Monday, May 13, 2013

Pot Roast Perfection

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my crock-pot!

There...I said it.  I mean it, too.  There is nothing better than doing a little prep work and tossing things into the pot in the morning and then returning home to a delicious smelling house and a crock-pot full of ready-to-eat goodness.  Some days, I pull out one of my million crock pot cookbooks. Others I just throw things into a pot and hope for the best.  One thing I can always count on being wonderful is a roast.  It seems like you can throw just about anything into a crock-pot with a decent roast and come out with an amazing meal.  

For this pot roast you will need the following:
1 - 3-4 pound beef roast (this was chuck roast on sale for $3.49 per pound)
5-6 whole carrots
2-3 stalks celery
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 Tbsp Rosemary Herb Mix Seasoning (I had this from Pampered could just as easily use a pinch each of rosemary and thyme or whatever herbs you prefer)
1-2 c beef or chicken broth (I'm easy like that)
2 Tbsp flour or 1 Tbsp corn starch(optional)

First things first....bust out the crock pot!

Yours doesn't HAVE to be camouflage like mine, but I am convinced that it makes the food taste better!

I recommend using crock pot liners...they make life so much easier.  You just drop the liner in, cook inside of it, and when you are done you just remove the bag and wipe out the condensation from your crock pot instead of scrubbing.

Now that your crock-pot is all set up and ready to roll, you will need to start with your veggies.  Wash, peel, and cut your carrots.

Tip...instead of making cute, short little ch ch ch cuts I recommend using long fluid motion to peel.  It may not sound as cute, but it makes for less of a mess, less waste, and prettier carrots.

I just blew your mind with the upside down carrots, right?

Now if you are like me...when you get your 5 or 6 carrots out, there will be something like this left in your bag of carrots.

At this point, you have two options.....wash, peel, and eat....or wash, cut, peel and throw in the crock-pot.  I LOVE carrots with my roast, so I prepped them for the pot.

Make sure you remove the tops and the tippiest little ends of the carrots.  Now, I know these are not cut with the most perfect knife cuts in the world.  What would a good old fashioned pot roast be without some good rustic cut carrots?  Don't let perfectionism spoil this for you...have fun with it!

Now, you will start prepping your celery.  Give it a good wash and begin by removing the very bottom portion.

It will leave you with a cute little piece that looks like a flower....I'm saving mine for a project, so you'll see this little guy again.  If you aren't doing the project though, you can toss this piece.
Isn't he cute?!?!

Ok, enough of that!  Go ahead and continue cutting up your celery in slices as thick or thin as you like.  I cut all of my celery to save some for another recipe.

Put the portion of celery you plan to save for later into the fridge in a bowl with a lid or saran wrap.

Now, if you are like me, take a moment to remove the blueberry muffins from the oven....what? You didn't know you had muffins in the oven? It's ok if you don't.  We can't all be multi-taskers.

Toss your carrots and celery into your crock-pot.  How did I not get a picture of that?!?!  Anyway....

Now place your meat down directly on top of the vegetables.  Mmm...look at that cut of meat...this is gonna be great.

Sprinkle onto the meat your herb seasoning mix and your onion soup mix.

Now pour your chicken or beef broth down evenly over all of this.  I used about 1 1/2 c. chicken broth.

Now toss the lid onto the crock-pot and set it to low for 8-10 hours.

Go ahead at this point and wash the dishes up from everything we just did (muffins included) so that you don't have to do it later....go know you need to.  Awe, heck, just throw them into the dishwasher.  I won't tell.

Now go serve the muffins to the children.

Well...the ones that are awake anyway...

And enjoy a big cup of morning happy.

Then go about your day.  The roast will start smelling delicious right away, but don't be tempted to lift the lid.  Leave that thing alone all day long!

When the day is done, and you are ready to serve your roast, go ahead and shred the meat with a fork.

If the gravy is too runny for your taste, you can thicken it up with an easy fix.  Remove a little bit of the liquid to a small bowl and add either 2 Tbsp flour or 1 Tbsp corn starch and mix well.  Return to the pot and stir in well.  This will thicken to a more gravy-like consistency.

Now just serve over rice or mashed potatoes...whichever you prefer.  In a pinch, we have even eaten it as is.

This pot roast turned out absolutely amazing. The baby was the only one who would let me have her bowl long enough to get a picture...everyone else was too busy scarfing this down!  The carrots turned out so tender, the celery melted away in our mouths, and the meat was so tender and juicy.  I can't wait to make this again.

Oh, and, FYI....this makes awesome leftover roast sandwiches!

I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as mine did.  If you try it, let me know!

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