Friday, October 8, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook - Slow Cooker Pot Roast

My friend Susan Yenser, who has repeatedly claimed things like, "Yes please help me out...I can't cook! Lol!" recently bought a slow-cooker, and has, as you can see, asked for help. (I don't know if I should mention that her boyfriend has also asked for my help in teaching Sue how to cook? No, probably shouldn't go there...) Since I like to help, I am planning on posting at least one slow-cooker recipe per month for the foreseeable future, beginning with the basic pot roast.

The pot roast is really both the crown jewel of the slow cooker and the first dish that should be mastered. I doubt that there is anything that lends itself to the slow cooker better than a pot roast. We will also be making a nice onion gravy to go on top.

Our ingredients are:
1 Roast (I used a 3-pound bottom round roast)
1 large Onion
2 cups Low-sodium beef broth
Black pepper to taste
And not pictured...
2+2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour (4 tablespoons total)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic

Chop your onion and cover the bottom of the slow cooker with chopped onion.

Next, we need to brown our roast. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your cast iron skillet. With a paper towel, pat the roast dry, then coat it with all-purpose flour and shake off the excess. Add some black pepper, and brown the roast well -- 2 to 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat.

Place the roast on top of the onions in the slow cooker. Add the two cups of beef broth and the two tablespoons of minced garlic...

...And cook for 8 hours on low. Make sure you eat a good breakfast, because the smells in your house will be torture, otherwise!

And whatever you do, don't remove the lid during cooking! After 8 hours, you roast still needs to rest before carving. Remove the roast from the slow cooker, set it on a rack over a pan to catch the drippings, and cover with an aluminum foil "tent" and let rest for 15-20 minutes...

Which gives us time to make our gravy.

First, we need to make a light roux. In your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of flour while stirring constantly until the flour is fully incorporated into the melted butter. Continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it just starts to darken.

Then add all the cooking liquid (and the onions!) from the slow cooker and bring to a low boil. reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now it is time to slice your roast. You will want to use a sharp knife, and carve thick slices, since a pot roast is always pretty soft, and often just wants to fall apart on its own!

Top slices of roast with the gravy and serve with Oven-Roasted Potatoes and Onions. Serves 4. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

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