It was like two brains (or more accurately our stomachs!) that were thinking alike last week. My cooking-partner in crime Cristina over at Central Jersey Working Moms posted on her Facebook fan page some crock post recipes she found on Real Simple magazine that she was itching to try. On that very same day I was trying out this crock pot recipe for pot roast…..and the two of us decided to bring back our Thursday Crock Pot Buddies Recipe Hop for the winter season!
Over the next two months, we’ll each bring you a different crock pot recipe that we’ve prepared and tried out on our own families. Sometimes they are our own creations (like the one I have for you today) and other times what we’ve found from a cookbook, magazine or even grandma’s recipe box!
This week I’m sharing my recipe for Easy Peasy Perfect Pot Roast.
Anytime I’m cooking a big hunk of meat, I tend to get a little intimidated. Add on top of that a tougher cut of beef, and now I start to worry about it coming out tender and flavorful. The key here is to searing the meat first. The high heat used to sear the meat caramelizes and locks in both the sugars and proteins within the meat, resulting in a deep flavor. Then you braise the meat for several hours in a broth/liquid that will keep it moist while it cooks through. The result is meat that practically melts apart with the touch of a fork.
It all starts with the cut of beef you choose. When you are at the grocery store you should look for a chuck roast or even a beef brisket. These cuts come from the more exercised areas of the cow and contain more connective tissue than fat, automatically making them a tough cut of meat. Take your time though and look for pieces that have a good meat-to-fat ratio. As your meat cooks, it will shrink, but make sure that you pick a size of meat that will fit your slow cooker!
I call this recipe Easy Peasy Perfect Pot Roast because all do is sear your meat, pour in your braising liquids and toss in your veggies and spices and then let this pot roast do its thing. Seriously, that’s it! It’s totally fool-proof and a meal that you could serve at a big family gathering or pot luck dinner.
To make things even easier, I seared the meat the night before in my amazing Cuisinart Multicooker and after it cooled, stored the cooking insert in the fridge. One less pot to clean! I also tossed all my veggies, spices and liquids in a Tupperware container and stored that also in the fridge so The Hubs could just pour it all in over the meat the next morning before he left for work (he leaves later than I do) and set the cooker to low for eight hours and cook.
Easy Peasy Perfect Pot Roast
Prep time: 20-25 minutes, including meat searing
Slow Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours on low
3 to 4 pound boneless beef roast (chuck, bottom round or even beef brisket)
1 1/2 tbsp Better than Bouillon – beef flavor
8 ox can of stewed tomatoes with the liquid
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion – cubed
2 garlic cloves – cut into 4 wedges
1 package of fresh Mushrooms, caps only cut in half (I used Baby Bellas, but use your fav)
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1/4 tsp dried Parsley
1/4 tsp dried Oregano
1/4 tsp dried Rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp dried Thyme
Red pepper flakes (optional, The Hubs likes things spicy)
- Season meat well with salt & pepper
- In multifunctional slow cooker, Dutch oven or heavy bottom frying pan, sear the meat, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Chop the onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms into chunks.
- Gather your braising liquid into a bowl or large measuring cup, including following beef bouillon directions and add the stewed tomato liquids. Place the stewed tomatoes with the cut vegetables.
- Once the meat is seared turn multifunctional cooker to slow cook or remove from Dutch oven/frying pan and add to crock pot, add the vegetables, pour in the liquid and add the spices.
- Stir and cover, cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, depending upon meat size.
I served this over some steamed brown rice. The next night, I had the leftovers with some wide egg noodles.
There’s also lots of variations you could do to this recipe. Take vegetables, if you don’t like mushrooms you could instead add peppers, celery and/or small potatoes. Also, for the cooking liquid, you could get real creative and use soda, red wine or even tomato juice. You can thicken up your sauce by dissolving cornstarch or flour in water and add by stirring in to your desired consistency.
With just a little bit of planning and preparation there’s always time for a home cooked meal! Make sure that you check out my “Crock Pot Buddy” Cristina over at centraljerseyworkingmoms.com to see what she cooked up this week as well.
But before you hop on over there, don’t forget to link up your yummy grilling recipe below! If there is a type of specific kind of grilling recipe you’d like for me to try, leave a comment below and I’ll do it!
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