Hmmm...I see that I missed Foodie Friday so I'll do a double dip and include a little food in with my Monday musings. Pot roast. One of our favorite go-to meals that is not only easy to make, but a meal I know will be eaten and enjoyed. I usually buy a double pack of Angus beef chuck roast at Sam's Club and slow cook one in the Crockpot and one in the oven. I put a packet of onion mushroom soup mix in each pot and mix it with about a cup of beef broth. I add a small bag of fat baby carrots, mince four cloves of garlic, two medium onions, and chop six stalks of celery and split for each pan/pot. I lightly sprinkle both roasts with Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning because we love the flavor and it has most of the seasonings that I'd use anyways. I add a bay leaf and sprinkle about two teaspoons of Italian seasonings in each pan/pot and cover. I slow cook the one in the oven at 250 degrees for around 5 hours and raise the temp to 400 degrees for an hour until the internal temp is at least 145 degrees as recommended by the USDA. Rare is usually around 130 degrees but my guys prefer their roast medium. And if you slow cook it...it's usually just as tender.
I usually check them both at least once and spoon some of the juice from the pan drippings over the roast for more flavor. When the roast is finished, I'll put the pan drippings in a sauce pan and heat it up until it's barely bubbling. Whisk in about a tablespoon of flour for gravy you can pour over the roast or mashed potatoes. I don't include potatoes in my pans because the guys prefer homemade mashed red potatoes. I'll quarter potatoes and boil with two tablespoons of butter, a dash of salt and pepper and cook until fork soft. Drain and mash, adding a stick of butter, two minced garlic cloves, a half cup of sour cream, a cup of cheddar cheese, and a half cup of chopped velvetta. The guys love fresh baked rolls and I cheat...I thaw Rhodes white or wheat frozen rolls and let them rise. I'll put them on to bake about 15 minutes before we start dishing up dinner. Rarely do I hear a peep from the guys...except when they ask for seconds. LOL. Several people I know have variations of the same recipe...some brown their roasts for a crust. Not me. I tend to find the roast a bit tougher when I do. I occasionally add fresh herbs when available.
*deep sigh* Now that the house is smelling soooo scrumptious, it's time to get to work. NaNo is coming up fast and I'm working to prepare my story. Today I'm going to start working on a basic synopsis or outline. I'd like to flesh out my character charts as well. That usually happens as I squeeze out the rough synopsis. We have about two weeks to get the basics done before it's time to start concentrating on word count. I am determined to have a rough draft completed by the end of November. Hopefully I can have the edits completed by January. My goal is to go through a round of critiques with my crit partners and then send it to a freelance editor by the end of January. I've imposed a personal deadline to have it ready to either submit or self-publish by March 1, 2013. I'm still not sure which I'll focus on yet.
Okay...enough rambling. Off to work I go!