Pot Roast: day two

 

 

Now it’s time to add the vegetables!

After cooking all day I added potatoes, carrots, and pearl onions. This is where the weakness of my cookbook was really apparent. I thought that 45 minutes in a slow cooker wasn’t quite long enough for potatoes – and I was right! Both they and the carrots were hard even though I gave them extra time. Veggie fail! In the future I will pre-cook my vegetables. That’s a tip, kids.

At the very end I added peas and corn. The corn needed to be added because it was going bad; I’d gotten 5 corn for a dollar at the grocery store for that reason. The rest will go into the chili that I want to make in the next few days.

This is what it looked like before I added the gravy:

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Ready to eat

And then, with gravy on my plate and ready to go:

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My first attempt at making meat and potatoes!

American Pot Roast

 

For some reason my cookbook differentiates between American pot roast and Italian. The difference seems to come down to pancetta (Italian) vs mirepoix (American – who knew! I thought it was French!) as the main seasoning. So I started it tonight, because pot roasts were 30% off at the grocery store. Which, when you find meat at the store that’s 30% off, you need to cook it post haste. So I started tonight. I’ll finish tomorrow. Thus far it looks like this:

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Would you believe that there’s a pot roast under there?

Thus far you’re looking at a pot roast (hidden underneath the gravy) which after being dredged in flour, salt, and pepper, was browned in butter for ten minutes. Then the mirepoix was cooked in the same browned butter with a teaspoonful of thyme and sage (I love these two!) and a pinch of rosemary. Then more flour as a thickening agent and three cups of veggie broth. I was supposed to use beef broth but I don’t keep that lying around. So that’s the gravy.

Tomorrow it’ll cook for eight or nine hours (can you overcook a roast? I hope not as I have some errands to do) and have pearl onions, potatoes, and peas added to it at the end. Planning ahead for post-work dinners!

Would you believe that I’m about as organised as a real grown up?

Pickled Garlic Scapes

I made pickles. Here’s the finished product:   image

These ones are pickled garlic scapes. It was brought to my attention that some people don’t know what garlic scapes are. They’re green shoots that sprout out from the garlic bulb in early spring. They take energy away from the bulb which, when you’re growing garlic to eat the bulb, is undesirable. They used to be scraped and fed to pigs  (or turned into compost). But they’re really quite yummy.

Some of these jars will be traded for things. I traded for the scapes in the first place and I promised the man who gave them to me a jar of pickles. I’ll also give a jar to my brother-in-law, as he seemed interested. The rest will either become gifts or an incentive for me to make more salads. And caesars. I bet that they’ll be delicious in caesars.

Mexican Casserole

Using the same cookbook, I also made a mexican casserole. This one was very spicy. This might be because I added three jalapeños, which turned out to be a bit much.

Yoghurt-spice sauce

Yoghurt-spice sauce

That’s on top of all of the spices in the yoghurt.

A glass bowl filled with kidney beans, rice, corn, and tomatoes all stirred with a wooden spoon

Filling

This filling really helped me raid my freezer. From it came corn, tomatoes, rice, and beans. The only fresh ingredient was the jalapeño! And I can buy them at the corner store, so it really wasn’t that much of a hardship.

A casserole dish filled with filling, comprising rice, kidney beans, corn, green onions, and tomatoes

Waiting to bake

1/4 of the finished casserole gone

All baked and delicious

This was all eaten in two days. It was pretty delicious!

It turns out that I’m much happier with food in my fridge. Apparently when my fridge is empty I get anxious, upset, and irritable. It’s stressful to think that I don’t have any food! I feel as though there’s a lesson in there.

Stew

Earlier this year Fuzzy bought me a cookbook for my birthday. It’s dedicated to spicy food. It’s one of my favourite cookbooks!

Last week I dedicated myself to raiding my freezer and pantry and making meals for the week. So this is Ethiopian wat (‘wat’ means ‘stew’ according to this book), made vegan. It looked pretty much like this, only with more tomato in it at the end.

Finely chopped onion and cubed tempeh brown in a dutch oven. Shown with wooden stirring spoon.

The beginnings of a stew!

It was pretty great, and I will make it again. Today I got more tempeh so that it’s an option in the future.

My cookbook arrived!

I love cookbooks. It’s almost an addiction. I have far more cookbooks than I use, but I like reading recipes the way that some people read novels. So I keep getting them. This one is particularly helpful because I have a slow-cooker that I ‘inherited’ from my scatter-brained aunt. She left it behind on a trip so I took it home with me. Of course she’d lost the instructions on how to use it in her forgetfulness, so I learned how to make oatmeal and have been making that. Of course, slow cookers are good for much more than just oatmeal so I figured that I needed a cookbook. It arrived in the mail today, and a week earlier than anticipated!

Due to my work schedule I anticipate it being very useful in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to it!