Because I only used part of the chuck for last night’s dinner, I had two pounds of chuck that I needed something to do with. I decided to make pot roast in a crock pot. Things were getting pretty busy with work, so it was nice to make a meal that pretty much just takes care of itself. Plus, I had a shelf full of barbecue sauces that I had bought while in Iowa. Pot roast makes for a good palette to compare.
- veggies: I peeled and cut about five carrots into slightly-larger-than-bite-sized pieces. this was kind of a lot of carrots. but i was trying to get rid of the rest of the bunch i had in the fridge. I also cut an onion into large chunks. I was going to put in a couple of celery stalks too, but when I pulled them out of the fridge, they were limp and soggy. so I skipped that. I also sliced up about 4 cloves of garlic and put that in too. All of this, I put into the bottom of my crock pot.
- beef: I happened to use chuck this time and put it on top of the veggies. I had two pounds of it left over from when I made a beef and mushroom ragu. You can use pretty much any cut of beef. But you really want to use a cheaper cut of meat in a slow cooker recipe. Cheaper cuts of meat have things in them that don’t cook out quickly. That’s what makes them cheaper. But, if you are going the invest the time to slow cook, the return on your investment is a yumminess that comes from the melted cheapy parts. And that’s something you can’t get from expensive cuts.
- water: I put the crock in the fridge before I left for work and then called Sarah at about 1pm to add some water to the crock and start it going. I had an afternoon full of meetings, and I knew I wouldn’t be home until about 8pm.
- potatoes: I had also told Sarah to add in some potatoes at about 2 hours before mealtime. I tried to also get her to add a package of pearl onions from the freezer. But I was calling her on my way to meet a client. And I was walking underneath the el on lake at the time, so she couldn’t hear me because of a passing train.
This recipe is essentially exactly the same as my crock pot recipe for pork shoulder. I don’t even think I added any seasonings this time. I mean, the vegetables are the seasoning. I like for the meat to be simple. That way, I can repurpose the leftovers easily. Also, I wanted to try some sauces.
As a control, we had Cookies. Cookies is my favorite barbecue sauce for beef. It’s what we always have. With this pot roast, the Cookies was good. Superb, really. It makes you make food sounds when you eat it. Yum yum yum mmm mmm mmm mmmmmm.
The experimental sauce for the day was Countryside. This is a sauce that I picked up in Iowa. I don’t remember exactly where it was that I got this. Either it was Hy-Vee, of Kurt Warner fame, or Fareway.
Fareway is an anachronism, and shopping there is like flipping through the pages of an outdated marketing textbook. Mostly though, it reminds me of a Kitchen Of Tomorrow exhibit from the 50s. Everything is clean and super white, almost monochromaticly so, despite the best efforts of modern day products that are vying for your attention.
At Fareway, the stockers and managers and cashiers all seem to know all the customers. And they banter back and forth about things that are just completely foreign to me, like deer hunting or college football. Fareway is “in town,” which means that you generally don’t just stop in for an item or two. One time, I went there with Sarah’s 10 year old niece (Sarah and I had boarded Buddy at the local vet for a couple days. I was picking the dog up, and my niece wanted to tag along). We bought a couple of things that Sarah wanted me to pick up while I was in town: milk, eggs, and some other things. And I think that is when I bought this barbecue sauce. I think I also bought some candy and juice boxes to spoil the nieces and nephews with.
The Countryside barbecue was sweet. Cheap Chinese food sweet. Almost like sweet and sour sauce. With the beef, it was not so good. So we stuck to the Cookies.
Although, I suspect that this will be quite awesome with pork.