I have what some might call a love/hate relationship with fall. I hate the fact that fall means my summer has ended. No more shorts or flip flops. No more beach days. It’s fall. And now for what I love about fall…sweaters, boots and comfort foods. I spend all summer anxiously awaiting the return of soups, chili and the use of my slow cooker.
There are some nice benefits to using a slow cooker. With a slow cooker you can cook meats at lower temperatures for longer periods of time, allowing less expensive meat cuts to be tenderized simply by cooking them. The lengthy cooking times also allow for the infusion of flavors into the meat. One of my favorite benefits of using a slow cooker is convenience. I can place all of my ingredients in the slow cooker before leaving for work and come home to complete meal. Pot roast is such a classic slow cooker meal that can be easily made if you stick to just a few rules. For a pot roast you will want to use a chuck roast cut of meat with generous marbling throughout. The more marbling you see the more tenderness and flavor you will end up with. Searing the meat in a large pan with a bit of olive oil is also an important step that will lock in the flavor of the roast.
Now that your meat is ready for the slow cooker you’ll want to add in a couple of essential ingredients: carrots and onions. Am I forgetting something? Potatoes. While it is traditional to include potatoes in with the roast I prefer to prepare mashed potatoes to accompany my roast as I feel that potatoes that have cooked for 8 hours turn out mealy and bland. It’s all in your preference but I also have a thing for mashed potatoes. Feel free to play with the flavors of your roast. Spice it up with some jalapeno or fight off vampires with extra cloves of garlic. The sky is truly the limit with such a comfort dish. The ease of slow cooker recipes will certainly free up more time in the evening to spend with your family around the dinner table.