Baby O and O Wise One were due back Sunday afternoon. I wanted to have a hot meal waiting for them. Nothing beats a good pot roast on a slow and relaxing Sunday afternoon. This is one of my family's favorite meals. Pot roast and gravy swimming with spices, mushrooms and onions. Mashed potatoes, sweet green peas and whatever vegetables I fix as sides. This day it happened to be smothered squash and asparagus spears.
It started out with 2 small venison roasts which are defrosted and washed well. Then dried and seared in a cast iron skillet in a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of the skillet. When searing you are simply browning the very outer portion of the meat. Once seared I set the roasts on a cutting board to cool slightly and into the skillet I put a hand full of frozen sweet onions. The moisture from the frozen onions will help to get any bits of meat and all the good flavor left on the skillet. Now turn the skillet on low and let those onions cook until they start to show just a little color or just brown around the edges. Now take your braised roast and make small slits and into each slit place a small piece of chopped peeled garlic clove. Place roasts in crock pot now.
Over the roasts pour enough home canned beef broth to just about cover the roasts. (bouillon is fine) Now into the liquid pour your onions, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tablespoon parsley, dried mushrooms (or canned), 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste. I then turned my crock pot on High and cooked the meat for 4 hours or until tender. (time will vary with the size of your roasts)
Then I removed my roast from the liquid in the crock pot and covered with aluminum foil and allowed to sit and cool. Notice how the bits of garlic have worked their way out of the slits in the meat as it cooks.
Now to the remaining liquid in the crock pot make sure and put the lid back on it and leave the pot on high. Mix together 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon cornstarch and to this mixture add enough water to make a thin paste. Pour into hot liquid in crock pot while stirring well. Return the lid to pot and allow to cook on high for about 20 to 30 minutes and your gravy should thicken. See you can cook a meal in the crockpot without canned soups!
Now to the side dishes. Back during canning season I mistakenly allowed a batch of canned potatoes to process for too long. This gave me potatoes that were over processed and tended to fall apart. Not only will I one day learn to pay closer attention but this also gave me the perfect canned potatoes for making mashed potatoes instantly. Who knows next year I might just accidentally
on purpose do that again : )
It is really simple you just drain the potatoes. Ladies notice the handy dandy plastic drainer that fits right over the top of the jar. If you ever find one grab it because they are the handiest things ever. Now add your potatoes to a pot and put in a little milk and a pat or two of real butter. Now heat that up and allow it to simmer long enough to get those potatoes good and hot through. My family also like a little parsley and garlic powder in their potatoes.
Now take a hand potato masher and make sure to break up any remaining whole potato pieces. Then I take my hand egg beater and whip them potatoes good. Now because the potatoes are canned they tend to be kind of thin or watery so after you mix them you need to thicken them just a hair.
So add a few instant potato flakes at a time until they are the consistency you like. Have a runny stew or gravy these potato flakes work wonderfully to firm up a gravy in a hurry. Just a little at a time though. One of the few instant boxed foods that I buy! Now add a pat of butter on top of those potatoes and they are ready to go.
Now to my sides I added a bag of frozen squash to a black iron skillet with a little finely chopped bacon and a hand full of frozen sweet onion cooked in a little olive oil already in the skillet. I allowed the squash to cook until thoroughly heated and just starting to fall apart. Baby O adores smothered squash like this. It is one of her favorite vegetables.
I opened up a bag of frozen asparagus spears and popped them into the microwave for about a minute and a half and then added a pat of butter over the top. That's it and be careful not to overcook them. Then cooked some frozen peas because my husband can't have mashed potatoes and gravy without green peas.
A skillet of hot biscuits for sopping that gravy
And a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie from my frozen pie filling stash almost guarantees everyone will be napping with a full belly this Sunday afternoon.
As for me I think I will retire to the quilt frame since they have dish duty.
And the good part is that I have a half a loaf of french bread left over from the day before and one whole roast with gravy for some good roast
beef venison poboys for tomorrows lunch. So the next time I fuss about them deer in my corn patch you all remind me of this meal just to keep me thankful!
And there you have it, another installment in my cooking from scratch posts. And to quote my late daddy ....
" we may not be rich but we sure do eat good!"
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter