Because Pot Roast

3 lbs Beef (Chuck, Brisket or Round)
3 Cups Stock (Beef, Chicken or Vegetable)
Sprig of Rosemary or Thyme
Olive Oil
Gold Potatoes
Sour Cream
Parmesan Cheese

Slow Cooker or
Dutch Oven

Okay, so I feel a little bad about this recipe, not because it's anything but friggin delicious, but because I know some of you are on the diet track, and this is practically anything but.

You can eat the peas.

Sorry about that. Maybe I'll catch you next time. Or maybe we can't be friends anymore.

Remember . . . it's not you . . . it's me.

Anyway, Pot Roast is kinda a new addition to my repertoire which all started when I gave my wife a slow cooker for christmas (or was it her birthday? Can't remember). It's important that when you have a new cooking utensil that you abuse it as much as you can.

Stews and soups are nice too, and there will be a super-low fat shredded salsa chicken recipe coming up real soon, so be cool, but as for the soups and stews, I really need it to rain for those to be comfort foods, and it hasn't rained much like at all.

I'm watering my lawn in March. That's how much it hasn't rained.

But it was kinda chilly, which means that it was in the low 70's, and Pot Roast sounded real good.

All right . . . lets get to it:

The Meat:
Now . . . I don't wanna freak you out . . . but you're gonna need time. Like a lot of time. Like four full hours if you're cooking in the oven, and all day if you're using a slow cooker.

I actually used the oven for this one.

Which . . . I guess . . . negates the whole point about using the slow cooker . . . but hypocrisy is healthy.

Anyway . . . Preheat the oven to 275. (Or turn on your slow cooker)

Heat up some olive oil in your Dutch Oven (or a frying pan if you're going slow). Add some onions. Let 'em get translucent. Add some carrots. Let 'em get just bit soft.

Now the fun part: Remove all the onions and carrots (set aside for later), and throw that big slab of meat on the pan. Sear both sides. That means cook it until the sides are brown and crunchy. Then, remove the meat (set aside). Then add about a half a cup of stock to the pan and scrape up all the good charred bits until you've got a nice brown au-jus.

Mmmmm . . . au-jus.

Okay, if you've done all this in your Dutch Oven, put the meat back into it, add in the set aside onions and carrots, pour the remaining stock until it rises about 3/4 up the side of the meat, toss in a sprig of Thyme or Rosemary, cover it up and put it in the oven.

Wait 4 hours.

Or . . . if you're rocking the slow cooker . . . put the meat in the cooker, add the au-jus, add the carrots and onions, add the sprigs, cover and wait.

Wait forever.

Pro-Tip: I like the smell of meat wafting all over the place, especially after a hard day of whatever it is that I do, but not everyone feels comfortable with smelling like burnt flesh. You can mitigate the pervasiveness of the aroma by closing the doors in your house or apartment and periodically opening a few windows. You'll still get that smell, but it won't stick to your sheets.

Moving On:
Now . . . some purists might say something like "Add Potatoes to the slow cooker for the last hour" like it was a stew, but they're wrong. Nothing goes with pot roast like mashed potatoes.


I think I've had the potato debate here before, but here's another look at the kind of potato you're gonna want to consider for this dish. We all know Russets. They're the big brown ones. They're flaky and have a good thick skin. Yukons are super creamy with very thin tasteless skin. Reds are less creamy but with a nice tangy (and good looking) skin.

I reserve russets for grilling. Especially when charcoal is involved. The thick skin crisps up amazingly with a little olive oil and salt.

The reds I reserve for when I'm not in charge of feeding my son. The itty bitty bits of red skin in mashed potatoes not only give the side dish a colorful look, it also adds to the texture and taste.

He doesn't like those things.

So Yukons it is.

Chop into even sized bits (You do this so that they cook at the same rate.) Boil 'em til they're soft. Drain the water. Add 4 tbsp of butter, a couple of globs of sour cream, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


(Side note: He didn't eat the Yukons last night either. So now I'm not so much concerned about his health . . . as I am about his paternity.)

Finally . . . the veggie bits.

Now I don't know how you feel about peas. But you do have to admit, they're the perfect vegetable to go with mashed potatoes. I think they come in three categories:

Fresh Peas: Freakin' Delicious, but ridiculously time consuming to shuck.

Frozen Peas: Good, easy, available anywhere, anytime, and inexpensive.

Canned Peas: Vomit.

Guess which ones I prefer?

Now the best recipe is to sauté some onion slivers in some olive oil in a sauce pan, until clear. Add a cup or two of the frozen peas, mix them around until the peas are glistening with oil and then cover with water, bring to a boil and viola. Mmmmm.


Bring water to a boil, add the frozen peas, wait til it starts boiling again. You're done.

(Side Note Two: The peas were eaten.)

You're now ready to serve it up.

There's obviously no getting around the fatty tissue of the meat. So, you know, portion control. But the mashed potatoes you can substitute with mashed cauliflower and the butter for olive oil, and if you add an insignificant amount of the sour cream and cheese (sprinkles not globs) it's actually really like weirdly super tasty. If you wanna get a kinds of crazy you can substitute the potatoes with refried beans and the peas for some kind of crunchy lettuce and you've got a monster burrito bowl just waiting for your love.

Now assuming your family consists of me and my wife, this recipe is a crowd pleaser. Goes well with beer or zesty wines (I'm usually a Merlot proponent, but this one's for the Cabs and Zins).

Heat up the leftover meat in a pan the next morning, add scrambled eggs and mushrooms and hell . . . why not some shredded cheese? You're gonna die anyway.

Wouldn't it be nice to know what heaven tastes like even if you don't believe in such things?

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