There’s nothing more comforting and nostalgic than a pot roast dinner, especially one with gravy. I have so many warm childhood memories of Sunday pot roast dinners. But, let’s face it, who has time for that anymore. Even on Sundays, we are so busy running the errands that we don’t have time for during the week. Once again, here comes the crock pot to the rescue. This is one of those “forgotten” meals that needs to be revisited. I’ll bet those cell phones and iPads get put aside when you serve up this dinner; and you’ll still have all day to catch up with the chores you didn’t have time for during the week, because this meal literally makes itself, gravy and all. Or, if you just want a day off to indulge yourself in reading a good book, getting your hair or nails done, whatever relaxes you, this dinner will fit the bill. So get the family back around the dinner table and create new food memories that will last a lifetime.
Yes, this recipe does use cream of mushroom soup, but when it comes to crock pot gravy, nothing works better. The leftover gravy does not turn into a solid mass of grease the next day, like normal roasted gravy would. We like to serve hot, open-faced roast beef sandwiches the next day. How’s that for nostalgic? I always think of “diner” food when I think of open-faced sandwiches with gravy, but diner food was always the ultimate in comfort food – simple meals that reminded you of home.
I prefer an “eye round” cut of beef, as it seems to hold up better after prolonged crock pot cooking.
In addition to 1/2 cup of wine, this recipe only uses 1/4 cup of water. I know most crock pot recipes for roast will call for 1 or more cups of water. That’s way too much, especially if you add a lot of vegetables. Vegetables have a high water content, which will be released during the cooking process. You will end up with a very watery gravy if you use any more than 1/4 of a cup. (Actually, you can get away with just the 1/2 cup of wine and omit the water altogether.) There seems to be a misconception that you need a lot of liquid for crock pot cooking…..you don’t. Less is more, especially if you include vegetables. I actually had to add a mixture of cornstarch and milk during the last hour of cooking, to thicken the gravy. (Next time, I'll omit the water altogether.)
Start by chopping all the veggies. Cut the potatoes into chunks. Slice the celery stalks. Cut the onion in half, then slice thin. Mince garlic (or use jarred garlic). This prep can done the night before, or in the AM. If you do the prep the night before, you may want to immerse the veggies in a pot or bowl of water, to keep fresh and keep the potatoes from turning brown.
If you don’t already have a premixed batch of Emeril’s Baby Bam spice mix in the house, make a batch and store in air tight container.This will be used as a rub on the meat, and will add further flavor to the gravy and veggies. I’ve included the recipe, again, below. (There’s no cayenne pepper in this blend, just a nice combination of herbs and spices that are perfect for a roast.)
Trim roast of excess fat. In large skillet, over medium high heat, brown roast in 2 Tablespoons canola oil.
When evenly browned, place on plate, and set aside to cool.
Put potato chunks (first) in crock pot. Potatoes take the longest to cook, so you want them on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Place whole baby carrots over potatoes (these take the second longest to cook). Sprinkle sliced celery pieces over carrots. Next, sprinkle onion slices and minced garlic over all.
In large bowl, combine canned soups, gravy packets, wine and water (if using). You can reduce the soup to 2 cans if you’re not a big fan of gravy. If desired, add a splash of Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (mainly for color). Whisk together to combine. Set aside. This will be your gravy base.
Rub both sides of “cooled” roast with Baby Bam seasoning, about 2 Tablespoons in all.
If necessary, make a well in vegetables, in order to fit roast in crock pot.
Pour soup/gravy mixture over top of all.
If desired, add fresh mushrooms and sprinkle with parsley. You might have to press the mushrooms into the gravy to make it all fit in the pot.
Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours (or high 5 to 6 hours). Depending on the crock pot, it could be done in as little as 8 hours (4 hours on high); so check vegetables for doneness after this amount of time.
Transfer roast to a platter for carving. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to serving dish. Pour gravy into gravy boat, or separate bowl with ladle.
Doesn’t that bring back warm childhood memories?
CROCK POT SUNDAY POT ROAST
Posted by: www.meldingmagic.com
2-1/2 to 3 pound beef roast, eye round, or any cut you prefer
2 Tablespoons canola oil
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound whole baby carrots
3 to 4 stalks celery rib, sliced
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced into thin half-moon strips
2 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute 1 to 2 teaspoons jarred garlic)
3 cans cream of mushroom soup (can use only 2 cans if you want less gravy)
2 packages (.87 ounce each) brown gravy mix
1/4 cup water, optional (depending on amount of vegetables you add to crock pot)
1/2 cup wine (I use white Zinfandel, but use whatever wine you prefer)
Splash of Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (for color, optional)
2 Tablespoons Emeril's Baby Bam spice mix (recipe below)
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
Fresh or dried parsley, optional
1. Trim roast of excess fat. In large skillet, brown roast in canola oil.
2. Place potato chunks in bottom of crock pot. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Place whole baby carrots over potatoes. Place sliced celery and onions over carrots. Sprinkle minced
garlic over all.
4. In large bowl, combine soups, gravy packets, wine and water (if using). If desired, add a splash of
Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (for color mostly). Whisk together. Set aside.
5. Rub both sides of roast with Baby Bam seasoning (recipe follows), about 2 Tablespoons total.
6. If necessary, make a well in vegetables to fit roast in crock pot.
7. Pour soup/gravy mixture over top of all.
8. If desired, add sliced fresh mushrooms. (You may have to press mushrooms into gravy mix to get
everything to fit in crock pot.) Sprinkle with parsley.
9. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours (or high 4 to 5 hours). Check after 8 hours on low (or 4 hours
high) for doneness. If needed, thicken gravy with a mixture of cornstarch & milk (should be the
consistency of pancake batter). Potatoes are best test for doneness, as they take the longest to cook.
Continue cooking until vegetables are done to your liking.
10. Transfer meat to platter and slice for serving. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to same
platter (or separate serving bowl). Pour gravy into small bowl and serve with ladle.
EMERIL’S BABY BAM
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoons salt (or cut back to 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons paprika
Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine, using a wooden spoon. Then store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
YIELD: About 3/4 cup