Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Since my last post was on slow cooking pork I thought I’ share my slow cooker pot roast recipe. I like to use onions, carrots, and red potatoes but you can use any vegetables you like. Like the pork I usually only cook about 2-3# with leftovers for 2 people. Sometimes it’s hard to find roasts that small so in that case I suggest cutting it in half and freezing it.

Ingredients:

Chuck Roast, Rump Roast or Bottom Round Roast, about 2-3#

3 cups Beef Broth

2 tsp Tomato Paste

1 tbsp Soy Sauce

2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 Yellow Onions, quartered

1/2 cup Baby Carrots

2 Red Potatoes, Quartered

For gravy:

2 tbsp Butter

2 tbsp Flour

2 quarts Cooking liquid (8 cups)

Method:

1. Season roast with salt and pepper. Combine all remaining ingredients in slow cooker.

2. Cook for 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High.*

3. Remove meat from slow cooker and let rest for about 5 minutes.

4. Heat butter in a saucepan until melted. Whisk in flour and cook for about 2 minutes or until it has a nutty aroma.**

5. Gradually whisk in cooking liquid a few cups at a time until it’s all combined. Simmer for about 2 minutes to ensure the flour has cooked out. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Slice or shred the meat and serve with vegetables and gravy.

*While you can cook the meat on high in the slow cooker for less time, I think it comes out even more tender when cooked on low.

**The gravy can be made with roux (butter & flour) as above or can be made with a cornstarch slurry. For the cornstarch method, combine 2 tbsp water and 2 tbsp cornstarch in a bowl and mix until combined into a liquid. Heat up cooking liquid over medium heat. Turn heat to low and whisk in slurry until combined. Turn heat back up to medium and bring to a boil. Using the slurry will diminish some of the flavor in the sauce so you may need to re-season.

Slow Cooker Pork

I love my slow cooker so I’ve been trying to use it more often. Last week I made a pork shoulder in the slow cooker that I made carnitas (pork tacos) with. I have about half left that I will be mixing with BBQ sauce to make pulled pork sandwiches on Friday.

I don’t usually use a recipe when I use a slow cooker but I’ve been using too much liquid so I browsed a few recipes. I have the Williams-Sonoma Slow Cooker cookbook that I use for a guideline when using my slow cooker. Most recipes call for about 4 pounds of meat but since there’s only two of us I only cook 2 pounds and get two meals out of it (and freeze the other 2 pounds).

Slow Cooker Pork

Ingredients:

Pork shoulder (Also known as pork butt), about 2 #

1 Lime, juiced

1 Orange, juiced

1 cup Chicken broth

2 Yellow Onions, quartered

6 Garlic Cloves, smashed

1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 tbsp Smoked Paprika

1 1/2 tbsp Chili Lime Seasoning*

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

1. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Combine all remaining ingredients in slow cooker.

2. Cook for 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High.

3. Shred pork with two forks. Keep cooking liquid to keep moist, especially if storing.

*Chili Lime seasoning can be purchased at Williams-Sonoma stores or online. If not available, 1 1/2 tbsp Chili powder and zest of 1 lime can be substituted.

For Carnitas, serve with warm corn tortillas and fresh tomato salsa.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

1 Tomato, diced

1 Yellow onion, minced

1 Garlic clove, minced

1 Lime, juiced

2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients. Let sit for 1 hour up to overnight.

For Pulled Pork, combine shredded pork with barbecue sauce. Serve with cornbread and/or macaroni and cheese.

Chicken Meatball Subs

This recipe is inspired by Barefoot Contessa’s chicken meatballs for Italian Wedding Soup. Her recipe comes from her new book Back to Basics. I love her recipes because they’re classic and always come out great. I wanted to make healthier meatball subs and they were a big hit. They are small and you can fit 2 on a regular size roll (more on a hero roll).
Chicken Meatball Subs
1 pound ground chicken
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp mustard powder
3 tbsp skim milk
1 egg white
1 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Whole wheat rolls-Weight Watchers or Martin’s Potato Rolls
Speedy Tomato Sauce-see below or store-bought tomato sauce.
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients for meatballs except breadcrumbs. Mix together with hands. Add breadcrumbs a little bit at a time until mixture is no longer sticky but holds shape when pinched.
3. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon measure, portion out meat and roll into balls. Place on a parchment paper lined sheetpan or nonstick sheetpan.
4. Bake for 20 minutes turning once. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Toast rolls and heat sauce.
6. Cut meatballs in half and place 2 on one side of each bun. Ladle sauce over meatballs and top with cheese. Cook for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
7. Serve and enjoy!
My husband asked me to make tomato sauce like I used to-before I got all fancy haha. It isn’t cooked for hours so you really get the taste of the tomatoes instead of sauce.
Speedy Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes (Preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
Salt and pepper, to taste.
1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large sauce pan. When shimmering, add onion and garlic. Sweat until translucent-about 3 minutes.
2. Add herbs and tomatoes. Break up tomatoes using a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, use an immersion blender or food processor to smooth sauce.
3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove garlic cloves and cook sauce for 2 more minutes. Ready to use now or can go into refrigerator for use later.

Chili Recipe

This is my chili recipe I’ve been working on for a little bit. I make it mostly in the winter. I finally got it right (in my opinion) for this year’s Superbowl party. We just got the meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid so I’m sure fresh ground beef will make this even better.

Ingredients:

1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced 

4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1 Jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
2 Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, chopped*
1 tbsp Canola/Vegetable Oil
2 # Ground Beef
1 28 oz. Can Tomatoes (preferably San Marzano-see tomato sauce recipe)
1 8 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Seasoning Salt
1 tbsp Ground Oregano
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
Method:
1. Heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and sweat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add jalapeno, chipotles, and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Drain off fat before proceeding.
3. Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add all remaining seasonings and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning. Enjoy.
*Chipotles are dried smoked jalapeno peppers. When you find them canned, they are usually in adobo sauce. It’s a 7 or 8 oz. can usually found in the international aisle. I only use one or two at a time so I keep them in a container in the fridge and they usually last me three-four months.

Lemon Parmesan Asparagus Recipe

Here’s another recipe from my previous blog. I love the flavor of roasted vegetables, especially asparagus.

Lemon Parmesan Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 bunch Asparagus (*Peeled if thick stalks)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Fresh squeezed Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss asparagus with Olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Put back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Tomato Sauce Recipe

This is my basic tomato sauce from my previous blog. I always make a large pot and freeze it if I have any extra.

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

3 cloves of Garlic, minced

1 medium Onion, diced

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes*

1 28 oz. can Whole Peeled Tomatoes*

1 tbsp Fresh Chopped Basil

S & P to taste

Method:

1. Over medium heat, add olive oil to a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pan. Add diced onion and sweat until translucent.

2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

3. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cook for 30 minutes or until desired consistency. Fold in fresh basil.

Cook’s Notes:

*Preferably San Marzano Tomatoes

Specialty Pantry Items

I started thinking about some things I have in my pantry that don’t fit into the categories I already listed or they are more specific things in those categories. I also listed which stores you can find the ingredients at. So here are some things that you’ll find in a not-so-basic pantry:

Oils-Peanut Oil and Sesame Oil are some oils you may want to have on hand. Peanut oil is great for frying and can be used as a substitute for canola or vegetable oil in Asian recipes. A lot of Asian recipes will call for Sesame Oil as part of a stir fry or as a finishing item in sauces.

Vinegars-There are hundreds of types of vinegars on the market-you’ll find the most variety at stores like Whole Foods, Uncle Giuseppe’s, and Williams-Sonoma. Some vinegars I use often are red wine vinegar and champagne vinegar. At these specialty stores, you can find specific types of red wine vinegar such as a Cabernet red wine vinegar.

Rice-This is an ingredient that also has many varieties. They vary in size-for example short grain vs. long grain and also the starch content in them. Arborio rice is a short grain rice and the rice most often used for risotto. The starch content in this particular type of rice is what makes the finished product so creamy. (You can also use carnaroli rice for risotto but arborio is more readily available.) Basmati rice is also a good rice to have on hand if you like to cook Indian food. This is a long grain rice that has a subtle fragrance to it.

Panko Breadcrumbs-Panko is now readily available in supermarkets. It’s an Asian type of breadcrumbs. These breadcrumbs are lighter and a course cut to create a crispier crust. You can use them in the same way you would use regular breadcrumbs-flour, egg, and the panko last. They are also nice because you can use them to create a healthier recipe by baking them. Because of their texture, they are great for baking things that are traditionally fried. For example, you could make a quick baked chicken tender by coating the chicken tenders with oil, seasoning, and rolling in panko. Then bake on a cookie sheet and they will be extremely crispy on the outside.

Canned Tomatoes-There are a number of brands of canned tomatoes but my favorite type are from the San Marzano region of Italy. I don’t think any other type of canned tomatoes can touch their flavor. I also find that you don’t need to cook them as long as other varieties because of that great flavor. They are still a little tricky to find at regular supermarkets but the specialty shops noted above should have them. The Waldbaum’s that I shop at does regularly carry them but it differs from store to store. The label usually stands out to me-they have a white background with red tomatoes around the can. The different types have different color bands on the the white label. For example, the whole peeled tomatoes have a dark green band.

Herbs de Provence-This is a dried herb blend made up of lavender, savory, thyme, fennel, and rosemary. There are sometimes other herbs in addition to these such as basil, chervil, and sage. This flavor profile is used a lot in the south of France. One of my favorite recipes uses this seasoning and some salt and pepper on a grilled flank steak with goat cheese sprinkled on top.

Smoked Paprika-There are many different spices and spice blends that you can find in the grocery store. This has been my secret ingredient lately because I’m loving the heat and the smoky flavor it brings. It’s not in your face hot like chili powder or cayenne pepper. The smoke hits you subtly at the end. I use this in all recipes that call for regular paprika. You can find this at specialty shops but many supermarkets now carry specialty spices by McCormick. They are in a glass bottle with a dark lid and there are a wide variety of the spices.


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