The cold weather is closing in in our area, and it makes me want to hunker down and cook warm, hardy meals. One of the greatest inventions for those of us with chronic illness (or just busy lives!) is the slow cooker. It doesn’t get much better: a few minutes of prep in the morning, hours of simmering and stewing, and we have a delicious meal ready for the family!
If you are looking for an easy, hearty family meal, you can’t go wrong with roast dinner. This is one of my husband’s favorite recipes.
1 large chuck roast
2 cups red wine
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dill
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Grease or line your slow cooker.
Lay the roast in the bottom of the crock (to minimize scorching/sticking, you can rest it on a wire rack or rolled up aluminum foil). Pour wine and Worcestershire over meat.
Sprinkle the top with spices, laying bay leaves in the juices.
Cover tightly and cook on low 6-8 hours. Baste the meat with the juices if desired throughout cooking time.
Since the meat cooks slowly over a long period, this is a great opportunity to save money and buy a slightly cheaper cut of meat. It should be tender and juicy by the time you finish cooking!
If you do not consume alcohol, you could experiment with different vinegars, such as a blend of balsamic and rice, an alcohol-free wine or sherry vinegar, or something similar. You’re looking for full-bodied flavor and some acidity to help tenderize the meat.
You can substitute real onions and garlic for powdered, if you’d like. I find powdered spices super convenient and inexpensive, and they pack a lot of flavor in a small amount. Plus, no chopping!
This recipe pairs well with oven-baked diced potatoes. Clean and chop russet or similar potatoes, and spread them in a greased baking pan. Coat lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper, a dash of smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Bake at 375 degrees F for roughly 1 hour 15 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. You can also serve these with steamed vegetables or your choice of side.