Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who does the crockpot think he is anyway? [RECIPE]

Two days later. BUT WHATEVER.

I guess I thought the 80s din-din theme was fun and that I wanted to relive it some more, because I busted out the crockpot this week in the name of Pot Roast.

Now, I realize, neither the crockpot or pot roast are really inventions from the 80s (in fact, I'm pretty sure the crockpot came out in the 70s) but since *I* was invented only in the latest years of the 70s, all my memories of crockpots and Pot Roast and shit cooking all the live long day on my mom's kitchen counter are from the 80s.

And, looking back on it, I'm not 100% sure that my mom had a crockpot. Or ever made pot roast. Where do these memories come from? Maybe brisket? Maybe the pressure cooker? We had those things for sure.

Anyway, whatever. I busted out our Supah Old Crockpot the other day and proceeded to make Pot Roast.


Yes, it would seem that our Supah Old Crockpot, when set on "Low" as directed in my not-at-all complicated pot roast recipe, really means "Off".

So, when I went merrily on my way to work on Monday, with the crockpot all full of beef rump and carrots and the leftover boiling onions I found at the bottom of the freezer (score) set to "Low", I was setting myself up for some incredible disappointment.

See, I fantasized all day about the fabulousnessocity of walking into my house after a long day at work to the waft of a warm beefy dinner waiting just for me to slice it and make some Mix Mash and plate it all Supah Quick Like.

I mean, isn't that really the allure of slow-cookery? The ability to have both a full time job and a decent dinner. I think it is. I mean, yes, it tastes good, but it's friggen slow and if I didn't have a FTJ to go to everyday, I sorta doubt I'd mess with the thing.

Anyway - that's not important right now - the fact that I came home to the smell of NOTHING in my kitchen IS important - and also the most disappointing thing ever.

Here I was thinking, "Sweet! Dinner is going to take me, like, 10 minutes to make, but it's going to be ruuuully good and Bubba will love it and, in so doing, will love ME extra and WOO! Plus, we're so getting rid of those old onions and that one random potato and that celery root. Score."

Again, I know my life is small and weird, so you know - no need to bring it to my attention because it's already there.

But, alas, my big dreams of crockpot roast were not to be. Because our crockpot is lazy. Or a communist. Or old. Or an annoying combination of these things that amounted to a very-lightly warmed rump roast waiting for me in the crockpot.


Thankfully, I don't give up that easy.


I don't really recall what we had for dinner on Monday, but I do clearly recall cranking that fucker up to 300 degrees and letting it crock until we went to bed. And then, in the morning, I cranked it back up to 300 and let it crock all day long.

So, Tuesday night, after I worked all day and then got my hair done, I got to walk into the wafty house.

Finally, already. Geez.

This isn't a great photo. But it's hard to take a flattering picture of beef rump.
You understand.

And, I'll say it, it was pretty damn good.

Pretty damn good because I also made gravy.

Now, if you ever want to watch a Midwestern boy swoon, move him to California for a decade, where we don't have things like dinner rolls or gravy or pork sausage or fried chicken on our menus all the time, and then give it to him.

Then you can watch his eyes roll back and knees buckle and hands clasp at the bosom and what not.

I wish I'd taken a picture of Bubba's face when he realized that, not only were we having pot roast AND mashed potatoes (+celery root) AND homemade rolls for dinner, we were also having homemade gravy. It was priceless.

I really don't know what I was thinking when I registered for a gravy boat.
Who do I think I am?

Oh the gravy, it is the glue that holds together some marriages. Mine in particular. Sausage gravy, beef gravy, chicken gravy - it matters not.

And, to hear Bubba tell it, my gravy is "pretty fucking good." And since I will take my compliments however I get them and then share them with all the world because I'm very self-involved, I will share my recipe with you in the event that you decide to make pot roast from this recipe and then want the accompanying gravy to pour over the top from the gravy boat you registered for when got married five years ago and have only used twice. Including this time.

Those mashed potatoes and celery root are my new favorite thing.
Finny's Pretty Fucking Good Gravy
Recipes made up by Finny based on limited gravy knowledge and supply on hand.

Drippings from Simple Pot Roast recipe
3 T cornstarch
Fresh ground pepper
Kosher salt

To make
First, make your Simple Pot Roast according to the recipe instructions and don't forget to include a little wiggle room in your schedule for Supah Old Crockpot needs like mentioned earlier. Just in case, you know.

Put your roast on a cutting board (cover with a foil tent, of course) and remove the carrots and onions and whatever other veggies to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl and pour the drippings from the pot through the strainer and into a bowl.

This was ruully gross before I strained it. Ew. Beef globs.

Then sprinkle about a tablespoon of cornstarch over the gravy, whisking constantly until incorporated. Do this with the remaining cornstarch until the gravy becomes opaque.

In a small sauce pot, bring the gravy to a low boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste.

The low boil on this gravy was highly satisfying.

Then pour it into your favorite and mostly unused gravy boat and savor the results of a happy husband.

We usually use this gravy boat to pour water into our iron.

Plus, it's pretty fucking good - so you can have some, too, while perhaps trying to recall similar childhood events that may or may not have actually happened.


  1. Hee--you said rump.

    I can say with some certainty that if you did not have a full-time job, you would not mess around with a Crock Pot. Because I don't. And I know you're JUST LIKE ME.

    Also, my first Crock Pot was my dad's swingin' single guy Crock Pot, which WAS from the seventies and worked really well, until it died. Then I got a new one, and it doesn't cook as evenly. Which might also be why I don't use it much.

    I usually go the lazier way with gravy and shake some milk and flour up in a jar, then dump that in the meat juices. When I make it, which is rarely. Eliminates the need for whisking. Probably not as good as yours, though.

  2. that does look pretty fucking good. We love the crockpot over in this household. One of the few wedding gift appliances that I actually use.

    My favorite is spicy pulled pork. yummm.

  3. I love my crockpot, but I don't use it like I should. Have you seen A Year of Crockpotting? She's been using her crock pot every day for a year. Fabulous crock pot happenings.

  4. I am on my second crockpot, cause well, I have the FTJ and...two lazy daughters who don't cook much, and then when they do I thank them profusely and then wish they hadn't cooked when I taste the food. (That's mean I know, but I don't tell them about it)
    I love my crockpot, last week we had split pea soup from it and two nights ago was a nice pork roast waiting for me when I got home. Now if I could only figure out the dishwashing feature on it, I'd be happy!

  5. Maybe the crockpot is a freedom- hater.

    Nice work on the dinner...that's one more thing our dudes have in common: knees buckling over meat and potatoes. Every Thanksgiving I bust ass to make a creative and delicious spread and Andy makes Green Bean Casserole with French's Fried Onions and Canned Mushroom Soup. That and the gravy are his favorite. And mashed potatoes with more butter no matter how much butter is already in there.

  6. Oh, and. The only reason we have a crock pot is because Andy insisted on registering for one for our wedding. He has like five recipes that he follows that are from the actual crock pot cookbook. It is actually pretty charming.

  7. Oh yeah...I have a gravy boat too in my wedding china set. I use it for all kinds of sauces and dressings...even salad dressing for fancy dinners.

    I got a crock pot as a wedding gift (first husband), 1874. It's been runnin' ever since.

    Found this online:
    The first slow cooker was introduced in the early 1970s by Rival, under the trademarked name Crock-Pot®. Today, two models of this appliance exist on the market: multicookers and the original slow cooker. Multicookers can be used to deep-fry, steam and slow-cook."

  8. Ooops...I meant first wedding (1974)..yeah, I'm old, but not THAT old!

  9. My crockpot manages to burn things regularly. I have to keep it on low and watch the sucker or voila -- burned meat. burned beans. burned veggies.

    love this post. i can just imagine bubba with his gravy.

  10. What is it with men and gravy? When it comes to food, men never really progress beyond childhood, do they? I mean I confess to a secret longing for Sugar Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispie Treats, but I don't actually eat them. (OK, I did make Rice Krispie Treats for a white trash potluck about a year ago and they were a huge hit.)

    But yeah, I can totally picture Bubba getting all jazzed about his gravy. Of course, this is the man who daydreams about brisket...

  11. Mmmmm. Pot roast!

    *gets out crock pot and random onions & ruffage*

  12. mmm, crockpot roast, mashytaters AND gravy. one of our family favs. yours looks especially yummy, though.

  13. A gravy boat to pour water into an iron! That's so smart! Oh, and you've now renewed my interest in crockpots. I think I'll add it to my christmas list...

  14. Some call me the crockpot queen because I sing its praises. I actually own two. I had one that worked just fine, but there was no lift-out insert for easy cleaning. But I use it enough, and yes I'm just that lazy, that I bought another one. $15 at Wal-Mart WELL SPENT. I just made barbacoa in mine last night to taste like Chipotle's. It's on my blog if you want to steal. MMMMMMMMM.

  15. So its 9am here on the East Coast.

    I just made my own gravy.

    For the first time EVER!

    I didn't have a strainer, or cornstarch, so I subbed paper towels and flower...

    As to why I'm eating pot roast and veggies with gravy at 9am...I think my crock pot took the cooking karma from yours and cooked on Warm my food in like 5 hours...ARG so at 5am I was pulling the veggies out because they were done. I got up and decided to try gravy and it worked great (despite the lack of cornstarch)...thanks for the inspiration!

  16. LMAO


    Too funny to delete and correct!

    Guess I need to wake up a little more.


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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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