheesecake before and was surprised at how truly easy it was.



        •       1 package (8 oz.) reduced-fat Neufchatel cream cheese, softened

        •       3/4 cup sour cream

        •       1/2 cup canned pumpkin

        •       1/2 cup granulated sugar

        •       1/2 teaspoon vanilla

        •       1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

        •       2 large eggs, room temperature

  •     •       1 package (6 oz. or 9-in.) reduced-fat graham cracker pie crust

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:

        •       2 tablespoons sour cream

        •       1 tablespoon brown sugar

        •       dash cinnamon



    Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix cream cheese, 3/4 cup sour cream, pumpkin, granulated sugar, vanilla, and spices with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Pour into crust. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn oven off, crack open the door, and allow cheesecake to rest, about 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a rack. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Mix 2 tablespoons sour cream, brown sugar, and dash cinnamon; drizzle over chilled cheesecake. Serves 8.



        •       Cheesecake is done when the center is still jiggly (like jello) but not liquidy.

        •       Cool cheesecake completely before placing in refrigerator to avoid sogginess.


    Time-Saving Bonus Tip:

    You may be able to prepare both of these dishes at the same time. Begin with the Pumpkin Cheesecake and while it is baking, prepare the Onion Roast crockpot dish. By the time you are finished setting up the Onion Roast, it should be close to the time the cheesecake is done and you can turn off the oven.


    Check out my easy recipes for Green Bean Casserole and Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Grapes, Onions, and Sage on


    Lisa Emrich is author of the award-winning blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Follow Lisa on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Published On: November 14, 2014