Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beef Rump Roast in a Crock Pot

Crock Pot Rump Roast
Thank goodness for Crock Pots. They allow for things that could be difficult otherwise. Things like setting and forgetting. I have been busy working on a cookbook that I hope will be published someday, and as I am the author, typesetter, graphic artist and photographer, it is going slowly. So I work on it daily, mainly because I really enjoy doing all those things. Cooking is still required in order to make the recipes, so I must keep at it. Some days are more inspired than others, and yesterday wasn't one of the more brilliant days. I have a freezer full of a side of beef, which in this weather comes down to making things like roasts, stews or spaghetti. My husband has had tooth problems on and off for months, so he doesn't want to eat the roasts, as it hurts to chew. So, what to do?

I decided to chance it. I pulled a Rump Roast out of the freezer yesterday morning. It was like a rock, and would likely take at least a day to thaw properly. So - here comes the crock pot! I have never really had a "recipe" for a roast in the crock pot. Some days the thing comes out tastier than others, but they are all good. Yesterday, though I didn't feel terribly inspired to begin with, and was running low on groceries (something I remedied today), the roast and its gravy were just plain delicious. 

A serving of the roast with gravy
I had no potatoes in the house, so I just set some carrots in the bottom of the crock pot, as a sort of rack. Since the meat was frozen solid, I wanted to give it some space underneath for the heat to circulate. I set the frozen roast on top of the carrots and stepped back to think; what would taste good with the roast?

The first thing I thought of was the Dry Onion Soup Mix I created a couple of months ago. I still had enough in the jar to use the equivalent of one store-bought envelope, so I measured out the 1/4 cup of the mix and strewed it over the meat.  I tossed in a bay leaf. Then, because I wanted to make gravy later, I added in about 1 teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet to make sure the color of the gravy would be good. I have Guinness Stout in my pantry, for cooking purposes (I like beer on occasion, but not Guinness Stout for drinking), so I poured one bottle in onto the roast. Then, because I wanted a rich color and flavor, I added in about 1/2 cup ketchup. I put the lid on and turned the pot to high. This was at 8:30 AM. Meanwhile, this is my recipe for the Dry Onion Soup Mix:

Dry Onion Soup Mix

4 Recipes of Dry Onion Soup Mix
Makes ¼ cup, equal to about one packet. Reconstitute with 4 cups liquid.

3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon celery seeds, crushed or ground
¼ - ½ teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in a glass jar in a cool dark place.

If mixing up more than one batch at a time for future use, be sure to mix thoroughly before using, as the onion will tend to surface and the finer ingredients will sink.

About 1 PM I came downstairs to check on the roast. I did not uncover the pot, but the house was smelling really wonderful, so I figured I had done something right! I turned the temperature to low and went back upstairs to work. 

At 4 PM I came back down and removed the lid from the crock pot. The roast was completely cooked! I removed the roast from the pot and set it aside and poured off the liquid into a saucepan. I did not strain the liquid, as there were all the reconstituted onion bits and other good things in there, but if preferred, it could have been strained. I mixed up about 3/4 cup of water with about 4 - 5 tablespoons of flour (or so - I wasn't measuring). I put this into one of those Tupperware containers with the little insert so it blends the flour and water well. With the saucepan at a simmer, I whisked in the flour and water slurry, whisking while the mixture thickened. As I was not measuring anything, I cannot say how much of the slurry I used - most of it - and the amount of liquid in the pan had originally been about about 3 - 4 cups. 

Here I must interject - neither my husband not I have a gluten intolerance, and if making things normally, I use wheat flour to thicken gravies. If one were to make this roast with gluten free gravy, substitute cornstarch for the thickening agent.

I let the gravy simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, so the flour was cooked. The color was beautiful. The gravy tasted just wonderful. I served the meat and gravy with some rice (with a pinch of saffron, just because), and it was one delicious meal!

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.