Monday, November 28, 2011

Night Before Pot Roast

It had been a while since we'd last had pot roast, and I was craving it. But having a day job means it's sometimes difficult to get everything together that early in the morning. So I came up with this recipe that's mostly made-ahead. All you have to do is a little prep the night before, and then throw everything in the crock pot before you leave for the day.

To make things easier in the morning, get out everything you need the night before, so it's on-hand and ready to go.

 I thinly sliced an onion.

Then I added some garlic cloves, dried thyme, and a bay leaf.

I threw them all in a plastic container, since my crock pot insert barely fits in the fridge.

I added some peeled and chunked carrots on top.

And there's your night-before prep, all done!

The morning of, dump the contents of your container into the crock pot.

Sprinkle some dried mushrooms over the top.

You could use fresh mushrooms, too. I just liked the idea of using dried food in a long-cooking meal. And the dried mushrooms I used were a blend--I believe there were portabella, oyster, morel, and a couple other kinds. Something kind of neat and different.

Scatter them around the crock.

Then lay the pot roast over the top.

 Liquid will help the pot roast braise. First, I added beef broth.

Then I added a bottle of beer. I used a bottle of Mr. Kim Chee's homebrewed Oktoberfest.

Pretty, right?

As always, salt and pepper came next.

And just because I like the flavor, I added a few dashes of Worcestershire.

All ready to go! Just turn the crock pot on low (for 7-8 hours) or high (for 5-6).

If you remembered to plug the crock pot in, you'll come home to a perfectly-cooked pot roast! It should be moist from the liquid, with a slight beer-y taste. The earthiness of the mushrooms should be detectable, and the onions will have melted into the flavorful sauce. And all for 10 minutes of effort!

Recipe: Night Before Pot Roast

1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 large carrots, cut into large pieces
1 oz. dried mushrooms
1 3-4 lb. chuck roast
1 bottle beer
1 can beef broth
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot. Cook for 5-6 hours on high or on low for any amount of time over that. Serve and enjoy!

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