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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Crockpot Roast with Onion Gravy

One of my favorite meals to make is a roast in the crockpot because it is simple and quick and I can throw it together in under ten minutes and then let it cook all day until it is fall-apart tender.  I have been tweaking my seasoning mix for a while now and I have landed on one that is the current favorite :)  I'm sure eventually I'll start tinkering with it again because its what I do but for now, this is the one we are sticking with!

I usually spray the inside of my crock with some olive oil--makes it much easier to clean at the end :)  I slice up a large red onion (could by any kind, really, but I prefer red and I usually have them on hand)
Next up comes some potatoes--the kids' favorites are baby red and golden potatoes and if they are on sale, I'll pick them up and make sure I plan a roast on the menu so the kids can have their favorite :)  They are small so I can just wash and wedge :)
Iz's favorite part of crock pot roast is carrots but only if I am using those little baby carrots (which aren't really baby carrots).  If I am slicing up regular carrots, she pushes them all to the side of her plate.  She will, however, eat a regular carrot raw but the boys will only eat the baby carrots raw.  Odd ones, they are ;-)  On this particular day, the giant back of baby carrots had been on sale and was half the price per ounce of regular carrots so Iz lucked out and I put extra carrots in for her :)  If we have things like sweet potato or winter squashes on hand, we will throw some in as well.

Next up comes the seasoning mix.  About 1/2 tablespoon of beef paste (I'm not a big fan of the bouillon cubes for broth because they always seem to have some rather odd ingredients.  Many of the pastes do as well but I'm a big label reader and found one that I'm ok with so that's what we go with).  2 tablespoons corn starch (or whatever your preferred thickener is), 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional--the change in flavor is subtle and we put it in about half the time because we like it either way), 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon black pepper.  Mix with one cup of water and pour over veg in crock.  

Next, lay your roast on top, fattiest side up (will help keep your meat moist and tender) and sprinkle it with a light dusting of powdered onion, garlic, cumin, thyme, black pepper, salt, and cardamom (optional).  Basically whatever flavors you put in the gravy mix, put on top of your roast :)  Put the lid on, turn it on low, and wait about 8 hours :)

(PS, these last two pictures are from two different occasions.  S couldn't decide which one was better and wanted me to include both :p  And of course, we have craft supplies sitting on the table in one picture and the laptop in another!)