Welcome Smackers! It's our 5th Installment of Share a Spoon.
Since this week's theme is Comfort Food in honor of my BBFF, The Great Duckalicious, I asked her what is comfort food to you? She talked a lot about cherry pie. Ultimately though she said pot roast and mashed potatoes with gravy. Mmmmm.............doesn't that sound fabulous?
So I thought I would share my crockpot roast techniques. I know all the fancy shmancy chefs on television say you need to brown the roast on all sides before you put it in the crock or let it cook low and slow in the oven, but that is a crock. (I quack myself up!) I have done it both ways, and I prefer mine.
Pick out your favorite cut of roast. For pot roast I prefer chuck roast or round roast, but anything will work. Rub the meat down with olive oil. Generously salt and pepper. Do not be afraid of the salt. I use kosher salt and basically lightly crust the entire roast with it. Next sprinkle the entire surface of the roast with a light coating of chili powder. Chili wha? You heard me...CHILI POWDER. It adds great flavor and you will love it!
Cut 2 large onions in quarters and add to the crock pot. Place the roast in the crock. Add 4-5 chopped carrots, a box of beef stock, 2 garlic cloves cracked open and a couple of cups of water. Cook on the low heat setting for 6-8 hours. This is a really easy throw it all in the pot the night before, stick in the fridge and turn it on before you leave for work meal.
When the roast is done, remove it with tongs and cover with aluminum foil while you make mashed potatoes and gravy. Remove all the carrots, onions and garlic as well.
Gravy is NOT difficult. I promise. In a sauce pan on the stove top, over medium heat, melt half a stick of butter and add a half a cup of flour. With a whisk cook the flour until it browns slightly. Takes about 2 minutes. Add the juice from the crock pot a little at time while whisking vigorously. NOTE: Gravy will not thicken until it boils. Make sure you whisk until it boils and then turn down to simmer. Voila! Perfect no lumps yummy gravy. You may need to add just a little salt.
When I make mashed potatoes I always have to make a boatload of them. My boys are meat and potato freaks. I usually cook 3-5 pounds of potatoes. Peel yukon gold(they make the best) potatoes, quarter them and add them to the pot. Cover with cold water. Add a handful of kosher salt. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and add back to the pot.
While the potatoes are boiling, in a sauce pan melt a stick of butter and about a cup of half and half or heavy whipping cream. Over medium low heat. Add to the pot once potatoes have been drained. Mash the potatoes then whip with a hand mixer for light and fluffy mashed potatoes.
Now, I know that's butter and heavy cream, but we are talking about comfort food after all. Really though, as long as you eat a moderate portion, and have light meals through the rest of the day, you can have a comfort food meal here and there, without packing on the poundage.
So, it's your turn. Share your favorite comfort foods with The Duck and link up!