I’ve been going through withdrawals lately – the cold weather has been BEGGING me to dust off the old slow cooker and use it for batches of chili, stew, homemade soups, etc. But my beloved Crock Pot kicked the bucket several months ago; one of the hinges broke in half, so the lid didn’t create a tight seal anymore. I told myself I’d just order the part online, but I never did.
It was devastating! As a full-time working mom, I used my slow cooker often. It was just so EASY! Time with my family is limited when I get home from work, so I relied heavily on using my Crock Pot. There was always a warm, healthy, ready-to-eat meal waiting for us, hardly any clean up and no slaving over the stove for an hour or more, all of which meant more quality time with the husband and littles.
I’m not proud of this, but let’s just say that we’ve been eating a lot of pizza, Chinese take-out and grilled cheeses since we’ve been without a slow cooker.
But, ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to announce that I finally bit the bullet and splurged on a brand spankin’-new 6-quart Crock Pot!
It’s programmable, automatically shifts to “warm” when it’s done, AND the lid latches in a way that makes it possible to carry the whole thing with one hand. (I know I’m getting old when I start gushing over a slow cooker . . . )
Y’all – I have been giddy with excitement to bust this baby out of the box and give it a go! Of course I had to test it out by using a recipe that calls for a giant slab of meat.
So I made a fail-proof favorite –
Mississippi Pot Roast
(Full, printable recipe at the bottom of the page!)
Those of you who haven’t tried this are REALLY missing out. It’s flavorful, fall-apart-tender and juicy. Not only that, but it’s super simple to toss together at the last minute. Best of all? It’s husband AND kid-approved! (SCORE!!) It pairs nicely with homemade whipped potatoes, sauteed green beans and buttery dinner rolls.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Helpful Hack : I LOVE using slow cooker liners – there is virtually no clean-up.
After lining the Crock Pot, in goes the chuck roast. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and a whole lot of fresh ground pepper over the meat. Top it with the packet of Ranch seasoning and au jus mix. At this point, it looks like a mound of sand, and yes, I agree it doesn’t look very appetizing. (Oh, but just wait!)
Plop an entire stick of butter on top (Paula Deen would be so proud!) and toss in about 6 banana peppers.
Then set the timer to 8 hours on low, and you’re done.
Y’ALL. THAT’S IT.
(*Do NOT add any water to the pot.)
Of course, leave it to me to run into a few speed bumps while making the easiest slow cooker recipe there is. Learn from my mistakes, and read these tips:
Tip #1 : If you choose to use the liners, be sure you’re familiar with your slow cooker and have used liners with it before.
It was 6:30am, and after tossing everything into the Crock Pot, I resumed rushing around to get the girls ready for school and myself ready for work. After about 10 minutes, I smell something BURNING. Come to find out, the liners were melting from the exterior heat of the pot.
No worries, right? I simply tucked them into the lid and asked my husband to keep an eye on it for about an hour to make sure it didn’t happen again. (This was my second mistake . . . I should have known better.) So I get home from work, and my husband had UNTUCKED the liners, and well, they were all stuck and melted on the outside of the pot again. What a mess!
Tip #2 : When transferring leftovers from the slow cooker to a container, suck it up and use a ladle or something. Washing an extra utensil is easier than having to clean the countertop, the floor, your kid, etc…
I REALLY didn’t want to wash anything else, so I got the bright idea to pour the contents of my Crock Pot into a container rather than use a ladle. I found out the hard way that this was a mistake.
I was holding the liner and pouring all the goodies into a Tupperware container, when all of a sudden, the liner collapsed, and pot roast and aus jus went spilling EVERYWHERE. I caught the majority of it with the front of my shirt and pants, the countertop was saturated, juices were running down the cabinet doors, and a gravy lake was pooling at my feet.
I stood there, frozen, trying to coax my 4-year old to grab the roll of paper towels on the other side of the kitchen since Alan wasn’t home to help me out. And all the while, our husky, Dakota, was “helping” by lapping up the leftovers on my clothes, and our 18-month old seized the opportunity to splash around and make more of a mess.
(Don’t let this face fool you . . . )
It was like a scene from a movie – I couldn’t do anything but laugh at the situation.
Despite my misadventures, the pot roast turned out AMAZING, but I sadly did not capture an “after” picture due to all the, um, excitement!
So before the weather starts warming up, try this recipe. It’s one of my family’s favorite cool-weather comfort foods, and I’m sure it’ll become one of your family’s favorites as well. Unless you’re vegan/vegetarian . . . then I dunno what to tell you except that you’ll be missing out!