Since lately I’ve been dreaming about comforty foods like warm soups and tender pot roasts and the like, I picked up a crock pot from my local Target to help make such things possible in my own kitchen without the hassle of boiling something on the stove for four hours. So far, I am extremely happy with my $16 Target Crock Pot Slow Cooker. Yesterday it very successfully cooked a beef pot roast with potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery for me!
I noticed that my local grocery store had beef bottom round on sale for $2.99 / pound. Although I don’t know much about different cuts of meat, on account of being a vegetarian up until about nine months ago (me eating meat was a Christmas miracle), the picture in the sale paper looked like something that could be made into pot roast. After some research into meats used for pot roast and basic crock pot cookery, I was ready to give it a try.
I bought a 2-pound chunk o’ meat for about $6. In this dish I also used some red potatoes that cost about $2.50, $0.75 worth of carrots, a small onion for about $1, $0.25 worth of celery, and about $0.10 in garlic. That brings the total cost of this dish to $10.60, if my math is right, although this provided more than one meal, as we will examine shortly! Here’s how I cooked the roast and veggies.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe, serves two plus sandwiches and leftovers:
What you need:
- a two-pound roast, any visible fat trimmed away (I used bottom round)
- 1-2 pounds of small red potatoes, washed and halved, unpeeled
- 4-5 carrots, washed and cut into 2” chunks
- 1 white or vidalia onion, thickly sliced
- two celery ribs, washed and cut into 2” chunks
- 3-5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- a large-ish slow cooker
How to do it:
- In the bottom of the crock pot, place the carrots, potatoes, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Season all sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Place the meat on top of the vegetables. Place the onion slices around the sides and on top of the meat. (My thinking here was to have the onion juices cook into the roast… yum.)
- Pour the water into the slow cooker. Put the lid on and turn the cooker on “low”. Cook for 8-10 hours, or until the meat and potatoes are cooked and very tender.
- Serve and enjoy!
If you wanted, you could make a gravy in the crock pot. Just take out the roast and veggies and turn the crock pot on high, with the lid on. Meanwhile, mix a few tablespoons of cold water with 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch. When the juices from the water, meat, and vegetables are boiling, add the cornstarch mix to the liquid and stir until thickened. I would have done this for this meal, but after smelling the delicious food for hours and hours, I simply ran out of patience and had to eat! Can you blame me?
I didn’t know much about the nutrition content of bottom round, so I went to nutritiondata.com for help. According to that site, 3 ounces of bottom round, with the lean meat only (remember to trim off any excess fat prior to crock-potting it), braised contains 182 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat. When you compare that with the filet mignon I ate while on vacation (excluding the hollandaise sauce!), this is pretty good, since 3 ounces of the filet, broiled, contains 232 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 6 grams of saturated fat. We won’t even talk about the hollandaise.
Today I had plenty of roast beef left over, so I made Aaron and I roast beef melts for lunch. Can I still call it roast beef if it wasn’t actually roasted?
To make these, I places two slices of whole wheat bread on a baking sheet in the oven, set to broil, and toasted them very lightly on both sides. Then I removed the bread and spread the top side with light mayonnaise, placed some beef on top of the mayo, and topped it with a slice of orange-rind muenster cheese. Then I put the sandwiches back into the oven and broiled them until the cheese was melted. These were delicious and extremely satisfying. I’m happy to report that I still have enough roast left for another three sandwiches. So, my $6 roast will provide about 8 servings of yummy protein for Aaron and I (for those of you who are counting, Aaron had seconds of the initial pot roast and veggies meal).
Also, the crock pot itself was a bargain with an added bonus – it came with a new toy for Pigeon.