April 23, 2010

Slow food

meat counter selection As the granddaughter of a butcher, I’ve always eaten meat. I am not squeamish about cooking it either, but I do have a few stand-by methods and I rarely stray from them. My favorite meat to cook is roast (beef) because I throw that sucker in the Crock Pot and all the work is done for me. I love coming home to the smell of dinner and all I have to do is put it on a plate. I rarely attempt long, detailed recipes and usually like to fix dishes with 5 or fewer ingredients.

My roast recipe isn't really a recipe at all. Sort of just a method. All you really need is the meat and a liquid. I skip potatoes/ carrots because of the starch factor but you can use them if you choose. Step 1: Scour your grocer's meat counter for discounted cuts of meat. I usually look for a beef rump or shoulder, but you can do eye-of-round or shank as well. You don't have to buy discounted meat, but I'm a bargain shopper so this is what I do. Step 2: Take it home, carve off some of the fat, and toss it in your slow cooker. Step 3: The fun part...my standard liquid is balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. I like the Kroger brand, but you can use whatever you like. Other dressings that will work: Italian, red wine vinegar, olive oil and vinegar...Anything that is oil based. I just pour in enough to where the meat is half covered by liquid, but not submerged or anything. Step 4: Turn on the slow cooker and let it sit. The low setting is preferable because the meat will be more tender that way, and about 6 or so hours is plenty of time for it to cook, give or take an hour.

fully-cooked-pot-roast   {not my roast, but a good facsimile}

When I made roast for dinner last night, I used this exact method (i.e. 1 roast, some balsamic dressing and nothing else). When I made it last week (I told you it was my standard go-to), I used 1 roast, balsamic dressing and a jar of roasted red peppers. The red pepper brine cut some of the oil of the dressing and it was good, too. While this method is not earth-shattering by any means, it is practically no fail. With all the other things that take our attention during the day, isn’t it nice to have something that can sort of tend to itself?

Any other slow cooker cooks out there? Hellooooo? Have a wonderful weekend everybody!