As the days get longer, spring fever hits and the outdoors beckon! Sometimes, making meals takes a back seat and when this happens, fast food becomes a practical option. Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. Especially when you have a crock pot or slow cooker, an amazing small appliance that makes easy work of delicious meals.
I had to learn how to use a crock pot. My mom did not own one nor would she have ever entertained the thought. No shortcuts in her kitchen! Things are a little different today. Both moms and dads work, kids participate in extracurricular activities and sports, and sometimes very little energy is left to prepare a healthy meal for the family.
Enter the crock pot! With a few ingredients and a little prep, you’ll be enjoying a scrumptious meal all without standing over the stove. Because the meat will cook at low heat for several hours, cheaper cuts like rump, round and chuck are ideal and easy on the budget. The piece I used was a 2.5 pound boneless outside round and it cost me only $10.33
The other bonus for using a crock pot is that the kitchen won’t get hot like it would if you were cooking it in the oven. So even when the weather is too warm to turn the oven on, you can still enjoy a pot roast dinner.
This recipe will feed 4-5 people
What you need:
1 outside round roast, 2.5 lbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
1 celery stalk, cut into large pieces
3 carrots, sliced into large diagonals
8 med-large mushrooms
1 cup beef broth (or water)
salt and pepper to taste
3 bay leaves
sprig of thyme (fresh or dried)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
What you do:
Take the beef out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes.
In the meantime, place the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms at the bottom of the crock pot. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Prepare the spice rub and rub it all over the beef.
Heat a skillet on high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and sear the beef on ALL sides to lock in the flavours and juices. This will also give the roast a beautiful colour and nice depth of flavour.
Once seared, place it on top (fat side up) of the vegetables in the crock pot.
Now, de-glaze the skillet with the beef broth (or water) for even more added flavour. Pour the liquid over top and secure the lid.
Set the timer for 5 or 6 hours on LOW and walk away! Do not remove the lid to check on it as this will affect the temperature. Let it do its own magical thing!
When it’s done, remove the roast from the crock pot and let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Ladle out the carrots, mushrooms and onions. Strain the liquid into a medium pot to make the gravy. Arrange vegetables and meat on a platter and serve!