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Crock It! Win Dinner


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It’s a new year and MyVeronaNJ.com has got something cooked up that will help you get off to a fresh start and get those hot meals on the table even on the busiest of days. Here’s the deal: We’ve got a Crock-Pot®, a Cook It! Verona cookbook, and a bottle of Fig Balsamic Vinegar to give away. Not sure what to do with all that? Well, here is a recipe to get you started, then we’ll tell you how the giveaway will work.

A few days after my interview with the owners of Olive That! And More, I went back into the store looking specifically for a balsamic vinegar to accompany my latest creation, which of course was already cooking. I knew that balsamic vinegar would sweeten over time while cooking, but I was looking for something that would compliment butternut squash and red onion, key ingredients in the dish. I set myself up at Olive That’s tasting bar and went to work. The winning balsamic was fig: Sweet and delicious, it added only a mild vinegar flavor to the meat while cooking (my kids didn’t even notice) but when drizzled over the finished product, added an incredible depth of flavor that just brought the dish together.

Slow Cooked Beef With Fig And Butternut Squash


2-3 lbs. hanger steak

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1″ cubes

1 large red onion, peeled and cut in quarters or sixths (see below)

1 can beef broth

1/2 cup fig balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

What’s Next:

Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown in a large pan or dutch oven with a little olive oil. Just 3-5 minutes per side.

Place beef in sloow cooker.

Saute red onion in pan from beef for just a few minutes so it absorbs some of the beef flavoring.

Add onion to slow cooker.

Add squash, broth and vinegar to slow cooker and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

When serving, drizzle a little fig balsamic vinegar over each plate.

Notes from my experience:

This was so very easy and so very delicious. I served it over tri-colored quinoa that I tossed with Olive That’s! Meyer Lemon olive oil, fresh rosemary and dried cranberries. It added both texture and diversity of flavor to the final dish.

Typically,  my primary goal when making dinner is to get it on the table before too many snacks are consumed and young appetites ruined, but I wanted more from this meal and was not disappointed. I served it to my kids without the additional fig balsamic vinegar and told them the butternut squash was carrots. They loved the meat, but alas, the squash was pushed off to the side. Their loss.

Now for the giveaway:

We have a Crock-Pot®, a Cook It! Verona cookbook, and a bottle of Fig Balsamic Vinegar wrapped up and waiting for one lucky commenter. Simply tell us, in the Comments box below, which of our Crock It! recipes is your favorite or which recipe you most want to add the fig balsamic vinegar to. (This link will take you to all our Crock It! recipes.)

On Friday, January 11, we’ll put the names of all commenters in a hat and pick a winner. Which means you have to comment, as always, with your real name and real email address.

Happy cooking!

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  1. The best part of cooking meat in the crock pot is that it is so tender and falls apart. The corned beef recipe was my favorite! I am looking forward to make it on St Patty’s day :-)

  2. The Tuscan Bean and Spinach Soup is FANTASTIC! Not only great for fiber and representing all the food groups; it’s filling and even my Grandchildren loved it!!

  3. These are all great recipes! My favorite is the Chicken Fiesta soup. I haven’t made it in so long, I think we’re overdue. So glad to hear of the recipes you all enjoy.

  4. Blueberry Butter sounds like a great idea for a sweet treat in the crock pot! Was looking to make something sweet instead of a savory dish and can’t wait for the aroma to fill the kitchen!

  5. definite favorite is the Tuscan bean and spinach soup. It is a snap to prepare and delicious to eat. Was also leary of the tomato paste but it gave the soup a nice consistency.

  6. I loved them all but the Tuscan bean and spinach soup was my favorite :easy, healthy and reminiscent of growing up.!

  7. All of the soup recipes sound fantastic. I have been meaning to get a crock pot AND visit Olive That and More… this has inspired me to do both now!

  8. Can’t wait to try your recommendation of the fig balsamic vinegar! My favorite recipe by far is the Three-Bean Chili. So easy and delicious!

  9. Citrus chicken is about to go into my crock-pot for dinner tonight. It’s particularly appealing because the ingredients are almost always at hand when I’m wondering what to make for dinner.

  10. I love your crock pot recipes. The beef with cranberry and ginger was very inspiring. This recipe Slow Cooked Beef with Figs and Butter Nut Squash combines some of favorite flavors. I can’t wait to try the fig Balaamic Vinegar.

  11. I LOVE the beef with fig balsamic! I actually have a bottle in my pantry and I have squash from my organic co-op. I have become a quinoa fanatic and cook with it all the time. I just saw this recipe today and I can’t wait to try it! I have yet to find a crock pot recipe that tastes like “real food” when it is done so I’m very excited. I was not aware of this wonderful local resource until now so I will be visiting the site more often in the future.

  12. I am such a boring cook – I only discovered figs and quinoa this past year! And the butternut squash always looks good but I have been too chicken to make it- but I think I can handle the preparation you lay out in this recipe. Looks yummy!

  13. Thank you everyone for your comments. It’s great to see that so many of you have been inspired to be adventurous in the kitchen and try this recipe. We’ll be picking our winner tomorrow, and don’t worry, there are still plenty more recipes coming.

  14. Headed to the market now for hanger steak & butternut squash! Can’t wait to put this in the crock pot this week!


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