Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Martha's slow cooker pot roast and trusting your inner chef

Did I mention I got a new crock pot? We purchased a lovely stainless steel and ceramic 6 quart crock pot a couple of weeks ago. It's beautiful and even has a timer. While at the store this weekend, I decided it was time to crock pot a roast. If you've never cooked a pot roast all day in a crock pot, you're missing out. It gives you the most tender roast you'll ever eat. Usually I cover my roast and veggies in a mixture of broth, cream of mushroom soup, lots of garlic and some sage.

I've been trying to venture out of my comfort zone on dishes lately though and actually follow some recipes. The other day I found the recipe for Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker Pot Roast, and after reading all the stellar reviews, I figured I'd give it a try. Nevermind that I questioned the minimal spice and the complete lack of liquid. This recipe had raving reviews and I was following it exactly.
All I can say is that you should always listen to your inner chef. The people that raved about this recipe must have only made roasts in those reynold's bags prior to this recipe. Granted I cooked this 2 hours less then the recommended 10 hours (my crockpot timer only goes up to 8), but that honestly wouldn't have made a huge difference. The flavor was subtle but still managed to be a little tart from the worcestershire. The liquid "gravy" that everyone raved about was just a greasy, flavorless broth (don't worry, I used it to make a tasty gravy which saved the meal). The roast itself was the driest thing I've ever pulled out of a crock pot. It wasn't very tender either.

Popular recipes and beautiful photography don't necessarily make for a great meal. Lesson learned. The roasted potatoes on the other hand, were out of this world. I cut some gold potatoes into thick wedges, tossed them in some olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, thyme and crushed garlic. I roasted at 475 for 15 minutes on the low rack in my oven. Then I flipped them and roasted for 10 minutes more. Yum!!!

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Stace W said...

You would think people like Martha would know better. I agree it just seems wrong not to add liquid to a crock pot recipe like that. For what it's worth I have a supposition which may explain Martha's poor cooking "chops"; if the roast has enough marbling or fat cap you can cook it without adding liquid. Martha and Foodnetwork cooks seem to equate salt, fat, and sugar to good taste and fine cooking. My personal problem with that is, I equate good cooking to using spices and other ingredients to replace fat and salt so that a healthier meal is just as tasty. Just an idea.

Elra said...

Oh my world, I never seen meat look so moist and succulent. I can only drool imagining how delicious this must be.

Melanie Busbee said...

I absolutely love pot roast. I'm sorry this recipe was a letdown. ick.
But the photos do look great.

melissa said...

olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, thyme and crushed garlic

Yep, that does potatoes good.

I know what you mean about trusting your inner chef and that's good advice. I went through the same thing on a recipe back in October. I wasted a lot of good (and costly) beef. Lesson learned though, right? *Sigh*

Jeni said...

Thanks for the encouraging words everyone. Just goes to show, that stuff that looks great, can be very misleading. We enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn't the best we'd ever had like most of the reviewers commented.

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