Sunday, March 24, 2013

Comfort Food Sunday!

Sunday evening...cold, lazy day...perfect for a big meal out of the crock pot!  It took me a long time to be able to make a really great pot roast, but I have it down now.  The smell of it bubbling away in the crock pot all day is enough to drive you crazy, and it is so simple and delicious!

The Cast:
A big ole slab of meat
A couple of onions
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup wine
3 or 4 carrots

First, you want to generously salt and pepper your big ole slab of meat.  Then, put in a pan with a little bit of oil and get it nice and brown over medium-high heat.  You want it to be really good and brown - that adds such good flavor!

While the meat is browning, chop up your onions.  I usually use 2 medium-size onions, and cut them into 8th.  Also peel a few cloves of garlic, but keep them whole.

Scatter the onion and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot, and pour in 1/2 cup of wine.  (It doesn't seem like much liquid, but trust me...the meat and veggies will give off a TON, and it will end up being moist and delicous!  I promise!!)

After the meat has browned, set it on top of the onion in the crock pot, slap the lid on, and turn that baby on high.

Peel your carrots and cut them into nice chunky, bite-sized pieces.  Set these aside - we don't want to put them in yet, or else they will turn into carrot mush.  (Your Pampered Chef Mini Batter Bowl is perfect for the job!  lol)

After about 3 hours on high, grab yourself a towel and sop up some of the drool caused by the lovely scent emanating from your kitchen, and check on your pot roast.  At this point, mine was ready for the carrots, so I threw them in and turned the crock pot down to low.

Let it go on low for about 3 more hours...if you can hold out that long!!

This pot roast is perfect served with fresh loaf of homemade herb bread.  Cuz EVERYTHING is perfect served with a fresh loaf of homemade herb bread!

It's also good with mashed potatoes.  Or bread AND mashed potatoes.  I very rarely double-starch a dinner, but this one is perfect for it.

Here's a quick tip from my kitchen!

Those onion and carrot ends and peels?  Don't throw them away!

I have two big bags I keep in my freezer - one with chicken scraps and bones, and one with veggie scraps.

Every few weeks or so, I use these scraps to make a huge batch of chicken stock, which I freeze in 1 cup portions - MUCH better than pre-made stock or packaged bouillon, and when you do it this way, it's costs nothing to make!

All you need to do is throw both bags in a big pot, add some spices if you'd like (I usually throw in a bay leaf and a handful of whole peppercorns), cover it with water by a couple of inches, and put it on a low burner.  The longer you cook it, the better - I usually do it on laundry day, when I know I'll be home all day and can let it go for a few hours!  When it's done, just strain and portion it, and it is ready to go!

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