Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mom's Pot Roast [Guest Blogger]

I'd like to welcome to the blog a certain someone you might have heard me mention before.  I'd like to give a big welcome to the Monkey Scientist, who will be sharing his Mom's Pot Roast recipe.  He did take photos of the prep, but very unfortunately his house was robbed last night and his camera was taken.  A big thank you to him not only for blogging, but for cooking me this meal - it was super delicious! (And I'm glad you'll finally get to see how much he teases me!!)
The Monkey Scientist's Roast
photo by d.liff
Greetings everyone…Monkey Scientist here. Believe it or not I do actually have a name but I’m going to leave that anonymous to add to the intrigue.
D always gets mad when I made fun of the way she writes on her blog (she does actually talk this way in real life by the way), so in that vein I am going to try and imitate her style as much as possible…

photo by the Monkey Scientist

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m not usually one to follow any sort of set recipe. I more just like to throw everything together in a big pot and see how it turns out. D introduced me to this thing called a “side dish” but I still don’t quite subscribe to that belief.
So today’s “recipe” comes from my mom’s kitchen back in Chicago. Pot roast is one of her the rarer dishes that she cooks, but when she does make it we all enjoy quite the feast. For Christmas she gave me my very own Crock Pot, and since then I have made some pretty fantastic meals (you’ll just have have to wait til February for the family Super Bowl Chili recipe…my personal favorite). I absolutely LOVE cooking with the Crock Pot! It brings together so many diverse flavors, and you don’t need to break the bank in finding the best meat out there. Just your typical run-of-the-mill top round roast from the local supermarket will do. When I went to the store, I was delighted to see that roasts were the “Big Buy” of the day. Over 2 ½ pounds of meat for under eight dollars!
I’ll admit there’s really nothing fancy about this pot roast recipe compared to any other. Just throw in a bunch of vegetables with the meat and let it all soak together throughout the day. Based on a limited veggie selection at our grocery store, I just went with some white potatoes, carrots, and celery, and to add a little twist, some chili peppers…not a necessary addition but certainly worth trying if you like a little kick.

The Monkey Scientist's Roast
photo by d.liff
When it was done we just scooped it out of the pot and served on toast to make some nice hearty sandwiches. You might find that when it’s done it will need some sort of sauce to add another dimension. We used Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce but you can probably also use a spicy mustard or throw some flour in the meat juice to make a thicker gravy. Also, you might want to brown the meat before putting it in the Crock Pot for the day, but I was a little pressed for time so I just skipped that part. I would recommend some mashed potatoes and maybe some steamed green beans if you’re into the whole side dish thing…or just grab more out of the pot and put that on the side!

The Monkey Scientist's Roast
photo by d.liff
Mom's Pot Roast 
(serves 4-6)

2.5 lbs top roast (you can use more or less depending on size of slow cooker)
7 carrots, unpeeled (but washed) and chopped
3 medium-sized white potatoes, quartered
2-3 stalks celery
2 whole jalapeños, fresh
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (if you don't love really spicy food, only use 1-2 peppers)
1 packet of onion soup mix (can be substituted or augmented with 1 whole white onion)
*Note: amounts of ingredients may vary with size of Crock Pot


1. Chop carrots and celery into ½ to 1 inch chunks, depending on width
2. Chop potatoes into about 8 pieces, or slightly bigger than the carrot chunks
3. Slice jalapenos and cut into half circles
4. Add about half of the chopped vegetables and 3-4 chili peppers from can into crock pot. Save the other half to top around and on top of the meat.
5. Rinse the meat and pat dry. You can brown lightly to add texture and cut some of the fat but if short on time this is not necessary.
6. Place meat on top of vegetables and fill the rest of the crock pot to about ¾ depth with remaining vegetables.
7. Add water to ¾ depth, or enough to cover all contents. Add onion soup mix and lightly stir to mix it all in.
8. Set crock pot to low, cover, and let cook for 8-10 hours
9. Meat should easily fall apart with a fork and be stringy in nature.
10. Dig in and put it all on toasted bread to make the perfect pot roast sandwich


Karen Liffmann said...

OK Monkey Scientist great job writing in the voice of D.!
Sorry to hear of the robbery and the loss of the camera.
D's photos look good and do your Pot Roast meal justice.
Glad to know that you reciprocate cooking for D.
Hope to meet you soon. Please join the family at Eliz's wedding.
And D., Papa should have a picture or two for you of us partaking in your father's day cookies. They were spectacularly delicious!

Debra Kruger said...

"Mom's Pot Roast" never looks that good when I make it! Great presentation ... and toast is a nice touch, too. To make it even more fattening, er, hearty, I make a gravy from the juice to slather over the meat & mashed pototoes & bisquits. Yum.

Love your site, Dani! And I'm so looking forward to meeting you soon!

--Mother of Monkey Scientist