Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This is the first recipe from my new crockpot, and I loved it! The 4-qt capacity is perfect for the 2 of us, and I love the programmable option. I prepped the meat by seasoning and then searing it, and then dumped everything into the slow cooker before work. By the time the DB got home, it was piping hot and ready to eat.




The meat was fork-tender and so flavorful- I don't like beef but I even liked it. The sauce was a little thin, but still had a delicious taste. Next time, I will either place the sauce on the stovetop, make a cornstarch slurry and thicken it, or use a tip I learned- Turn the slow cooker on HIGH for the last 30 minutes, uncovered. Another idea would be to either omit the water and use red wine or beef stock to "boost" the flavor to another level. Heck, even a dash of Worcestershire sauce would be a great flavor-booster as well.




The veggies were soft and tender... any veggies you like could have been added to this dish and it turn out lovely. Don't forget the "gravy" at the end- I made a cornstarch slurry and thickened it up. This recipe is so easy, you can't mess it up! I altered the recipe since it was just the 2 of us, and my edits are included. (I'm also attaching some Slow Cooker Tips at the bottom of this post for some helpful info.)

Ingredients:
5-1/2 pounds pot roast (Used 2-lb roast)
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Flour
Olive oil
Carrots, cut up
Potatoes, cut up
Onions, cut up
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (Used 1 can)
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1-1/4 cups water (Used 2/3 cup water)

Directions:
1. Trim excess fat from your roast. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Evenly coat with flour.
2. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat, and add oil.
3. Quickly sear the roast until a nice crust forms on both sides of the roast. (Don't skip this step- I think this is what made it taste fantastic!)
4. Add chopped vegetables to the bottom of your slow cooker (hardy veggies take longer to cook than meat, so place them on the bottom.)
5. Place pot roast (on top of the vegetables).
6. Mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place over meat in the slow cooker.
7. Cook on High setting for 3-4 hours, or on Low setting for 8-10 hours.

Source: Adapted from All Recipes

Slow Cooker tips
Slow Cooker Liners- If you use your slow cooker, these are going to be your new best friend! No more soaking for hours and then scrubbing until your knuckles are red and abused. Simply place it in your slow cooker and cook as you normally would. If I run out of these, I either run out and purchase some more, or no slow cooking going on until I get some more.
• Foods cooked on the bottom of the slow cooker cook faster.
• You can thicken the juices and concentrate flavors by removing the lid and cooking on HIGH for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
• Use cheaper cuts of meat- not only will it save you money, but these meats work better in your slow cooker.
Vegetables- Believe or not, hardy vegetables (carrots, potatoes, turnip, etc.) cook more slowly than meat. Place these veggies on the bottom of your slow cooker (and place meat on top.) Add tender veggies (peas) and strongly-flavored veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, greens) in the last 15-60 minutes.
No peeking!- Every time you “peek” (aka, lift off the lid), you extend the cooking time an extra 30 minutes.

Source: Lesley’s Recipe Archive

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