It’s not clear to me how any dual-income family, kids or no, functions without a crock pot. Ours is simply indispensable, and used so frequently, especially in cold months, that it ought to have a coveted “counter spot” in our kitchen. If I actually had counter space, it would.
Sunday’s dinner was a classic — Pot Roast. Classic in the sense that a large hunk of inexpensive meat was cooked in a slow cooker for ~11 hours with onions, potatoes, and carrots. While this roast was a mainstay of my youth, I have made some distinct changes from my mother’s classic (I’m sure she’ll correct me on this if need be).
First, I used a chuck roast from Rockin’ J Cattle, here in Colorado. Rockin’ J is located near Craig, CO, and takes great pride in raising their cattle the old fashioned way. On the pasture. Eating nothing but grass. No injections of man-made chemicals. It may take a little longer for these beeves to get to slaughter weight because they are not fattened up with Iowa corn, but the weight is worth the wait, so to speak.
Next, I used an inexpensive Merlot as the crock-pot braising liquid. I’ve tried making this roast using only water. It was good, but not great. This wine-infused roast, on the other hand, was pure perfection. And the gravy from the wine and beef drippings (with a touch of added Windsor Dairy yogurt) paired with the Mile High biscuits, well, perfectly!
Finally, tonight’s pot roast was paired with a not-so-inexpensive bottle of ’86 Bordeaux (Chateau Pichon Longueville), which happened to also pair (perfectly) with the Chocolate Toffee Cookies I made for breakfast this morning (seriously). In fact, the pairing with these cookies was so fine that Junior declared, upon tasting a wee sip of diluted wine after a bite of cookie, “That is TOO good!” That’s our boy.
So, don’t delay. Get yourself a slow cooker, some beef, and some wine, and have a ball!
— Gadget Girl
Classic Pot Roast
1 Chuck roast, 2 1/2 – 3 pounds
1/4 c. flour
1 large onion, wedged
1-2 stalks of celery, cut in 1″ pieces
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
1-2 c. red wine
spices (I chose rosemary and thyme from the garden)
3-4 large carrots, cut in 1″ pieces
2-3 potatoes, cut in 1″ pieces
Season flour with pepper and dredge each side of the roast in the seasoned flour.
Brown all sides of the roast in a little Olive Oil, over medium-high heat
Place onions, celery, spices, and garlic under and around the roast in a small crock pot.
Pour enough wine to bring the liquid level to half way up the roast.
Cook on low for about 8 hours.
Add potatoes and carrots under and around the roast and cook for 2-3 more hours.
A tip from Rockin J – use a meat thermometer to be sure that your roast reaches an internal temperature of over 210 F for at least an hour before serving. This ensures that all of the connective tissue in the roast is broken down, leaving a beautifully tender piece of meat.
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