I don't know what I was thinking last week when I volunteered to host my family for Easter dinner. I had talked to my mom early in the week, and she had said they would probably go out for 'dinner' (the proper Southern term for a Sunday after-church afternoon meal is 'dinner', not to be confused with 'supper, the evening meal.) on Easter. They just sold their house and are waiting for the new one they're building to be done, and, in the meantime, are roughing it in a small one-bedroom apartment not suited to cooking a proper holiday meal. We're also in a one-bedroom apartment, but it's much bigger, and has a much better kitchen, so, something ambitious got into me, and I said I'd fix Easter dinner for my parents.
This was the first holiday dinner I've hosted (hostess-ed?), ever. The catch: Because it was Easter lunch, this complicated the preparation time, since we would have about an hour between when church lets out and when my parents were supposed to show up. Taking that constraint into consideration, here's what I did:
The main dish was beef pot roast, cooked in the slow cooker. Bottom round roast was on sale for $2.19 a pound at Kroger, as cheap as ground beef! I got a 2.5 pound piece, knowing that we'd have leftovers.
1 2.5 lb roast
2 tablespoons oil
1 can Coca-Cola
Dry onion soup mix
1 C baby carrots
1 C potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Heat oil in large frying pan. Brown roast on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.
- Place carrots and potatoes on the bottom of a large slow cooker (other vegetables can be used. These are needed so that the roast doesn't sit directly on the bottom of the slow cooker- basically they're there to prop up the meat. If you don't want vegetables, a few balls of foil can be used.)
- Place roast in slow cooker on top of the vegetables. Pour Coke and soup mix over roast. Cook on High 5-6 hours.
This resulted in a very tasty, falling-apart-tender roast. Along with the vegetables in the slow cooker, I served it with green beans and mashed potatoes. I got the slow cooker started at 7:30 am, and got home from church between 12:30 and 1. My parents showed up right on time, at 1:30, and the roast was done as they came in!
When cooking for two, it is often impractical to use the crockpot for our meals- we have a very large slow cooker, and for any crockpot to cook properly, it needs to be at least half-full. When we have company, cooking with it really does take some hecticness out of the meal preparations, so we keep it around. Someday, when we have a family of more than two, it will get more use.