Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pot Roast

To me, pot roast is just a cold-weather kind of meal. Growing up in Hawaii, I didn't eat a lot of pot roast. It's a bit jarring even to think about, honestly. But pot roast feels totally right when the weather is the way it was here in the Northwest when we ate this on Friday--grey and chilly. This particular recipe comes from the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, which contains about a bazillion pot-roast recipes that are all just about the same. (Don't get me wrong--it contains a lot of recipes for things other than pot roast. Like twenty-something baked-bean recipes, for example. But really, it's a useful cookbook. Wow. Not that you'll believe me after what I've just said about it.) Ahem. This particular pot-roast recipe does differ considerably from the typical one in that it calls for a lot more liquid--more like what you'd expect to see in a stew recipe. I figured I'd give it a shot. Not counting our CSA share, our beef, and what we had in our cabinets, I had to buy exactly zero ingredients to make this. And that always brings a smile to my face.

Chuck roast or pot roast (3-4 lbs.)
1 envelope of dry onion-soup mix
Potatoes, cubed (I used 3 large-ish ones)
Carrots, sliced (I used 4 large-ish ones)
3 c. water*
1 t. beef bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube)*
Granulated garlic, to taste*
Salt, to taste*
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste*

Sprinkle all sides of the roast with the onion-soup mix, patting/rubbing in the mix so it sticks to the meat. Put the roast in a slow cooker along with the potatoes and the carrots. (I used a 4-quart cooker for this, and it was absolutely filled to the brim.) Mix together the water, the bouillon, and  a little bit of granulated garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour this mixture over everything in the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. I always uncover and stir occasionally, despite the fact that some purists say this ruins everything.

*If you'd prefer, you could probably just use 3 c. of beef broth instead of these five ingredients.

This tasted like pot roast. It wasn't fancy, and it didn't have complex flavors . . . and that's just the way pot roast is. But it was tender, hearty, and filling. Annika had two servings and was miffed at being denied a third. Liam barely ate anything. Steve and I didn't eat until after the kids were in bed, and Steve came up with the brilliant idea of having our pot roast in open-faced sandwiches with homemade chipotle mayo (and the pot-roast veggies on the side). It was quite good that way. Here's a photo:

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