Sunday Roast

Did you grow up with a Sunday tradition of pot roast for supper? It wasn’t a ritual of my childhood, but according to Husband pot roast and Sundays go hand in hand.  His mother made a roast every Sunday.  Or so he remembers.

Recently, Husband’s mother moved to be near us and we’ve enjoyed spending more time with her, especially for weekend meals.  She’s joining us for lunch after church today and Husband made the request for a pot roast.  I could hardly say no.  But, I will let you in on my little secret…

I made the roast in my sleep last night.  Or rather, the roast cooked while I was sleeping.  And you can, too, with your Crock Pot.  Come on admit it, you have a Crock Pot?!?  Well, I’m a huge fan of the fix-it-and-forget-it appliance.  Especially when I can multi-task cooking and sleeping!

There is no right or wrong way to slow cook a roast.  You need a 2-3 lb chuck roast, some veggies, seasoning, and a cooking liquid.  Use whatever vegetables you’ve got on hand. Husband loves carrots, so they are always included in my roasts.  Sometimes I use red wine for the cooking liquid.  I’ve even tried beer, and beef stock is a good fall back too.  Today, er last night, I used stewed tomatoes just because I had them in the pantry.

Here’s what I used and a recipe for you to loosely follow.

Sunday Roast (or Saturday Night While You Sleep Roast)

1 chuck roast (2 1/2 – 3 lbs)

1 TBS olive oil

3-4 carrots, sliced (I will add more for Husband!)

1 onion, sliced

1-2 celery ribs, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup crimini mushrooms (I tossed these in after I took the photo!)

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1/4 cup red wine (because it was the last of the bottle sitting on the counter)

1 TBS brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Brown the roast on all sides. Transfer roast to crock pot and add carrots, onion, celery, mushrooms, and garlic.  Add stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, wine (if using), brown sugar, salt & pepper.  Put the lid on and cook the roast on LOW for 10 – 12 hours.  While you are getting your beauty sleep, of course.

If you like a thicker sauce to spoon over your roast, you can easily make a gravy.  Remove the roast and vegetables to a serving platter.  Keep warm.  Add cooking liquids to a small sauce pan and reduce over medium heat.  As sauce is reducing, combine 1 TBS of flour with 1 TBS of water.  Add flour mixture to reduced roast liquid and stir until gravy forms.

What’s your favorite Sunday supper?

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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

I found this recipe in a Costco magazine I received during the holidays.  I’ve made the salad two or three times and it is a keeper.  It can stand alone as a meal, or add your favorite protein.  I’ve served the salad different ways and can’t decide if I like it better with grilled salmon or shrimp.  Try it and let me know what you think.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 3/4 – inch pieces

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs honey

1 tsp coarse sea salt

Mixed field greens (I use a 5 oz container of spring mix)

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

3/4 cup walnut halves, lightly toasted

3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

For the Pomegranate Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1 small shallot, minced

2 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 Tbs honey

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cubed butternut squash, olive oil, and honey in a baggie until squash is coated.  Spread squash on a foil lined baking sheet, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and pepper.  Roast squash for 15 – 20 minutes until tender and golden brown around the edges.

For the vinaigrette, place pomegranate juice and minced shallot in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce flame to a simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup liquid.  Whisk in red wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Note: the second time I made this vinaigrette I accidentally mixed all the ingredients together before heating.  I simply warmed the pre-mixed vinaigrette in the saucepan until it reduced slightly and it turned out fine.) Allow to cool.

To serve, place salad greens in a large mixing bowl. Add the roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, toasted walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese.  Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten; toss well.

Makes 6 servings.

P.S. Look for pre-seeded pomegranate seeds at  your grocery store.  I was lucky enough to find these last week.  Seeding a pomegranate isn’t difficult, but the juice will stain! So be careful and expect pink fingertips!

If you need inspiration for the pomegranate juice you’ll have left over, try the Pomegranate Steak I made a while back.  Serve the steak one night and the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad (with left over steak) the next!