Saturday, December 28, 2013
Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooker Pot Roast
in november mindy and i met up with some friends for a pre-thanksgiving pot roast. i hadn't had pot roast in forever, and they made one good enough that it got me craving some more. pot roast relates so well to the winter months, using easy-to-store root veggies and herbs that can survive late into the growing season. i came to the conclusion that pot roast is the perfect thanksgiving meal. the earthy heartiness of the dish meets the first snow with a warmth that turkey cannot match. and for a time of year when no one has the time to cook, the slow cooker is a life saver.
my mom was sick the weekend before christmas this year, so mindy and i offered to do what we could to help out. we arrived a day early, whipped together this pot roast in the morning, and stewed it all day in the slow cooker for christmas eve dinner. then we went about the rest of the day helping to prep all of the ingredients for christmas. it is a bit of an absurd undertaking and i can't believe my mom insists on making it her own personal mission every year, but this year, i'm happy that she allowed us to help out. it made me feel like pot roast makes me feel: warm and full.
2 lb bottom round
2 onions, halved and studded with whole cloves
5 big carrots, chopped into 2-inch pieces
5 potatoes, quartered
3 leeks, only the white parts
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 celery stalks
a bunch of mushrooms
a bunch of radishes, turnips of whatever other root veggie
2 tbsp bouquet garni
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup wine (red or white)
1 cup water
1 cup tomato juice
heat the oil in a pan. sear meat, browning on all sides, then add it to the crock pot.
sear the onion, celery, leeks, and garlic in the same pan. all you want is some brown on the surfaces. add them to the crock pot.
deglaze the pan with some wine, scraping off all the good crusty brown things stuck on the bottom. pour the liquid into the crock pot.
throw in the other veggies.
make a herb packet for the bouquet garni with a tea bag or cheese cloth.
add balsamic vinegar, wine, water, and tomato juice until the meat and veggies are mostly covered.
turn the crock pot on low and cook for 8 hours. by then your house will have a great herby-meaty-hearty smell and you're ready to eat!