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Easy Slow Cook Roasts

I am a huge fan of 'leave-it-alone cooking' which totally fits my busy lifestyle. Roasts for some folks can seem intimidating to cook, and it's easy to over cook them and dry them out.

My favourite way to prepare roast of anything (especially smoked hams) is so easy. You can do this in a slow cooker, or in a covered dish in your oven.

You can try it the fast way, or the fancy-pants way which I'll describe at the end of this recipe, if you can actually call it a recipe. No matter which way you choose, the roast will always be tender and juicy.

Method: Start with a roast. Beef, pork, lamb, veal, whatever. Doesn't matter if it's bone-in or boneless.

If you are like me and it's lunch time, and you realize you forgot to take something out to thaw, no problem. Unwrap the roast, and plunk it into your slow cooker, or into a braising dish, (which I think is just an impressive way to say ovenproof dish, pot, or pan that has a fitting lid.)

Add a small amount of liquid. Bone broth works great, but if you don't have any, water will do.

I toss on some seasonings. In our house it's usually pretty simple: Garlic and salt. If I'm feeling inclined, I might add rosemary, or any other culinary herb that strikes my fancy that day. Really good meat doesn't need any help to taste good, I find. So salt and garlic are usually all we add.

Turn the crockpot to high, or the oven to 250 degrees, and let the frozen block of meat braise. In about 4 −6 hours (depending on the size of the meat you started with) it will be falling off the bone, or falling apart. 

If it's not falling apart after 4 or 5 hours, it probably only needs about 1 hour more. 

It's great if you can flip the roast over at least once whilst it's cooking, at some point in the last two hours is a perfect time to do this. 

The Fancy-Pants way: Thaw the roast the day before, and cover it in a spice rub. Leave it in your fridge covered up, and then the next day, follow the instructions above. You may need less cooking time if the roast is thawed when you start, but not that much less.

Other tips:

-If you want to start the roast cooking in the morning, a slow cooker is great, you can turn the meat on low and let it cook all day. To do the same with your oven, use your oven timer and set the temperature at 250.

-Use the drippings from the roast to make gravy

-Don't add as much water as some slow cooker manuals suggest! If you cover the meat with water or broth, you will make soup, not roast! You need only add about 1/2" of liquid to the pan in order to keep things moist.

-I love to cook a roast on Sunday, then cool it over night. Then, Monday to Friday you can slice off thin pieces for school or work lunches. 

-If you like your roasts to be a bit crispy on the outside, then don't flip the meat over in the last hour or two. Flip it earlier, then leave it on one side. That side will crisp up a bit, even with the lid on.

-Our family loves roast veggies on the side of a roast, but not cooked in with the roast. We do them in a separate dish, add some back fat and some of the pan drippings. This means your roast veggies taste lovely, are crispy, and don't suck up all the drippings, which means you can have lots of gravy.

-This method can also be used for any cut of meat, not just roasts: hocks, shanks, round steaks, you name it. If you don't know how to cook it, give this a whirl. 

-Leftover roast? Try this recipe for the leftovers.

 

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