Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bible Lesson #10: Sunday Dinner Staples... Fall-Apart Pot Roast

Of all of my many skills and talents, domesticity is not my strongest form. With that said, cooking is the exception to the domestic skills that I actually value and love to do. I am not what you would call a feminist, but I am very progressive in my thinking and don't appreciate mentalities that men are superior or the 'stronger' species. The often common ideal in my surrounding society, men are the bread winners and decision makers with women staying home with the children as the homemakers. That is still a concept that I am struggling with and probably why I'm still not married (but that's ok with me!).  Equality and respect are very high on my expectations among and between the sexes. HOWEVER... I allow a sliver of room for one exception to my myriad of progressive thinking... Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is by far one of my favorite movies. It's a very popular and common occurrence at mine and my roommate's apartment to be watched. My girlfriends and I often discuss how ridiculous the concept is of men kidnapping their 'sobbin women' and 'brides', and expecting them to be grateful for now conveniently having a husband, but that if that were to happen to us, we wouldn't necessarily complain. (Don't ask me why, but girls can just be a little crazy like that...) But just saying, if a mountain man came around singing to me "Bless your beautiful hide", I'd hop into that wagon freely of my own accord, seven brothers or not. Plus, Millie's cooking in the show always inspires me to get back to my roots and down-home cooking.

Anyway, getting back on track, growing up Sunday dinners were (still are) the meal of the week. My mother would wake up early on Sunday morning before church to start preparing dinner. If roasts were involved, I would usually wake up with the aroma of their juicy goodness wafting through the house having simmered in a crock pot all night.

Now living on my own, it's difficult to get into the Sunday Dinner mood with only myself  to cook for, especially never being a huge fan of pot roast.  However, whenever friends are in town, I whip out the ole Crock Pot and simmer me up juicy, mouth-watering, fall apart pot roast with some potatoes and gravy to keep them coming back. After some experimenting, I have discovered my niche for cooking the best pot roast I've eaten, if I do say so myself. So please enjoy and let the Crock do all the hard work!

* I use these particular steps and ingredients because it makes the BEST gravy afterwards. If you don't care about that, just the broth and wine work great too - a very sophisticated flavor. I love to serve this with mashed potatoes to go with the delicious gravy, homemade or Rhodes frozen rolls, and a good veggie. very traditional, but why mess with what works? And don't forget the dessert! (coming in part 2)

Pot Roast:
1 around 3 lb. Roast
Salt & Pepper

1 can beef broth
1-1 1/2 C red wine

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 packet Brown Gravy Mix

-Pat the chuck roast with a paper towel, then coat it in salt & pepper. Heat a skillet pan or dutch oven pan over high heat for  about 1 minute with some olive oil.  Sear each side of roast for 2-3 minutes, browning on each side. A nice deep brown sears looks delightful. When all sides are browned, add red wine and beef broth to crock pot and then roast.
Tip: Wrap aluminum foil on bottom side of lid, it helps seal it on the crock pot.

Cook on LOW heat 5-6 hours. (I usually do right before I go to bed).

Remove roast from pot, set on a plate. Drain broth and wine EXCEPT for about 1-1 1/2 cup (depending on size of roast). Mix in the soups, gravy mix, and onion soup mix. Once mixed, add roast back into mixture. I like to spread a litte on top of roast before putting lid back on. Keep on lowest crock pot setting for additional 4-6 hours. (I do this step when right when I wake up, and then roast is ready when I get home from church).

When ready to prepare and eat, remove roast. It will be falling apart, so do it sections. Use a whisk to loosen the gravy mixture and drippings. If too thick - I add water to desired consistency.  This is by far my favorite gravy - I just eat it by it self!

Important things I've learned with the roast:
-Searing locks in the juices
-Longer time, lower heat = more tender meat
-Moisture is Very important, so make sure there's plenty in the pot
-DON'T lift the lid! It may be tempting because it will smell Delicious! But don't do it!
-It's your roast - personalize it to your own liking. This is my favorite way and ingredients - don't be scared to mix it up and try whatever sounds good.

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