When it comes to blogging, lately I’m like a bad boyfriend. I swear, this time I abandoned you for good reason: I was sick. Sick sick sick. Miserably sick, for more than a week. And when I finally emerged from the crypt, so much work had piled up I feared I might never dig out.
Between the being-sick and the digging-out, cooking fell pretty low on my priority list. It took two household appliances to save my sorry butt: The freezer and the slow cooker. My freezer’s wonders, I extolled at my Weight Watchers blog. Now let’s talk slow cooker.
While I was still too weak to do much more than sit with an IV drip of takeout chicken noodle soup, Stephen helped me toss together a batch of Overnight Chicken Soup—we wound up saving beaucoup bucks, since I didn’t order in again after that. And once I was back on my still-wobbly feet, I came up with the recipe I’m about to share with you.
Friends, you are going to want to make this. It’s practically the easiest pot roast ever. All you do is toss some vegetables in the base of the slow cooker—I went heavy on the onions for this—put the meat on top, and pour in a mix of red wine, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Can you say, “umami”? No browning meat, no pre-cooking vegetables. The effort-to-payoff ratio is off the charts. For approximately ten minutes of work, you get rich-tasting, no-knife-needed meat plus vegetables so soft you can feed them to your toothless granny, and a sauce that’s admittedly thin, but so flavorful you won’t notice.
By dinnertime I was a little steadier on my feet so I roasted some potatoes to go with, but you could also serve it atop their mashed cousins, or noodles, or rice. If you’re like me, you’ve probably got one of those in the freezer right now…
As for Harry, well, he ate one chunk of roasted potato, some bread, and some fruit (both of which I serve with every meal). Not a speck of pot roast passed between his discerning lips. At this point, that’s par for the course.
Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast
The thinner you cut your vegetables, the softer they’ll be. If you’d like a little bite in yours, cut into one-inch chunks.
3 ribs celery, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
3 large onions, sliced thin, divided
3-pound chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
salt & pepper
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- Put the celery, carrots, and half the onions in the slow cooker insert. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper and place on top, then cover with the remaining onions.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a four-cup measuring cup, then pour over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or HIGH for 4-5 hours. Remove the meat and vegetables, and skim the fat off the liquid that remains.
NOTE: If you’d like a thicker sauce, transfer those juices to a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Make a slurry with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of water, then stir it in. Let it simmer for a minute or two, until the sauce thickens.
MAKE BABY FOOD: This dish has alcohol in it, but it cooks for so long that there should be virtually none left. As always, it’s your call. If you’re game (and I was, with Harry), the vegetables will be so soft you can mash them with a fork, and the meat will puree easily.