Is it decadent to eat pot roast in the middle of the week? Perhaps if you are a roast-on-Sunday purist, sort of like me, then roast in the middle of the week might seem a bit sacrilegious. If it’s cooked in a crock-pot does it become more acceptable to have it midweek?
I used to make a roast almost every Sunday for years. I would pop it into the oven before Church and then come home to the most wonderful smell. The odor would have filtered its way into the garage and as we would get out of the car we would all start getting so excited about what awaited us inside the house. While the roast finished cooking, I would make some No-Knead Dinner Rolls and a salad to complete our meal.
I miss those pot roast Sundays and sitting here writing this post I am not really sure why they stopped — maybe because my family grew up and sometimes it would just be John and me for Sunday dinner. I had been used to making a rather large meal; some of us liked a lot of meat and others of us loved lots of carrots, onions, and/or potatoes. For some mysterious reason, the carrots were an all around favorite. It was common for me to use 15-20 carrots for just the five of us and not have more than a few pieces for left overs the next day.
Roast and slow cookers were kind of made for each other. Slow cooking allows for a tougher cut of meat to become fall apart tender, it frees the oven for other uses, and it makes dinner while the cook’s away! Oooooo…making dinner while the cook’s away…how delectable.
There are a few key elements to having a tasty, successful slow cooker roast:
- Brown the meat prior to putting it in the slow cooker. Browning enriches the flavor of the meat and infuses the resultant cooking liquid in the slow cooker.
- Put the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker with the meat on top. This serves as a sort of ‘rack’ and holds the meat up out of the greater portion of the cooking liquid. Additionally, the onions add lots of flavor to the juices which becomes the GRAVY! Laaaaaaaaa!!!!!!
- Add only a small amount of cooking liquid. The meat, onions, and vegetables will give up their own juices to add to the cooking liquid.
- I know that there are a lot of people who are extremely averse to canned cream soups. I contend that canned cream soups have their place in American family cooking. I feel sorry for these soups because they are being treated as if they belong in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. However, if you want a really tasty, very easy gravy, cook the roast with 2 cans of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup and a packet of onion soup mix. This mixture thickens the juices and makes a delicious gravy. I use the low fat/low sodium versions of Campbell’s® brand soup. I am not promoting Campbell’s® brand, just merely stating that it is my soup of preference.
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