Crockpot Pot Roast

Fabulous Crockpot Pot Roast

Fabulous Crockpot Pot Roast

Super easy, super flavorful they said.  It was all over Pinterest, and everyone was raving about it.  I just couldn’t let something that sounded so good go by without giving it a try.

So I made it…..as a test.   Think of me as a scientific investigator.   I do all the work of testing out a recipe by making it, eating it, then telling all of you how wonderful it was (or not).   See, I do that, just for YOU.

Today,  I’m here to tell you it was Fabulous!!!!  But there is reason to be cautious.  This recipe uses only four ingredients, plus 1/2 cup water.  Three of those ingredients are pre-packaged mixes for Brown Gravy, Ranch Dressing, and Italian Salad Dressing.   I’m sure you know as well as I, that these mixes can contain a whole lot of Sodium, and sometimes, MSG. (Mine were labeled as having no MSG.)   There may be some slight variation among the many brands available, but here’s what mine contained:   Ranch Dressing mix==110mg,  Brown Gravy mix==240mg, and the biggest culprit of all, Italian Salad Dressing mix==320mg.

There’s no way I would ever put that much salt on a piece of meat I am cooking, so let’s get real, and try to fix the problem.  Reasoning that flavorful gravy is what we’re after, not salad dressing, I used the whole package of Brown Gravy mix, but I used only half of each of the dressing mixes.   The resulting gravy was full of flavor, and about right in terms of saltiness.  I think it is the best gravy I ever made.

IMG_9234

I served egg noodles with the pot roast and we spooned the gravy over the noodles.  Therefore I used only a tad of salt in the cooking water for the noodles.  Likewise, if served over mashed potatoes, use very minimal salt in the water to cook the potatoes.

IMG_9235

It is great to find a recipe this easy to make.  All it requires is a 2-3 pound pot roast that can be with or without the bone, like a chuck, or round roast;  the three packages of mixes and water.  I simply mixed the three mixes together in a small bowl, seared the roast in a large skillet to brown it on both sides, then put it in the crockpot.  Next I sprinkled the seasoning mixture over the beef, then poured on the 1/2 cup water.  Set it and forget it, as the saying goes. It couldn’t be easier.  You really don’t need a recipe to make this, but in case you need to see it written as a step-by-step procedure, here it is….

CROCKPOT  POT ROAST

Three packaged mixes plus the beef roast.

Three packaged mixes plus the beef roast.

Yield:   depends on size of roast,  probably 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • beef pot roast, such as chuck, top or bottom round ( 2.5 – 3 pounds)
  • 1 packet  Brown Gravy Mix
  • 1 packet Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Directions:

1`.  In a hot skillet, place the beef and sear well on both sides.  Transfer to crock pot.

Sear well on both sides.

Sear well on both sides.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the three mixes, using only half the Ranch and Italian mixes.  (save them for next time, and you’ll only need to buy the gravy mix.)

3.  Sprinkle over the pot roast in the crock pot.   Pour the water over all.

Sprinkle on seasonings, pour water over all.

Sprinkle on seasonings, pour water over all.

4.  Set on LOW, and cook for 8-9 hours.

You can thicken the gravy, if you prefer it that way.

Serve the beef with gravy and mashed potatoes or noodles for a real treat.

IMG_9236

SOURCE:   Pinterest

 

 

French Dip Sandwiches

Once you’ve eaten your fill of the pot roast what do you do with the leftovers?  Reheating the meat in its juices can be boring, but if you use the leftovers and transform them into this tasty French dip sandwich, you may wish you had more for a second time around.

French Dip Sandwiches

French Dip Sandwiches

I made these sandwiches just recently and with the addition of some chips or salad they become a complete meal.  Just layer thinly sliced roast beef or pot roast with grilled onions and cheese into buttered sub rolls, broil, and you’ve got a satisfying quick meal.  The most important element here is the jus, which is used to moisten the beef and is served with the sandwich for dipping.

FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES

Yield:  Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1  tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced then
  • 4  (6-inch) sub rolls
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups thinly sliced leftover pot roast or roast beef
  • 1 cup jus, heated in a small saucepan
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, cut in half (Swiss cheese works here, too)

Directions:

1.  Position oven rack 6 inches below heating element and preheat the broiler.  Heat oil in small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 7 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, slice rolls in half lengthwise and spread interior of both sides with butter.  Place on baking sheet, butter sides up, and broil until golden, 1 to 3 minutes.  Remove top half of each roll.

Layer thinly sliced beef on toasted sub rolls.

Layer thinly sliced beef on toasted sub rolls.

3.  Using tongs, dip beef slices into hot jus and place about 4 slices beef on bottom half of each roll.

Spoon onions over beef…….

Spoon grilled onions over beef.

Spoon grilled onions over beef.

arrange provolone on top…..

Top with sliced provolone.

Top with sliced provolone.

Broil until cheese has melted.  Set top half of each roll in place and serve with extra jus for dipping.

So sorry folks, but just at this point when I wanted to take a photo of this gorgeous sandwich to tempt you, my camera became ornery, and wouldn’t take the picture.   Dang!!     Guess you will need to use your imagination here.  😦

SOURCE:   Cook’s Country

Autumn Pot Roast

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to cook pot roast.  I use my slow-cooker and start it in the morning.  When the weather is chilly, I am comforted by the aroma coming from my kitchen, especially if I have been out all day.   A home cooked meal without a lot of fuss.

Autumn Pot Roast

Autumn Pot Roast

AUTUMN POT ROAST

Yield:   Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)IMG_5583
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch  pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (14.5oz.) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or additional reduced-sodium beef broth

Directions:

1.  Sprinkle roast with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.   In a large skillet heat olive oil.  Add beef and brown well on all sides. Remove from skillet to a platter.

2.  In same skillet, add onions, and other vegetables.  Sauté lightly just to get them browned.  Transfer to the bottom of the slow cooker.  In the same skillet, pour in about 1/2 cup beef broth.  Heat and scrape up any browned bits from the pan.  Pour into the slow cooker.

3.  Place meat on top of vegetables.   Combine remaining beef broth with the red wine, dried thyme, bay leaf, minced garlic and remaining salt and pepper.  Pour over meat and vegetables.

4.  Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.  Skim off fat.  Discard bay leaves.  If desired, thicken cooking juices, or serve along side meat and vegetables as “au jus”.

Mashed potatoes served with this meal make this about the most comforting “comfort” food that I know of.  The meat will be falling-apart tender, and the vegetables are tender with a deep rich flavor from the beef broth and wine jus.

IMG_5584

SOURCE:    TASTE OF HOME

Slow Cooker Blade Steaks

Slow cooker blade steaks served with noodles and acorn squash.

Today was one of those days when I am very glad that I have a slow-cooker. Busy, Busy, Busy!  But I was still able to put an attractive and very tasty meal together and my husband and I really enjoyed it. The only time I spent on it was to saute the onions before putting everything in the crock pot early in the morning, and as the saying goes “set it and forget it”.

This recipe was originally  written using a pot roast which I often do make, but today I used blade steaks instead and got an extremely tender and flavorful result. You will note that the recipe calls for adding carrots and potato to the slow cooker with the meat, but for today I cooked some wide egg noodles to go with it.  The recipe produces a good quantity of gravy and so its good to have some thing that will go with the gravy like mashed potatoes or noodles.

To produce a successful meat in the slow cooker you need something to give lots of flavor;  in this case sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and garlic. You will also be using less liquid than oven or stovetop versions, but the moisture in the slow-cooker  plus meat juices will contribute to the gravy.

SLOW COOKER BLADE STEAKS

SERVINGS:   6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 6-8 blade steaks, about 2 pounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fat-free, less sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped, drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

DIRECTIONS

1.  To prepare meat: sprinkle steaks evenly with salt and pepper.

2.  Spray the interior of the cooker insert with non-stick spray.  Place the meat in the cooker.

Blade steaks in the slow cooker insert.

3.  In a skillet, add olive oil, then onion and sauté 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add the broth and next ingredients through bay leaves.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the broth mixture to the slow cooker.  If using vegetables, arrange them around the meat.  Cover and cook 2 hours on HIGH, reduce heat to LOW and cook 4 hours more. Or start on LOW and cook 6-8 hours.

4.  To serve, remove bay leaves and discard,  serve with the gravy.

Blade Steaks with gravy , noodles and stuffed acorn squash.

SOURCE:  adapted from a recipe from  Cooking Light