phynedyning

A classic roast prepared in a classic cooker

In Recipies on January 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm
A Classic! (Rival)

A Classic! (Rival)

We have a terrible hoarding problem at my house. It’s a consequence of good fortune, our ability to take care of our things, and the success of our marriage that we still have almost all of our original wedding gifts.

One of those gifts was a classic Rival Crock-Pot in (Eeewwww!) ‘harvest gold’.

Until it became a classic (old enough not to be gauche), it always lived in our pantry or in a cupboard. Today, it sits proudly on display in my kitchen.

It seemed appropriate that I would use it to make our most recent, celebratory anniversary supper.

After dutifully excluding friends who are vegan or vegetarian (they understood being dropped from the ‘A’ list), I invited some folks over to share in some classic comfort food…

…a slow-cooked pot roast with vegetables.

First, some crock-pot vital information:

One of the touted advantages to slow cookery is that you can ‘set it and go about your day’.  Don’t do it. First, there’s the risk of fire. Second, there’s the risk of the pot going dry. Third, if the power goes off for a few hours and comes back on, you have created an excellent bacterial incubator.

Burning down the house, drying out $30 worth of food, or spending the rest of the evening worshipping at the ‘Most High Porcelain Altar’ are not among my favored leisure activities. So, a little caution goes a long way with slow cooking.

Another bit of vital information is to always brown meats on the stovetop before slow cooking them. Gray is not a normal meat color, unless one is eating of classic maritime (think US Navy) chow. (NOTE: Always pat meats dry before browning. Any surface moisture will just turn to steam, giving you the undesired gray hue.) And, turn the browning meat with tongs. A fork will allow juices to drain…contributing to dried out roasts later.

Finally, (except for the hunk of meat) try to select foods that are roughly the same size. Doing so will ensure that they are evenly cooked. A small carrot will turn to mush before a gianormous potato gets done.

You’ll need:

 3 lb lean chuck roast

½ large onion, in ¾” thick slices

6 large carrots, peeled

6 small potatoes, peeled

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 Roma tomatoes, small dice

6 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 TBS Dijon mustard

2 TBS Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

4 TBS salted butter

½ C white wine

2-3 TBS olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Trim any excess fat from the roast and pat it dry. Season with a little salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides.

Place the onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker, creating a small platform. Lay three rosemary sprigs on top with half of the garlic. Gently fit the browned roast on top of the platform. Carefully fit the potatoes and carrots around the meat. Lay the remaining rosemary and garlic on top.

In a medium bowl, mix the tomatoes, mustard, and Worcestershire. Pour on top of the other ingredients in the cooker. Re-heat the skillet the meat was browned in and deglaze it with the wine. Allow the deglazing mixture to cool a bit and then pout it into the slow cooker. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cover, and cook on ‘low’ for 8-10 hours.

Remove the roast from the cooker and onto a serving platter when done and tent it with aluminum foil. Use slotted spatulas or large, slotted spoons to do so. The meat will be very tender and will tend to fall to bits if roughly handled. Remove the vegetables to a warmed platter and keep warm in the oven.

Pour the liquid from the crock cooker through a strainer and into a large skillet. This part can be a two-man operation. Re-heat the liquid over medium heat. Whisk in the butter until it forms a creamy emulsion. If desired, a few tablespoons of instant potatoes can be used to thicken the sauce/gravy.

Carve the roast into 1-inch thick slices. Serve with the vegetables and with the gravy served in an accompanying ‘boat’.

This is a true, American classic.

Enjoy!

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