It’s that time of year, isn’t it? The weather, though beautiful here in Indiana, is starting to get crispy, the leaves are changing, and we are already in October! Time flies for sure. This is the time of year when I begin using my crockpot again. Now some of you may think that crockpots are old fashioned and everything you make gets all mushy, but I’m here to tell you that is not true. Crockpot cooking is my favorite way to cook because it’s so easy, convenient, and versatile. You can pretty much use any kind of meat, spices, and sauces to make whatever you want. I’ve gotten really creative with it and had a lot of fun making Italian, Mexican, and Mediterranean style meals. There is literally no limit to what I can make! The crockpot is convenient because you can throw your ingredients in there in the morning, and when you return home from work you have a delicious meal waiting for you. And the smell in the house when you get home is to die for! It’s easy too, 6 hours on high cooks most any meat thoroughly, or if you’re going to be gone all day put it on low and it will be perfectly cooked when you get back home. Easy Peasy!
Though there are many different meals I make with my crockpot, I have one favorite that I make most often. It’s my family’s favorite too, and it’s very homey and comforting. especially when the weather starts to get cold. The recipe follows and I hope you’ll enjoy making it as much as I did!
VALERIE’S VERSATILE AND VERY DELICIOUS BEEF ROAST IN THE CROCKPOT
- At least 3 lb chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 16 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 32 oz can crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
- Onion (chopped roughly)
- 1/2 roasted red pepper- chopped
- tablespoon minced garlic
- teaspoon better than bouillon
- tablespoon salt
- teaspoon pepper
- teaspoon red pepper flakes
- teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves (must be removed before serving)
- tablespoon of chopped fresh basil- I picked mine from my garden
- 1/2 cup of good red wine
The first thing you do is rub the roast on both sides with the olive oil and the following dry ingredients- salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, and oregano, use half of the amounts I listed in the recipe above and reserve the rest for the sauce. Put the roast in the crockpot and then add the onion, crushed tomatoes, roasted red pepper, and chopped tomatoes. Add to that the better than bouillon, red wine, and remaining salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, oregano, and the bay leaves and fresh basil.
The picture above is what it looks like when all the ingredients have been added to the crockpot and it’s ready to cook. Depending on how much time I have I either put it on high for 6 hours or put it on low all day. When I made the roast yesterday I cooked it on high for 6 hours, and then switched it to low for another half hour because we weren’t ready to eat yet. I also have a “warm” setting on my crockpot so when I was getting ready to serve it I changed the setting to warm so it would cool down enough to eat the roast without burning us, but it wouldn’t get cold.
The thing I really love about this recipe is its versatility. Last night when I served it I made baked potatoes, sliced the roast and poured the “gravy” on top of the meat. I’ve also served it with quinoa or mashed potatoes on the side. However, my favorite way to serve it is to shred the meat and mix the “gravy” into the meat, then make pasta (gluten free of course) and combine the meat, gravy and pasta together to make the most delicious crockpot pasta meal ever! It is just so good I can’t even tell you in words. You’ll have to make it and see for yourself!
The roast brings a richness to the sauce and because the meat has been slow cooked it falls apart. It is truly a wonderful meal, my Honey calls it comfort food, and he said it made his day yesterday. What could be better than that?! I will be sharing other crockpot meal recipes throughout the winter months, but I started with my favorite. Let me know how you like it if you make it, or share your favorite crockpot meal with me. Remember to use organic, local ingredients whenever possible, and meat that is humanely raised without hormones or antibiotics. I hope you enjoyed my recipe and pictures, and that you try to make my favorite crockpot meal. It will help you live a life of vitality- like Valerie!