The weather cooled off considerably, and that meant a green light for something that heated up the kitchen all afternoon. Pot roast! Perfect!
I used to HATE pot roast when I was a kid. "Stringy Roast Beef" -it was just... blegh. My poor mom. "Ungrateful whelp" pretty much covers it, I know. But I didn't come around again to pot roast until late in the game, when I got a Fine Cooking with Molly Stevens' wonderful article about nine million ways to do a pot roast. Well, OK, not nine million, but a bunch. I picked this variation: Red Wine-Braised Pot Roast.
The nice thing about a pot roast is that you can cook it and forget about it for the rest of the afternoon. Leaving you time to piddle around, write emails, read, and do laundry.
Around 2:30, I started the process.
Searing the meat and making the flavor base...
Reducing and thickening the cooking liquid
...and the best part - putting it in the pot and forgetting about it for hours.
I have a slow cooker, but I never use it for anything other than keeping things warm. I just like using my clay cooker and the oven. I don't want slow-cooked stuff in the summer anyway, and when it's cold, I don't mind warming up the kitchen with the oven. Yes, I know it's more energy efficient to use the slow-cooker. But the oven keeps me from having to turn on the heat, so it's probably a close trade. And since I work from home, even on weekdays if I slow cook something, I can use the oven. Here at 305, it's all Andie. All the time.
After I emailed Ronda, who is recovering from back surgery and is bored (holla!) and playing a few games of freecell and ironing some napkins, (hey. I like to iron. Don't judge me.), it was time to do the rest of dinner prep. Obviously with something heavy like pot roast, you need a salad, yes?
Greens with a pear-vinaigrette, fresh pears and pecans sounded perfect.
I gotta say, the Teeter does me right on the vinegars they carry. This brand has several interesting flavors, including this pear one and a blood orange vinegar that's hittin'. And they don't cost an arm and a leg, which is nice, because I just can't wrap my brain around paying twenty bucks for vinegar, unless it's a really fine aged balsamic that you can eat with a spoon. And some ice cream.
Here is the recipe for the salad, if you'd like.
The nice thing about the whole meal was that it left plenty of time for visiting. Oh, and it didn't taste half bad, either.