You know that absorbant pad that goes under the meat in the package? Kinda like a meat diaper? Well someone who shall remain nameless accidentally put it in the crock pot with our beef and it cooked in there all day. GROSS. What's even grosser? We totally ate the meat (after I removed the pad, of course).
In our defense, it was completely intact and didn't look melted at all. And according to the all-knowing Google (and the USDA): "The absorbent pad is clearly not intended to be cooked; however, if this happens and the packaging materials remain unaltered (that is, do not melt or come apart), the cooked meat will not pose an imminent health hazard. If the packaging materials have melted or changed shape in some other way, do not use the product."
No imminent health hazard? What a ringing endorsement--consider me sold! The bargain hunter in me just didn't have the heart to throw the entire dinner away, especially since it smelled SO good. We'll just chalk it up to a lesson learned, and cross our fingers we don't get sick!
Here's the really easy, super yummy recipe, in case you're wondering:
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Hours
1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (16 ounce) jar pepperoncini
1. Make small cuts in roast, and insert garlic slices in cuts. Place roast in the slow cooker, and pour the entire contents of the jar of pepperoncini, including liquid, over meat.
2. Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
3. Serve on hoagie rolls with provolone or mozzarella cheese (put under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese and toast the bun).
I actually substitute mild banana pepper rings instead of the pepperoncini because the boys won't eat anything spicy. Makes great leftovers!