A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Surprisingly Good Pot Roast

I have a confession to make: most of the meals that I make are nothing to shout about. They usually aren't bad, but they usually aren't great, either. When I try a new recipe, the best I can reasonably hope for is that the result is something that's good enough to add to our repertoire of "old stand-bys." The question we ask ourselves about a new dish is not: "Is this incredible, or what?" but "Is this worth having on a regular basis?" I consider the meal a success if the answer is "Yes, it's pretty good." Likewise, when I try a variation on a classic stand-by, I may hope for something that stands above the competition, but I'm satisfied if the result is deemed "good for a change."

Every now and then, however, I come across a surprise. Today's meal was one of those. I've made pot-roast with cream-of-whatever soup countless times. It's never been something to get excited about. . . until today. I can't say that I understand why today's meat was so much better than usual. Maybe it was the cut of meat. (It was one of those marked-down-because-it's-going to-go-bad-bargains.) Maybe it was the wine. Or maybe I really did come up with the perfect blend of seasonings. Whatever the cause, today's roast turned out tender and unexpectedly flavorful. I'm not positive that I can duplicate the results, but I shall nevertheless attempt to record the recipe for posterity.

1 small (1.5 to 2 lb) beef arm roast
1/2 of a medium sized onion, chopped, quartered, or sliced
1 can cream of celery soup
3/4 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio, simply because that's what was on hand)
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
celery salt
garlic powder

1) Prepare your medium-sized oval slow-cooker by spraying with cooking spray.
2) Chop, slice, or quarter onions. (I recommend chopping, but you may prefer larger pieces.) Place onions in bottom of slow cooker.
3) Prepare roast by sprinkling generously on both sides with salt, pepper, celery salt, and garlic powder.
4) Place seasoned roast on top of onions.
5) Pour cream of celery and wine over roast. Top with mushrooms.
6) Cook on HIGH for about 4 hours, or until done. (As always, this may take longer with an older slow-cooker.)

Note: Serve the roast with the sauce on the side so that diners can add the preferred amount. This recipe should produce far more mushroom sauce than will be needed for serving with the meat. Use the additional sauce by pouring over white or brown rice, or over buttered noodles.


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