Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Easy Meal: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker by Beth Hensperger and Beth Kaufman remains my favorite source for good slow cooker recipes. The options are healthy, easy to make and, for the most part, quite tasty.

Although this isn't necessarily one of the healthier options, this dish is perfect for working parents. With less than 5 minutes of preparation on a Sunday morning, dinner for a few nights is ready. Also, the reality is that brisket or pot roast is frequently on sale these days. In fact the less expensive roasts, such as chuck, just add more taste (ok, fat!) to the dish. But I purchased mine for $2.99/pound!

I have made brisket a number of times through the years, usually starting by sauteing the brisket and then letting it simmer on the stove top for a few hours. But this recipe cuts the sauteing step completely. You simply rub paprika, salt and pepper on the brisket and throw it in the slow cooker with some vegetables. That was right after breakfast. By dinner, we all had a good meal with leftovers for the next day. As Raphael said, "I love meat!"

Skye's Braised Pot Roast with Vegetables adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker

Note: By making it the night ahead, the flavor improves and you can skim off the fat.

1 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika (I used Hungarian sweet from Penzey's)
3 to 3 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat and patted dry (I actually used a 4 pound brisket)
1 rib celery chopped
1 onion, cut in wedges
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2-3 parsnips, peeled and sliced (optional, but kids often love the sweetness!)
4 potatoes, cut into 8 pieces (I used small red potatoes which fell apart, but were still good)
1 cup beef broth (I keep "Better than Bullion" in my refrigerator)

1. Mix salt, pepper and paprika. Rub it on all sides of the meat. Put the veggies into the slow cooker with the potatoes on top. Put the meat on top of the potatoes, and pour the broth over.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.

3. I usually let it cool for a while in the slow-cooker. I then take it out and put it in another pot. I cover it and cool it overnight in the frig. Then, the next day I skim off the chilled fat. I then cut the meat in slices and reheat it in the pot with the gravy.

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