4.09.2007

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Who would have thought that the beverage we're most likely to have in our fridge would be an ingredient in such a delicious meal?

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.

Ingredients:
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.

4 comments:

mrs.burke said...

Congratulations on hosting your first family holiday meal. I did that for the first time this year myself- Thanksgiving. The meal went off fine, but I was a mess because of the stressful circumstances unrelated to hosting dinner!

Onion soup mix and ... anything.. makes good pot roast. Cream of anything soup, cranberry sauce, ketchup, beer, whatever. You could probably even use water.

BBQ-ish Meatballs: Grape jelly + chili sauce in the crock pot. Strange but true!

Do you have the giant oval crock pot? We use ours all the time for the two of us, but it's the round one, not the giant oval one.

I had never heard that the CP was supposed to be at least half full. It seems to me that it would matter much less if you were making something with more liquid, like soup or chili. I *have* burned meat in there before when it was less than half full.

Joanna said...

I was hesitant about the onion soup mix, because, well, I don't like onions, but it turned out great.

The grape jelly+chili sauce is a bizarre one... I wonder who first tried it, to come up with it?

And, yes, we have a GIANT oval crockpot. We registered for a smaller one, and then Josh's brother & sister-in-law decided we needed a bigger one and got us the one we have, with a big, oval, removable bowl. Kinda like this one, but white, and with a digital display. It's great when we're feeding 5+ adults.

mrs.burke said...

About this onion aversion... for a long time I always said I didn't like onions, either. But for me the key was just not to have big chunks of onion- the flavor they lend to food (as long as they're not the ONLY OVERPOWERING FLAVOR) is a cook's best friend. Do you guys not eat anything with onions, normally, or do the onions just have to be "hidden?"

Now I really like onions, which happened magically at some point in adulthood.. kind of like when I suddenly out of the blue started liking green peppers, which I had always deplored in the past.

My dad gets migraines from eating anything in the allium family & I find it really challenging to cook for him!

Joanna said...

I don't like a very strong onion flavor, but, say, spaghetti sauce with onions in it doesn't bother me. I don't like a green pepper flavor, either- but last summer, when you had from-the-garden green peppers, I took a couple, chopped them up & froze them, and have used them a few times in cooking since. Onions I don't use in cooking because I don't keep them around, basically. I wouldn't be averse to sneaking them into things, to get used to them. Josh tolerates them more than I do- he'll eat onion rings, for example, while I can taste if french fries were fried in the same oil as the onion rings at a restaurant.

I'll probably get over it someday.

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