Thursday, July 16, 2009

Crock Pot English Roast

Mike passed his oral boards last Tuesday! In celebration, I decided to thaw out some thick, juicy steaks to grill. Due to unfortunate labeling, I accidentally thawed out a thick, juicy English roast instead. Oops.

So the challenge here was to come up with a dish with the same flavors as a thick, juicy steak but in the form of a roast. Our good friend Chris gave us the best crock pot in the world for our wedding. But I forget that "crock pot," is no longer PC - now all the fancy-pants epicurial stores are calling them "slow cookers."

In my generation, the phrase "crock pot" invokes images of that avacado green cylinder with the brown porcelain interior. Do you remember it? I know of a newlywed husband who couldn't find the crock pot because it wasn't green.

But I digress. I usually do a crock pot red meat with a cream sauce, but it's summer, and cream just seemed too heavy. And it's definitely not something you would find on the grill. So I came up with this:

3-4 pound English roast, well marbled
Large onion
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine
3-4 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper

Meat tends to cook down, so it's important to cook it in liquids that are full of flavor.
- Peel onion and slice in 1 inch thickness. Line bottom of crock pot with onion.
- Salt and pepper the meat and place on top of the onion.
- Combine vinegar, oil, wine, and garlic and pour on top of meat. The liquid should come up to the bottom of the meat. You can add more liquid or water.
- Set for 8 hours on low (most tender meat) or 6 hours on high and try not to dig in too early!
I know you're what you're thinking. SHE DIDN'T SEAR THE MEAT!!! IS SHE CRAZY?!? Nope. I very rarely sear the meat. For three reasons:
1. Alton Brown did a whole show on it. He scientifically weighed and measured the juiciness of an English roast before and after roasting and compared those that were seared and not seared. Guess which one was juicier? The non-seared one! Think of it like really sunburning your skin. It's just unnecessary damage.
2. It dirties up a pan, two forks, a spatula, the counter, and quite possibly the floor if you lose a firm grip on the meat. If you DO decide to sear, don't stick a fork in it: more unnecessary damage.
3. I'm lazy.

Photo courtesy of the Cook's Thesaurus.


Katy Agnew said...

Cushion NEVER sears her meat and it's DELISH!!! I wonder if Cushion and Alton have talked... :)

Anonymous said...

I don't thaw my roasts. Just throw it in with whatever ingredients and not much liquid, as roast cooks, it releases its own liquid.


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