Before the advent of the slow cooker in the early 1970s, a mom's repertoire of fast suppers was usually somewhat limited. She could prepare delicious meals, but most required her to spend hours in a hot kitchen, watching over more than one pot or pan. Today's mom need not be so constrained. By using a slow cooker, a modern mom can provide a hearty, healthy meal -- and she doesn't even have to be home while it cooks. Many such dishes can be prepared using a slow cooker, including Hawaiian beef, or beef with pineapple.
Drain canned pineapple chunks and reserve juice. Combine brown sugar, soy or teriyaki sauce, vinegar and reserved juice; stir well and set aside. You may follow your favorite recipe for exact amounts.
Heat small amount of oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until all sides are evenly browned. Bottom or top round are excellent choices for this dish as tougher cuts of meat do better in a slow cooker. The additional cooking time makes the meat tender, as does the use of the pineapple juice.
Place the beef in the slow cooker, and add chopped vegetables. Carrots and onions are popular choices, as are bell peppers. If using bell peppers, do not add until later. Add the pineapple juice mixture -- but not the pineapple chunks -- to the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 hours on the low setting until the beef is tender. If you have less time to prepare the meal, cook on the high heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.
Combine cornstarch and small amount of water in a bowl. Stir until cornstarch is dissolved and pour over the beef mixture. Add pineapple chunks and bell peppers, if using, to the slow cooker. Stir to combine, cover and continue to cook until the sauce is thickened and the peppers are soft -- approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice for a satisfying meal.