Thursday, November 3, 2011

You Say Cold Front, I Say Pot Roast!

What's more comforting than a big pot of roast with veggies and gravy?  Yesterday a cold front hit and all I could think was "it's time for pot roast!"  This is basically my mom's pot roast that I grew up with, with the exception of the mushrooms.  I love mushrooms and will pretty much sneak them into any dish!  Here goes:

1 2-3lb chuck roast
4-6 T all-purpose flour
1t Paprika
1t dried Oregano
1T Black Pepper

Heat a large cast-iron skillet to high heat with 2-3T extra virgin olive oil.  Trim roast of any extra fat or connective tissue.  Mix flour and seasonings together in a bowl and rub all over the meat.  It's nice to have an extra helper to stir and sample the raw flour!  Add meat into skillet and cook several minutes on both sides (turning only once) to sear the meat and form a nice crust.  This will add extra flavor to the roast and the flour will help thicken the gravy.

While roast is searing, add liquids to the slow cooker:
2 C beef broth (or 1 packet concentrated beef stock w/ 2 C water...I had a coupon)
1 can Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup
1 bay leaf
Turn slow cooker on high so that liquids can start heating.  You don't want to add a hot roast to a cold soup.  And don't judge on the "well-loved" crust of my slow cooker, she and I have been though a lot together!

Now you are ready to introduce Mr. Roast to his hot tub.  Toss that guy in and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Then, turn the cooker to low and add the veggies:

1 medium onion, chopped
2 russet potatoes (I like to "roughly" peel these)
3-4 medium to large carrots

4-6 oz white mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh rosemary

I like to large chop the veggies so that there are big, recognizable pieces in the roast.  Cook with veggies on low for 4-5 hours or until everything is tender.  Then add 1 T cornstarch to a splash of water in a small bowl.  Stir to mix into a "slurry" and add to roast.  This will help the juices thicken into a nice gravy.  Cook for another minute or two then turn heat off and serve.  Mmm....hearty and delicious!

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