Slow Cookers, usually relegated to the back of the cabinet, are enjoying a return to the limelight. As families find themselves a bit too over extended, the slow cooker has been pressed into service and is only too happy to once again be asked to put a tasty dinner on the table.
In “Slow Cooking for Two: Basics, Techniques, Recipes,” Cynthia Graubart devises a genius way to double the dinners in half the time by cooking two separate dinners simultaneously. The brilliant use of slow cooker bags, originally designed for easy clean up, allows two different meals in two separate bags to be cooked at the same time – one to enjoy that night and the other to be saved (or even frozen) for another. An added bonus is that two smaller dinners are prepared, thus eliminating nights and nights of leftovers.
Complementary recipes are paired and detailed instructions are included taking all the guesswork out of the preparation. Both meals were prepared in less than twenty minutes!
For tonight’s dinner we tried the Vinegar-Braised Pot Roast and the Lime-Lemon Pot Roast with Tomato Sauce (to which Cynthia quips: “I owe Natalie Dupree a debt of gratitude for this recipe, now a classic, from her book, New Southern Cooking. It’s simply the best dish to ever come out of a slow cooker)”.
So let’s get started:
First halve a two pound chuck roast.
Salt and pepper generously.
For the Vinegar-Braised pot roast, top with sliced onion, strong coffee, balsamic vinegar, and a couple of sprigs of rosemary.
For the Lime-Lemon Pot Roast, sprinkle with lime and lemon zest, and a mixture of lime juice, garlic, beef broth, dried Italian seasoning, and one can of crushed tomatoes.
Place each roast in its separate bag, set the timer on low and walk away.
After eight hours of gardening, reading, carpooling, playing, napping, golfing, skiing, relaxing, working, walk back into a house redolent with the most mouth-watering aromas; you will not have to call people to the table twice!
The second best part of these recipes is that because of the slow cooker liners, there is absolutely no cleanup. The first best part is, of course, the most succulent, melt in your mouth pot roast you will ever enjoy. We had to sample both and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite – both were equally tasty. Slow Cooking for Two is a must for everyone who wants terrific, crowd-pleasing meals but doesn’t want to be tied up in the kitchen all day. Martha