How do you make a pot roast?

It sounds like the first line of an old fashioned joke, but it is actually a serious cookery question. How can you roast something in a pot. After all, a pot is traditionally associated with water rich cookery whereas roasts are about dry heat and oil.

As I said, a pot is associated with moist cookery and indeed a pot roast is all about moisture. The meat used for pot roast have less fat than meat used for steaks so there is a danger of them becoming dry, chewy and stringy if the moisture is not retained.

Whatever meat you use, the first task will always be browning it which is basically frying the outside of the joint to carmelise the natural sugars. This gives the meat a richness of both colour and flavor that would otherwise be lacking.

Then it is a simple process of adding the vegetables and herbs to the meat in your crockpot, pouring in the liquor (often a good stock, sometimes nothing more than water) chucking the whole pot in the oven for a few hours and relaxing while dinner prepares itself.

There are many hundreds of wonderful crockpot recipes out there, so experiment and see which you like.

Easy crock pot recipe

There are quite a few easy crock pot recipes in my cupboard and I hope you enjoy these as much as our family do.

My first easy crock pot recipe is for pork:

Easy crock pot recipe for pork chops

Serves 4 adults

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick pork chops
  • 2 small squashes
  • 1 tablespoon of slightly salted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of gravy browning (optional)
  • The zest and juice of one fresh orange
  • salt and pepper to taste

First de-seed and cut the squashes into 1cm cubes. Now layer three chops in the bottom of your crock pot. Place half the squash cubes on top; then add the next three chops. Then add the rest of the squashes. Combine the rest of the ingredients together and spoon into the crock pot. Put the lid on the pot and cook in a low oven till the cows come home (about 6 hours is good). Serve with wholemeal sodabread.

My second easy crock pot recipe came from an old cookery notebook I found in a rummage sale many years ago.

Easy crock pot recipe for old style beans

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of raw pinto beans
  • 1/2 pint water
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cans of plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium green chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak pinto beans in water for 12 hours. Now rinse the beans in clean water and put into your crock pot.
chop the garlic and onion. Add all the ingredients to the crock pot (except the oil) and cook for 4 hours.

Strain into a bowl (keep both the juice and the beans)
Return the beans to the crock pot, add the oil and and mash them well. Add 2/3rds of the liquid and stir well. Check the seasoning, bring back to a good temperature and serve with rice.

I hope you enjoy my easy crock pot recipes.

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