In my book, rainy days and Crock-Pot meals just go together, even in summertime. So on Friday, as I was doing some work from home, I decided I’d put something on to cook so I’d have a no-fuss meal ready for supper.
Of course, the first thing that came to mind was a pot roast, but I’ve never had much success with them, even as others profess them the easiest things ever to make in a slow-cooking vessel.
Maybe in the past I’ve used the wrong cut of beef. Most pot roasts call for the inexpensive chuck roast, so I think that’s what I’ve always chosen.
Maybe I’ve used too much liquid. Before, I’ve had roasts that swam in liquid and so they were tender, but dry (that’s the best way I can explain it).
And there were times when the vegetables cooked to mush and others when they were as hard as a rock.
Suffice it to say, my family never got really excited when I announced I was cooking a pot roast.
But Friday was different. I found a recipe online that is fool-proof, even for me. Some reviewers said theirs was too salty, so I cut the size of the dry package ingredients (I used all Kroger brands) and even used a reduced-sodium brown gravy mix that I found.
I tinkered with the recipe a bit, adding a bit more water than called for, rubbing the roast with the seasoning mix instead of sprinkling it on once the meat was in the pot, and putting a little vinegar on top to help tenderize the meat.
This roast was delicious, if I do say so myself, and the vegetables were cooked perfectly. The recipe said you could use any type of roast (chuck, English, rump) but I chose a sirloin tip, and even though it was more expensive, it was money well-spent to have a roast that was not only edible but also enjoyable.
Best-Ever Pot Roast
1 (3-pound) beef roast
1 (.87-ounce) package reduced-sodium brown gravy mix
1 (.6-ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
10 to 12 small red potatoes
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in thirds, then halved
3⁄4 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Pat roast dry. Combine dry mixes and rub over both sides of roast. Place potatoes and carrots in bottom of Crock-Pot and sprinkle with some of the remaining seasoning mix (you don’t have to use it all). Place roast on top of vegetables. Pour water around edges of roast. Sprinkle roast with vinegar. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Remove top and turn roast over once during cooking process.
Serves 6 to 8.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.