Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Busy-Day Relief

It's Wednesday here at Tummy Treasure, so that means a few things this morning. First, it means that it's time for my weekly article up at Kids Cuisine, so be sure and check that out. My kids seem to get more involved in the kitchen every day, and recently we found a new way for them to help out. Wednesday also means that there is a new post up at Menu Planning 101- it's time for the weekly menu plan to be up, so that's going on over there.

As for here at Tummy Treasure, I do have a recipe for you today. I was hesitant about sharing it, to be honest. It's actually another one of my "Default Dinners", and incredibly simple. So simple, that I wondered if I should even share it because it does use a much-maligned convenience product. But share it, I will, because one of the very things that I used to butcher was an old-fashioned Pot Roast. Oh my, I would dry them out every time I tried to make one, or it wouldn't be cooked long enough and it would be tough and stringy and chewy. Every time Andy would come home and see pot roast he would get so excited...and then be subsequently disappointed by my offering. Cooking large cuts of meat just didn't come naturally to me.

I finally found a recipe that worked wonderfully for cooking from one of my favorite cookbooks Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster. I love that book, and her recipe for Mom's Pot Roast did not disappoint. It produced a succulent cut of meat and it was simply wonderful. I had two problems with it though. One was that it was fairly involved at first, it wasn't the easiest recipe to get together. And secondly, I just don't care for pot roast vegetables. What can I say, I never have. I just don't care for that beefy flavor being cooked into the potatoes and carrots. Blech. But the Mom's Pot Roast was a revelation, and do check out the recipe for that if you're looking for something company worthy and wonderful.

But then one day I had a chuck roast in the fridge that needed to be cooked, and I was short a few of the ingredients for Mom's Pot Roast, and what was I going to do? I was also short of hands on time, so I needed a quick fix. I did what any harried and huried person would do, I reached deep (deep I tell you!) into the pantry and pulled out...a can of condensed French Onion soup. I looked at the roast, looked at the soup, and decided it would do. The roast went into a roasting pan with a lid, followed by a sprinkling of salt and pepper. I popped the top on the soup, poured it over the roast, added the lid to the pot, and shoved it into the oven to be forgotten about for 2 or more hours. And I'll tell you, a short while later the house smelled heavenly, and I had hope for this meal-in-a-hurry.

Not only did it turn out, but we thought the roast was fantastic. It needed nothing else except some roasted vegetables to accompany. Maybe some bread or mashed potatoes to swipe up the gravy with, but really, that lone can of soup made magic in that pot. I did take the extra step to thicken the juices and drippings with some flour when it came out of the oven, but even that needed nothing more than a little more fresh pepper to season it. If you wanted to dress it up, you could maybe add a few pinches of dried thyme when you add the can of soup, but otherwise, it's perfect just as it is. I have also used this recipe in the crock-pot on low for 6-8 hours (which depends on which crock I am using that day), and that worked out great as well. Sometimes, you just can't beat convenience, and with the ease with which this came together, it's something we repeat quite often.

*Don't forget! Tomorrow is Thursday! I promise, you won't want to miss tomorrow here at Tummy Treasure- so be sure and drop in. It will be well worth your time to see what's new and exciting here! (And no Mom, I'm not pregnant!)

Foolproof Pot Roast

1 (3 lb) chuck roast
salt and pepper to taste
1 can condensed French Onion soup
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water
additional pepper as needed

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Season the roast lightly with salt and pepper, and place in a dutch oven or other roasting pan with a lid.

Pour the condensed soup over the roast (do not add water). Put the lid on the pot and slide in the oven.

Do not disturb for 2 hours. Smaller size roasts will be done around 2 hours- larger roasts may take longer. Check to see that the meat is falling apart- when it does that, it's ready. If it doesn't fall apart, it needs more time- give it 20 minutes increments until done.

Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes- leave the lid on!

Transfer the roast to a serving platter. Pour the juices left behind into a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Combine the flour and water, whisking until combined. Add to the pan juices, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and check for seasonings- I usually find it needs added pepper, but not salt.

Once the mixture has come to a boil, it's done. Pour over the roast and serve immediately.

Serves 4


JEP said...

I plan to share this recipe with my daughter. She has always loved the pot-roast I made (which is somewhat similar) & prepares it frequently for my grandchildren. Your recipe just may edge mine out:)

Josie said...

Your teases about Thursday are killing me. Ya know, I used to find Santa's stash and unwrap (and re-wrap) my gifts before Christmas! :)

I think cans of cream of ________ condensed soups can be a god-send. Your recipe looks tasty to me :)

Erika W. said...

Jep, it's so easy! I love that especially.

Josie, it's nice to know that I'm not just driving myself batty... that makes it even more fun!

Kelly said...

I thought it was a baby, too!

Erika W. said...

LOL Kelly!