I made pot roast for the first time ever! All by myself! Yay me! 🙂
Here’s what I did.
First, I researched recipes online. Most are pretty straightforward and similar. Some examples, one, two, three. What I took away from my research was that I needed some form of liquid and that the meat would need to cook for a long time at a low heat – hence the crock pot. I know, this is elementary for anyone who is comfortable in the kitchen. But if you’re still learning like me, this is good to know.
So I decided on the following for my liquid:
1 can of condensed mushroom soup
1/4 cup cooking wine (I had sherry so that’s what I used)
1/2 cup water
about a 1/4 cup coffee – I didn’t actually measure (I’ve seen Don use it a lot so I thought I’d give it a whirl)
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
For the meat, I had about 2.5 lbs of grass-fed beef. I’m not actually sure if it was bottom round or another type of round. I don’t know my cuts of meat and since it was purchased from a local farmer it was simply labeled “round.” I rubbed it with salt and pepper and browned each side on the grill – about 1 minute on each side. Then I added it to the crock pot with the liquid and cooked on high for about 5 hours. (I started at 7:30 am.) I did turn the meat over after about two hours. I don’t know if this is necessary but I get antsy and feel like I need to do something so I turn the meat and make sure it’s covered by the liquid as well.
At about 12:30, I added my vegetables and turned the crock pot to low. For veggies I used:
4 celery stalks
about 1/2 a bag of baby carrots
1 orange bell pepper
I cut all the veggies in large, oversized pieces.
I really didn’t do much for the next 4-5 hours. I just let it simmer, stirring the veggies just a little to be sure they were all getting a chance to cook.
At 5:00 pm I dished up a bowl and decided to see how it turned out.
I think it’s pretty darn good. I wish Don was here to give his two cents but he is still on his way home from a hunting trip. At least I’ll have food ready when he gets in, which was why I decided to do this today. I can keep it warm in the crock pot until he’s home and not have to worry about trying to time something to his arrival.
I’m pretty excited about becoming so adventurous in the kitchen by myself. I also made pulled pork by myself last weekend – for the first time ever! – while Don was on duty. Pulled pork has always been one of Don’s signature dishes and always a mystery to me. We had some grass-fed pork shoulder in the freezer that I was determined I was going to use for something, and when I Googled ‘pork shoulder’ I got tons of hits for pulled pork! Little did I know. Again, I think this is probably nothing new or exciting for most folks but it was a huge achievement for me and I was thrilled to see the transformation of something that looked nothing like the pulled pork I’ve enjoyed in the past and been able to turn it into that same dish, all by my lonesome.
Another yummy success this weekend was making an Alfredo chicken spaghetti squash meal. I didn’t make my Alfredo from scratch but the carb content wasn’t too offensive in the ready-made jar I bought. Again, this was an easy dish, the only thing different from traditional spaghetti is that I used squash instead of pasta. All I did was cut up my chicken and sautee it with garlic, onions, and red pepper flakes, added the sauce once the chicken was cooked through and let that simmer while I cooked my squash in the microwave. Easy, peasy. And it was de-lish. I’ve even already eaten the leftovers so there’s none for Don. Boo. He doesn’t really like Alfredo much anyway. And there’s plenty of pot roast for him. 🙂
The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.
~ Julia Child