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September 23, 2009

When it is 1000 degrees, make pot roast!

Not sure why I had a deep, unrelenting desire to make a pot roast when it is a zillion degrees out, but there you have it. And organic grass-fed beef roast was on sale at Whole Foods this week. HARMONIC CONVERGENCE!

By far my favorite way to make a roast is in the crock pot. This is the easiest recipe I know and turns out delicious every time. You need:

• Some form of beef roast or brisket (I usually do this with brisket and it's delicious, this time I cooked a rump roast)

• Crushed or pureed garlic -- I use the kind from a jar, because I am lazy. The smoother the consistency the better.

• Coarsely ground black pepper

• Sea salt (optional)

• Some form of liquid -- can be broth, water, beer or red wine (I do a mixture of red wine and water)

To make the roast:
In a bowl, make a paste with the garlic and black pepper. I use a lot of black pepper ... and a lot of garlic.

Cover the roast with garlic/pepper paste. I use my hands and just work it all over the surface.

When the roast is covered in the spices, brown the meat in a big, heavy pot. I use a big stockpot so the stove doesn't get as messy and if your cut of meat is very lean, you may need to add 1-2 TBS of canola oil. I always add the oil because my big stockpot isn't a non-stick pan. But if you use nonstick cookware you may not need any oil.

When the roast is browned on all sides, put it in the crock pot. (I am guessing if you had a Dutch oven you would do all this in one pan, but I don't have a Dutch oven so this is the way I do it.)

Next, use a small amount of liquid to deglaze the pan and scrape up all the bits from browning the meat. I use either a good beef stock or a combo of water and cabernet. Lat night I used the wine/water combo. About 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup liquid will do.

Add the liquid and pan juices to the crockpot.

I usually let it cook on high for an hour or so, then turn the heat down to low and let it cook all night. Some people add in potatoes and vegetables but I think it all ends up tasting too much like pot roast so I just cook a potato and some green beans separately. The garlic mellows over the long cooking time and the gravy at the bottom is tasty and rich. The only problem with this dish is that it smells so good it kept waking me up during the night!

- - -

Do you have any recipes containing peanuts? We're supposed to be having an Iron-chef-inspired potluck at work tomorrow and the dish has to contain peanuts. Pretty much the only thing I "cook" that has peanuts is celery and peanut butter.

Maybe I can sprinkle some peanuts on my pot roast?

Posted by laurie at September 23, 2009 11:45 AM