Friday, March 23, 2012

Recipe: Crock Pot Garlic Roast (aka "Hearty Stew")

Yesterday for the first time in my life I cooked a roast in the crock pot.  I have cooked roasts before (in the oven), but it's been at least 14 years.  You see, Honey grew up vegetarian, and when we were dating and for much of our marriage, this was a vegetarian house.  We progressed from that to a "flexitarian" house, meaning we had poultry and fish in the house and served it when we had company.  A few years ago, Honey started eating the occasional steak, and last year I decided to join him.

Fast forward to this winter when I decided to go from only-having-beef-in-the-house-on-days-we-decide-to-grill-steaks to buying a box of locally raised, grass-fed beef.  There is a local farm (well, it's a bit of a drive, but I still consider it local) that offers a very good deal on boxes of beef.  I decided that if we were going to venture out a little more into this realm, I wanted whatever we consumed to be high quality.  (Thank you, Bald Hill Farm!)

Perhaps one day I'll write about our journey from vegetarians to omnivores (or mostly omnivores -- we still don't eat pork), but not today.  I will, however, point out that we generally limit our consumption of non-vegetarian cuisine to one or two meals a week (sometimes more if we have leftovers, like this week).  Honey still only takes vegetarian meals for lunch and since the lunches are based on dinner leftovers, there is definite incentive to keep most meals vegetarian.

Yesterday, however, I decided to make a roast.  My inspiration was a pressure cooker recipe for Guinness Pot Roast, but I decided to use my crock pot instead.  I made my own recipe, which even included a bit of tomato paste now that Trader Joe's has this wonderful little invention:

Tomato paste in a tube is a genius idea!  I just had to share...

Anyway, the recipe turned out well.  Honey really liked it and I did, too, so we may have to make this again -- but in the distant future.  For now, we don't need to eat beef that often.

Crock Pot Garlic Roast (aka "Hearty Stew")

  • 3lb chuck roast
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 small yams or sweet potatoes (not much bigger than the potatoes), sliced into strips (like carrots)
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 c. hot water
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp corn startch
  • 2 tsp. Pasta Sprinkle or Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 packet au jus or gravy mix
  • salt, to taste (wait until the roast is cooked and then taste and adjust for salt)
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) dark beer (Guinness recommended but not necessary --we used non-Guinness, so it adds a tiny "hoppy" flavor)
Place roast in the crock pot.  Add onion, potatoes, yams, and garlic.

Mix together hot water, spices, and au jus/gravy mix.  Pour over roast and veggies.

Pour beer over everything.

Cook on low for 8-9 hours.

Serves 8.

Yes, I forgot to take a picture of the end result because we just started eating it.  I cooked the roast for nine hours so that it fell apart in shreds and thus resembled a very thick, gravy-like stew.  So yummy!  Perfect for the cold, snowy day we had yesterday.

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