Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Slow days, but a good potroast!

I haven't posted in the last several days because I haven't had a whole lot to write about.

We did go to a birthday dinner for our friend, Camilla Huxford, last Friday night at Kozy's. We always love to go to Kozy's because, besides having some of the absolute BEST food in Tuscaloosa, the atmosphere is like none other. It's a dark restaurant, with dim lighting and black walls. But covering those walls, are dozens and dozens of old pictures of movie stars and old movie posters! If there isn't somebody playing jazz on the piano, then there will be great old 40's and 50's era jazz music coming through the speakers. I had one of the specials, grouper stuffed with shrimp and artichoke, and I substituted the gouda macaroni for asparagus in an effort to stick to the low-carb diet. Then I blew it by eating a HUGE piece of birthday cake. But it was every bit worth it!

Saturday I headed down to my friend Adam's house in Greensboro. His wife, Katie, writes Serenade Handmade Soap,, and we have all been great friends for years. Well, Katie was out of town all weekend at her mom's, and Heather was working at the hospital all weekend, so the guys were unsupervised! So I went down to Greensboro and we cooked on the grill and played Wii all afternoon and night. I stayed over down there Saturday night, and came back home Sunday morning. It was great! I have got to have me one of those Wii's!

That was really about it for the long weekend. The City was closed on Monday, but I went in to the office for a bit during the morning to catch up on a few things. Then I was basically lazy the rest of the day.

I did stop at Publix Monday and pick up a roast. I'd been having a craving. Now, I'm not a pot roast expert, but I've made pot roast in the Crockpot enough times to have some opinions about how it should be done. There are three things I think are important. First, be sure to brown the meat well before you put it in the Crockpot. I think the browning creates flavor. Second, don't use too much liquid for any crockpot cooking, but especially for pot roast. Third, be sure there is plenty of flavor in the liquids you're adding. All day cooking can make foods bland if there isn't a flavorful liquid. This was a first time trying this recipe, and it was a hit! So good! So I'm gonna share.

Here's whatcha do.....

Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast in the Crockpot
(about 6 servings)

3-4 pound boneless chuck roast
1-2 T steak rub
Black pepper to taste
1-2 T olive oil (depends on your pan)
1/4 cup water to deglaze pan
2-3 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1 cup beef stock, reduced to 1/2 cup
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well.

Trim as much fat as you can from roast, and cut if necessary to fit into Crockpot. Rub meat well with steak seasoning and black pepper. Heat heavy pan with small amount of olive oil and brown roast well on both sides. This will take a few minutes; don't rush the browning step.

While roast browns put 1 cup beef stock in saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, then let cool slightly and mix in balsamic vinegar and tomatoes. Peel onions and cut into thick slices. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup water and add to sauce mixture.

Place onions in bottom of Crockpot. Put meat on top of onions and pour beef stock mixture over. Set Crockpot to low and cook 6-8 hours, until beef is tender. The meat might be partly submerged in liquid after this much time.

My roast was almost falling apart. It was so good, and was still moist the next day. Ya'll give it a try and let me know whatcha think.

I guess that's about it for now. If anything exciting happens, you'll be the first to know.....

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