January 18, 2011

Slow and Easy Cooking

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Margaret's Morsels | Slow Cooker Pot Roast

There's nothing better than coming home to a meal that's already cooked and ready to be eaten.  This is especially true on a cold wintry day.  Maybe that's why January is National Slow Cooking Month.

I've extolled the values of slow cooking in a previous blog.  I love spending a minimal amount of time prepping food, putting it in a slow cooker and letting the slow cooker do the work.  It makes mealtime less stressful at the end of a long day.

Most of the time a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker is big enough for what I'm cooking.  However, there is an occasion when I need to pull out my 5-quart slow cooker.  It's the perfect size for a pot roast with potatoes, carrots, onion and gravy.

Whenever I cook a roast I use an English roast, but you could use a top chuck roast instead.  An English roast is a tough cut of meat from the shoulder, but it has a lot of flavor.  One advantage of slow cooking is you can use inexpensive, tougher cuts of meat because the long cooking time makes the meat tender.

The roast needs to be coated with flour, salt and pepper.  The easiest way to do this is to blend the dry ingredients in a resealable plastic bag.  Add the roast, seal the bag and shake the bag until the roast is thoroughly coated. 

Margaret's Morsels | Slow Cooker Pot Roast

The vegetables -- carrots, potatoes and onion -- need to be placed on the bottom of the slow cooker because they take longer to cook than the roast. To ensure even cooking, try to cut the  individual vegetables into pieces that are approximately the same size.  If you want to save time, use baby carrots so you don't have to peel and slice them.

Margaret's Morsels | Slow Cooker Pot Roast
The potatoes are all approximately the same size
and so is the onion.

Once the vegetables are in the slow cooker, place the roast on top of the vegetables.  A can of mushroom gravy goes over the top of the roast and a cup of water is poured around the sides of the roast.  The water is necessary to help soften and cook the vegetables.  The flour, mushroom gravy and water combine to make a wonderful gravy that can be served with the roast, if desired.

Margaret's Morsels | Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Once everything is in the slow cooker, put on the lid, turn the temperature setting to low and your supper is on its way to being cooked.  The only other thing needed to complete the meal is a pan of cornbread!

Margaret's Morsels | Slow Cooker Pot Roast
This is what you'll find after 10 hours of cooking.

January may be National Slow Cooking Month, but slow cooking occurs year round at my house.  It's nice to come home to a hot cooked meal in the winter.  In the spring, we can be outside enjoying the newly greened world while supper is cooking.  A slow cooker is great in the summer because it doesn't heat up the kitchen like a stove.  In the fall, we can enjoy the crisp autumn air without worrying about going inside and cooking supper.  Maybe 2011 should be the year of the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast
4 to 6 Servings

1 (3 lb.) roast
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 to 3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 to 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can mushroom gravy
1 cup water

Combine flour, salt and pepper; coat meat with flour mixture.  Put vegetables on the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker.  Put roast on top of vegetables.  Pour mushroom gravy on top of roast; add water around sides of roast.  Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.

© Margaret's Morsels

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine my kitchen without my slow cooker, use it all the time and always creates a beautiful meal or side dish. This past weekend I borrowed my daughters and had two of them going and was trying out some test run recipes. Success! Thanks for your recipe, love saving a bit of money on the less expensive cuts of meat and for sure throwing them into the slow cooker and no one knows the difference other than it is a beautiful tender piece and another wonderful meal.