This recipe comes from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, which has some interesting recipes in it. I turn to it from time to time, but it seems like there are a lot of ingredients that are not typical pantry fare, so I don't end up trying the recipes. Then I forget what ingredient it was that I needed, or what recipe the ingredient I picked up was for, and so I still don't try the recipes. I think my system needs some fine-tuning.
Anyway, I got a couple roasts out the other day, when we thought we might be having company for dinner. Good thing I didn't cook the roasts, because they didn't show up! It did give me some time to look for a new recipe to try.
Number One isn't a fan of roast, so I'm hoping this is a good one. He says they are "too dry" but maybe this one will be different...The cider vinegar is interesting; I'm eager to see how it turns out. I'm typing this up and publishing before I know the results...I will update after the roast is done and dinner is served!
Oh, and I always spray my slow cooker insert with PAM Cooking Spray before I put the ingredients in there--it helps to prevent that stubborn, stuck-on stuff that's so hard to clean.
After Dinner Update: The pot roast has a nice flavor, it cooked just over 6 hours. I think it could have cooked longer (the potatoes were not quite as mushy as I like), but Number One disagrees. He said this roast wasn't too dry, but he thought if it cooked longer, it would have been. Who knows.
I can tell you: that weird little beurre manie? While it sounds like a nice idea for making gravy, it just didn't do a darn thing for mine. I started out turning the crock pot on HIGH as directed, whisking away, but after 10 or 15 minutes of Nothing Happening, I gave up and dumped everything into a saucepan. On high heat. Still nothing (or not enough for me to call it gravy).
I had plated the roast and vegetables and stuck it in a 200 degree F oven to keep warm--thank goodness. Finally, Number One asked if he could take the meat out and serve the boys. Of course. I tried longer to make the gravy, I really did, whisking in front of the stove while everyone else ate and I knew my portion of dinner was getting cold. I whipped up another mixture of butter and flour, whisked it in, the gravy boiling away (hoping for a bit of reduction).
Still not enough to call it gravy. I gave up. I poured some into a bowl, and as you can see it is just thin thin thin. I am disappointed in the gravy ordeal, which normally isn't a problem for me. But, thankfully my dinner wasn't quite cold, and the gravy was flavorful if not thick.
I'd make this again. I'll just plan an extra hour for the gravy-making time.
Lazy Day Braised Pot Roast
This is lazy because there's no browning, no fussing. Just load up the cooker and later in the day thicken the flavorful juices collected in the crock. This recipe has much more liquid than the others, and that is the basis for your gravy. The meat stays moist and tender, just the way we like our pot roast. It is just as good the next day.
Serves 6 to 8
Cooker: Medium oval or large round or oval
Setting and cook time: LOW for 6 to 8 hours
One 4-pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible and blotted dry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large carrots, cut into 3-inch lengths (I peeled mine)
4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Put the roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Add the carrots, potatoes, onion and bay leaves. Pour the water and vinegar over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
2. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a heated platter and cover with aluminum foil. Turn the cooker to HIGH. You will have about 3 full cups of liquid. In a small bowl, mash together the butter with the flour to make a beurre manie (using a fork or small food processor, mash or pulse together until the mixture becomes a semi-firm mass). Add to the hot liquid in the cooker and stir with a whisk until melted and the liquid thickens. Ladle some gravy over the meat and vegetables and serve the remainder in a bowl.