Friday, January 14, 2011

Cold Weather Comfort Food

I don't know what it is about cold weather and snow that makes me crave a yummy pot roast dinner. But, it does, and I'm not one to ignore cravings.  Luckily, I have a great pot roast recipe, courtesy of my dear mom who made it regularly during my childhood, that Winnie's dad has come to love as much as I do:  Pepsi Pot Roast.  Pepsi, not coke!   I know, you're thinking "Pepsi and beef? That's weird."  I know that it sounds weird, but the ingredients combine to make a delicious, sweet and savory gravy.  I promise.  I've tried to tweak it over the years, but the original recipe always turns out the best.  This recipe is equally as good made in the oven or in a slow cooker.  If you make it in a slow cooker, cook it on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3.5-4 hours, depending on the size of your pot roast. We're having this on Sunday night. 

Pepsi Pot Roast

3-4 pound beef pot roast (I recently read a recipe that used a pork roast, but I've never tried it with pork)
16 oz Pepsi--do not use Diet Pepsi, or any other Pepsi variation, and don't use Coke.  I've tried them all and they did not turn out well!
1 can Cream of Mushroom condensed soup
1 package Dry Onion Soup Mix (Lipton or your store generic)

Place roast in a dutch oven (or 4 qt slow cooker).  Spread the mushroom soup over the roast, and sprinkle the onion soup on top.  Pour the Pepsi in the pan.  Cover pan tightly (if your lid is loose, cover with foil first). Bake at 325 for 3.5-4 hours or 250 for 6-8 hours. If you are making this in the oven, it might be a good idea to place your dutch oven on a rimmed baking sheet.  If you buy a larger piece of meat, use a bigger slow cooker.  You want your slow cooker to be about two-thirds full.

I typically make roasted potatoes, onions and carrots to serve with this roast.  After some trial and error, I now make these separately on a rimmed baking sheet rather than placing them in the pan or slow cooker with the roast.  Just cut some potatoes in half or quarters (depending on their size), add some baby carrots, and a few sweet yellow or red onions, quartered, to the baking sheet, toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven for at least an hour at the same temperature as the roast.   Just keep an eye on them--they are done when the potatoes are fork tender. 

Serve the pot roast "gravy" over the roasted vegetables.  Better yet, make some mashed potatoes and use the gravy on those.  This recipe probably deserves attribution to a cookbook, but all I have is my mom's handwritten recipe card.  Sue me. ;-)

After you try the Super Simple Cranberry Roast, give this one a try a few weeks later, and let me know which you prefer.  Coming soon, a tried-and-true casserole that makes your house smell divine:  No Peek Chicken!

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