Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Crock Pot Roast

This recipe is so quick and easy to put together in the crock pot, and then you can let it cook all day until the meat is tender and falling apart.

You can cook other types of meat the same way, but I usually use beef. The crock pot is a particularly good way to cook grassfed beef, as it stays more juicy and tender when cooked longer at a lower temperature.

It's great to eat as a roast, or you can shred it for other recipes or use it as lunchmeat in sandwiches. Sometimes I'll even put the roast in the crock pot the night before and then it's ready for sandwiches by lunch time.

When cooking a roast this way, the water becomes a rich broth in the slow cooker with the meat. You can use the broth as au jus for French Dip sandwiches, thicken it for gravy, or use it as soup stock. It's great to boil down for bullion cubes, too--just simmer it in an open pot until it's about half to a quarter of the original volume, then freeze in ice cube trays. You may wish to strain the broth to get out the rosemary leaves, and be sure to remove the tough bay leaf.

I vary the seasonings and sometimes add vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and celery. Some people like to add a tablespoon or two of an acid such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or red wine. Many cookbooks recommend that you brown the roast before slow-cooking it to lock in the juices and give a nice color and flavor, but I never do. I just plop the raw roast in the crock pot, throw in some spices and water (I rarely measure), and turn it on.

Easy Crock Pot Roast

Place in the crock pot:

1 beef roast (any size that will fill your crock pot at least halfway will do, but I usually use about a 4 lb. roast)

Sprinkle over and around the roast:

2 or 3 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf (optional)
Salt to taste (I usually put in somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, I would guess)
1/2 to 1 medium onion (optional)

Add enough water or beef broth to just cover the roast. If you're using a small roast, use enough water to fill your crock pot at least 2/3 full, as it won't cook evenly otherwise.

Turn the crock pot on low and cook for about 8 to 12 hours.

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