My favorite roast to prepare is a chuck roast…My favorite way to prepare a chuck roast is in a crock pot…I can start it early in the morning and cook it all day and not have to worry about what I am going to cook for dinner when I get home…
There are weeks (like this one) where my life is so chaotic that without my crock pot and beef roasts my family would be hungry…The blondes and I arrived back into Omaha on Sunday morning in time to drive to Megan’s volleyball tournament—we have not stopped running since… For those of you that are not familiar with Nebraska, Omaha is a three and a half hour drive from my house. Megan’s volleyball tournament was in a town half way in between Omaha and home.
Monday was filled with my cattle nutritionist’s monthly visit and shipping cattle to harvest.
Tuesday, I drove up into the Sandhills to get new cattle for the feed yard (If you missed my post of how I am my own Cattle Buyer last fall, then you can click here to read it!) https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/the-cattle-buyer/, and then I participated in a Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance meeting before heading back home to help at our church’s pancake feed…
Wednesday was filled with acclimating and vaccinating the two pens of new cattle. Wednesday night brought the realization that it was Wednesday night and I had yet to write my Feed Yard Foodie post for Thursday! Yikes!
Although I am not sure that I have had the chance to sit down and breathe yet this week, Matt and I have managed to get the girls fed with the help of my crock pot. In all honesty, my crock pot ranks right up at the top of the list for useful wedding presents. There are many days when it is the difference between having a home cooked dinner and eating a peanut butter sandwich…
So, what do I look for in a roast and how do I cook it?
As a cattle farmer, I am spoiled because my freezer is full of home grown beef. But, if I were to buy a roast at the grocery store here is what I would look for…
*My favorite type of roast is a chuck roast. The chuck is the shoulder of the animal and there are several roast cuts: chuck 7 bone roast, chuck pot roast, shoulder pot roast, or shoulder center. Look for the words “chuck” and “shoulder”. You can also click on this link to see an interactive guide to the beef meat case….http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/
*I would only buy a chuck roast that is USDA grade choice at the minimum—and I would try to find one that is Certified Angus Beef or certified tender.
*I would look for little white flecks of marbling in the roast because those are what give it tenderness and flavor.
Once I brought the chuck roast home here is what I would do with it…
*Place it in my crock pot with: a couple of cups of liquid (either all water or a blend of red wine and water) and a can of soup. I use all different types of soup depending on what taste I am in the mood for…For example: beef consume, cream of mushroom, or cream of tomato.
*I chop up some onion and add it and a bit of pepper to the meat and liquid.
*I cook it on low for about 6 hours. After about 6 hours, I add vegetables. Sometimes I just add baby carrots, sometimes I also add chopped celery, sometimes I add chopped yellow squash or zucchini from my garden, sometimes I put in a bag of frozen mixed vegetables if I have forgotten to go to the grocery store to get fresh vegetables and it is winter time so I have none in my garden…If my girls liked potatoes then I would add them but they don’t so I never do…(If, however, your family liked potatoes they would be another great thing to add!)
*I check my fluid level in the crock pot to make sure that I do not need to add any more water, and then continue to cook it on low for several more hours.
*Whenever everyone finally gets home from work, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, Destination Imagination or any number of activities, I serve my great tasting roast to the hungrily awaiting mouths…My girls like it when I also cut up some cheese and serve cheese and Wheatable Crackers along with the roast.
Apart from the flexibility of this meal and the consistent great taste of the roast, I also like this dinner because I only get one pan dirty preparing it so clean up is easy!
Easy clean up means that I can get to bed earlier and get ready to start all over again!