Monday, March 30, 2015

"You Can't Screw It Up": another non-recipe

It's been a while.  Inconsistent blog writing is what I do, apparently.

After Amy died, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with my blog.  It was too hard.  Amy was a talented, passionate blogger and every time I opened my laptop and attempt to write something during the days following that terrible accident, all I would do is cry.

I feel tears in my eyes now, after clicking on Amy's beautifully crafted blog and remembering her.  Every day I think of her, and her dear family, and every day it is still hard.  So, I cling to the hope that I am continuously reminded of (Romans 8:23-25) and say another prayer for her family.

I love following the work of these gals that are part of Amy's group, North Iowa Bloggers: LoniJeniDonnaVal, BethAnn and Katy.  Reading the tributes they wrote about Amy was like pulling energy and strength right out of my computer.  So, it's time to "be okay" with blogging again.

Today, it's all about the crock pot once again.  It took a brief respite during basketball season, but this week I realized how close we're getting to actual spring (not calendar spring.  We've already gotten to calendar spring.  ACTUAL spring is when the weather stops teasing us and becomes consistently warm!).  Cozy, comfort food recipes become less and less appealing as the weather warms up.  So, I made a beef roast. 

I was a little obsessed with making roast this fall, when Tom and I discovered that we had about 1/8 of a steer still lurking in our deep freezer.  We found several 1 1/2 - 2 lb cuts and I had a great time trying out new combinations of flavors and seasonings in the crock pot.  I think we ate it once a week, and I even got to provide a big home-cooked meal for the two boys we had student teaching in our classrooms.

Something I've learned about crock pot meals that involve larger cuts of meat is that it is nearly impossible to screw them up...IF you use the right cooking times and enough liquid.  This is good news for me...I rarely stay true to a recipe.  This particular concoction is definitely another non-recipe experiment.  It's just the stuff I had on hand...and it turned out perfect. 

Start with a 3-lb chuck roast (I got mine at Hy Vee).  Trim off any excess fat, and season with salt and pepper.

Are you picky about the salt you use?  I am.


I haven't used table salt for anything other than baking in years.  Kosher is where it's at for cooking.  It sits in this cute little pottery bowl right on my stove.

After you season the meat, brown it in a large skillet with a little olive oil.  Make sure you brown both sides.  I forgot the picture of this, because I got busy with my carrots and onions.  This is a half of a red onion and about 1/3 of a bag of organic baby carrots, hanging out in the crock pot.

After the meat has browned, take it out and set it on top of the onions and carrots in the pot.  Then, the best step: deglaze your skillet with some red wine.  

Important note:  Don't be like me and buy the cheap stuff!  Flip Flop Pinot Noir worked okay for the recipe, but it wasn't the highest quality drinking wine.

After deglazing (I probably dumped in about a half cup), let that wine get all magical and delicious by reducing it for a few minutes.

And drink some of it.  My friend Jaime told me after my other blog post involving a cheap, musty-tasting red from Aldi, which I ended up drinking anyway, "Bad wine is better than no wine."

I didn't have any beef broth, so I dug out some au jus mix.  I added 8 oz of jus plus the red wine reduction to the crock pot...

and decided more wine from the bottle wasn't going to hurt anything.

I crushed some garlic cloves and tossed those in, as well...

and 7.5 hours later, THIS!

It's a bad picture!  LOL!  I didn't take any photos after I plated it because it wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever made.  Also, I didn't want to waste a single second of time.  It was a very rare occasion for Tom and I to have dinner, in our own home, ALONE with no baby.  We waited to eat until Jude had gone to bed.  I think we need to do that more often.  It was wonderful to listen to great music and talk without our sweet lil guy needing us.

By the way...Jude will be ONE YEAR OLD in a few short weeks.  Here are some recent shots with his daddy:

at church...

helping daddy announce at the middle school shoot-off...

and playing a hammer-on.  :)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...

You may be wondering: Where are the potatoes in that crock pot?  Good question.  We were out of potatoes.  I was a super-classy cook and made some hash browns to pair with it.  Hey, if Tom likes it, I call it a success.

We also had some wonderful sesame bread and a steamed vegetable side.  And now we are looking forward to some French dips as a result of the huge amount of leftovers!

Next post: SodaStream.  Best purchase EVER.

I hope you all have a great week!  :)
Love, Betsy


  1. Excited to learn you have a blog! Jake just requested pot roast this week.

  2. I am so excited to meet you in real life! This pot roast recipe looks like a winner to me!