JeffreyW plates up a good-looking Pot Roast Dinner
I love to cook in my pressure cooker – rice, beans, soups – they all get their start in my pressure cooker. But my favorite thing to do is that quick dinner that tastes like it’s been in the slow cooker all day, even though I completely forgot to even take the meat out to thaw.
My usual meal is to add about 1 cup of water to the pan, add a bunch of spices and herbs to the water, put the tray in and then layer halved potatoes, FROZEN skinless chicken breast or thighs (boneless or not, doesn’t change cooking time much), throw a couple of halved carrots on top and pressurize. Twenty minutes later, dinner is ready. The spices and herbs in the water infuse everything with flavor. It’s not as complex as roasted chicken, but for a quick dinner, it’s great.
Today I was wandering through the freezer, reorganizing to make room for holiday stuff and counting my bags of cranberries – which I stockpile in case there is a great cranberry shortage in the future. I pulled out a nice chuck roast I bought on sale a few weeks ago, half of which I used for the beef stew last week, half I tucked away for a nice pot roast dinner. I thought it would be nice to make tomorrow. Then I decided I wanted it today.
So I pulled out the pressure cooker. This would be a first, starting with a frozen roast. It was either going to work or I was going to end up with one tough piece of beef. But I wouldn’t know if I didn’t give it try. (I do these things so you don’t have to).
I put the roast on the tray, poured a little bourbon over it (since it worked so well with the beef stew) added water, bay leaf, salt, pepper, onion, halved potatoes and carrots. I pressurized it for 55 minutes. I was guessing at the time because I wasn’t sure with it frozen how much extra time I should add.
At the 55 minute mark, I turned off the heat and let it depressurize slowly (instead of cold bath method). When I opened it, the beef was perfect. Again, the flavor was not as complex as if I had been able to brown it ahead of time. But it was tender and moist.
The carrots and potatoes were good, although if I did it again, I would probably add them at the twenty or thirty minute mark and re-pressurize for another twenty minutes.
So I’ll mark this down as a win and know that if I need a quick dinner, I can put pot roast on the list of recipes that will go from frozen to dinner in an hour.
I asked JeffreyW to send me some ideas for comfort foods and he included this photo. Yum.
I hope everyone had a good holiday. Now it’s time for the Christmas rush. But before I start with those recipes, I thought we’d revisit comfort foods. When things get crazy busy, I fall back on easy comfort foods: soups, mac-n’cheese, slow-cooker meals.
What sparked this idea was a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese Bacon Cups. No, seriously, someone thought of putting macaroni and cheese into cups made of bacon and baking it in the oven. If you’re daring and want to try your hand at it, JeffreyW has the recipe for Bacon Cups here and two Macaroni and Cheese recipes are here and here.
The photo above is easy to recreate (JeffreyW recommends frozen shoestring fries), but he has a recipe for even more elaborate Chile Cheese Fries, click here for recipe and mouth-watering photos.
When cold weather hits and my schedule is full, I want Spicy Potato Soup and Biscuits, recipes here.
Starting next week, I’ll move into holiday recipes, both for the meals and gift giving. For the animal lovers, there is a Bixby update here, but be forewarned when you click through, HE. HAS. GROWN. Although he doesn’t seem to realize it.
What’s on your menu for the weekend? How is the holiday shopping coming along?
Tonight’s feature recipe is very simple and quick to put together.
Slow-Cooker Tangy Roast Beef w/Potatoes & Carrots
- 2 to 3 lbs boneless chuck roast
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, quartered
- 4 red potatoes, halved
- 4 carrots, peeled & quartered
In order, place items in Slow-Cooker. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually 8-10 hours on low). Couldn’t be simpler. But if you don’t want tangy, just substitute a good red wine for a richer flavor. If you have time, it’s worth it to brown your roast on all sides before tossing in the slow-cooker. Lightly flour all sides, heat oil in a skillet and brown quickly. I usually use tongs and brown the sides as well.
That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll tackle holiday treats for gift giving or to take to parties. – TaMara
New puppy or not, gotta eat. Chuck roasts were on sale this week, so I bought a five pound one, cut in half and marinated one half and froze the other. I threw the corn in the slow-cooker during the last 15 minutes an it was perfectly steamed.
Recipe is here: Tangy Pot Roast
Mrs J grabbed a big roast at the store the other day and we went with the crockpot to cook it. She was wanting a basic pot roast supper and that is what she got. I did tweak the menu a tad and made her mash her own potatoes but she didn’t mind. The roast nearly filled the crockpot but I squeezed in carrots, onions, and celery and filled the rest of the space with beef broth and red wine. I didn’t have any fresh herbs so dried thyme and bay leaves went in for seasonings, along with black pepper and salt, natch.There was still plenty of meat and gravy left so I added a few more veggies and broth for the next day’s stew. I still have a fair sized lump of beef, I may slice it for sammiches before the day is out. Speaking of that, it may reach above 70 degrees here today, which should melt the last traces of snow. Just in time for more snow tomorrow! Ahhhh!
Haven’t done one of these in a while. Brown a nice piece of beef in a big pot, then add broth to just about cover and toss in onions and garlic with bay leaves and other dried herbs that suit your taste. Rosemary and thyme work for me. These can simmer covered on the stove top or cook in a 350 oven for a few hours. Toss in the veggies during the last 45 minutes or hour so that they aren’t terribly overcooked. Tastes will vary. I take everything out but the liquids and add a slurry of corn starch to make gravy. Use a paper towel or two to sop grease off the top if there is too much. That will depend on the cut of beef.I tossed in some whole button mushrooms with the carrots and potatoes but they are optional. Hot rolls would be the bread standard for this dish but we had some fresh white bread to use up so I made garlic toast out of a heel. Mrs J made a salad, a beautiful salad that was good for us, with feta cheese and olives. She said. LOL
I enjoyed the gravy from the braised oxtails we had the other day so much that tonight’s beef was cooked in the same manner. I browned the meat in the Dutch oven and then laid it across the roughly chopped veggies. Today I have carrots, leeks, turnips, and celery for the bed.A few sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaves, and a generous grind of black pepper and a sprinkle of kosher salt and it is ready for the wine reduction I had going on the other burner. Boil a bottle of red wine in a sauce pan until it is reduced by half and pour it over the meat, adding beef broth to just cover. Put on the lid and cook in a 350 oven for a couple of hours. Strain out and discard the solids and further reduce the gravy on the stovetop while your potatoes are boiling and the carrots and sprouts are roasting.I added two cloves of finely minced garlic to the cooked potatoes and then mashed them with butter and sour cream. Toss a couple of those nice cloverleaf rolls that you have leftover onto the oven rack while it’s still hot and pretty soon you will have a pretty dinner to call the clan to.A nice rare beef roast has a lot to recommend it but I’ll take one of these fork tender pot roasts any day.
I added a lot of liquid to the Dutch oven I cooked the beef in, used the lid and wasn’t worried about overcooking it. I should have worried. We got to fooling around outside and before I knew it the kitchen had taken on a charred beef smell. Great aroma from a charcoal grill, perhaps. From a pot roast in the oven? Not so much.Then again, that’s why they invented gravy, isn’t that right?