The Way to My Man's Heart...

So tonight we are having some friends over for dinner and I decided to make a roast, because I have some potatoes and an onion I want to use, before they expire. As I was grocery shopping on my way home from work, I was having all these flashbacks from 5 years ago, when Travis and I were just dating and I was quickly figuring out the things that made him happy...things like playing golf together, going to see a movie, walking on the beach at sunset, coffee dates at Starbucks, reading dates at Borders, and Dinner dates in my apartment. My Mom wisely suggested that I cook for Travis, very early on in our relationship and I swear to you, that was the first thing that drew him to me! He was fascinated by my cooking, which wasn't all that impressive by the way, but to a bachelor, it must have seemed like a dream come true! I cooked 3 or 4 nights of the week for us...can you belive that? We weren't even engaged yet, just dating!! I was living by the old addage, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" and I must say, he had it made in the shade in those days!

Of all the things I made for Travis, one dish was an instant hit and the dish he would say even today, is his was a pot roast. I had never made one before, until I lived in Naples, but my Mom suggested it and coached me through it on the phone while I was grocery shopping and while I was making it. Pretty daunting for a 22 year old I thought! I cannot tell you the number of roasts I made while we were dating! Let's just say, I bought more meat that year than a family of 4 would normally go through! He LOVED it when I made a roast and eventually I was making one almost weekly...oh the work I went to, to win his heart!! So today as I was strolling the aisles, working through my list, I thought back to those days and I found my heart smiling. I love that memory. Clearly those roasts were worth it! I'm now 4.5 years as Mrs. Travis Armstrong...not too bad for the price of meat and potatoes! Anyway, I've since heard from many friends over the years, that a roast is one thing they have never tried or have never succeeded at. I can take no credit for knowing how to do this the first time without the help of my Mom, but I've now made so many that I would almost consider myself an expert at it! So here's my recipe for a No-Fail Amazing Pot Roast...if you need some inspiration this week in your kitchen, here you go!

Stephanie's No-Fail Pot Roast

Oven Roast, 2-5 lbs, depending on the number of people, I'm using 2.8lbs, which will easily feed 4-6 adults
(I like "Top or Bottom Round Roasts" or "Rump Roasts", I've learned to ask the meat counter guy what he thinks is a good cut for a tender, slow roast)

4-5 Baking Potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
1 bag of Carrots, peeled and cut
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in chunks
1 head of cabbage, peel back the outer layers and cut in chunks...I know, I don't even like cabbage, but you MUST put it in there for the flavor it adds! I've done it without the cabbage and it just isn't as flavorful. I don't know why, but it makes a big difference.
2 packets of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix...this may be my secret ingredient! It gives the meat tremendous flavor! You can use regular onion soup mix, but I like the bold flavor from the beefy onion kind.
3-4 cups of water

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to do, is brown your meat. Heat 3-4 T of veg. oil in a pan, and brown the roast on each side for several minutes. This seals in the juices and makes the meat more tender. Don't skip this step, even if you make it in a crock pot. After you brown it, stab it with a fork on both sides to tenderize it.

I make my roasts 2 ways.

If I have all day, then I make it in the crock pot on low and let it cook for 8 hours. I put the cabbage and potatoes on the bottom, then the meat, and then I just surround the meat with all the other stuff, sprinkling everything with the onion soup mix, and adding the water at the end. You can adjust the amount of water based on how deep or shallow your crock pot is. I like about half of the pot to be filled, so that nothing burns and everything simmers in juices while it cooks. Just keep your eye on it and decide.

My favorite way to make a roast, is in the oven. I ALWAYS use Reynolds oven bags to do this. The large size works great. I put the potatoes in the four corners of the bag, some cabbage on the bottom(peal off some big "layers" to creat a bed for the meat), the meat in the middle, and the carrots, chunks of onion, and chunks of cabbage surrounding everything. After it's all in there, I sprinkle everything with soup mix and then add my water. Again, I like everything to be sitting in water, so those juices help marinate all of it. Poke a few holes in the bag after you close it, so it can vent, and then you're good to go! If you're in a hurry, (2.5-3 hours) then put your oven at 475. If you have 4 hours, I usually set it at 375-400. Just watch it and adjust the temp based on when you need to eat! You can't really burn it if you've put enough water in there, but if it's too dry, then it will burn.

I take the juices, along with those instant brown gravy packets, to make some gravy.

Let me know if you try it. I know you'll love it! Now I'm not suggesting manipulation, but if you need a little something from your man, this might be the tool to help you get it!! This pot roast, (along with my charming personality, beautiful good looks, and wonderful sense of humor-right??), got me the rock on my finger!!


amy said...

ok Steph... reading your recipe made my mouth water! and i actually have a roast in the freezer... i thought the way i made it was pretty good, but i've never used cabbage or the soup mix. and i usually make it in the crock pot, so you've enticed me to make it in the oven. i'm planning it for dinner thursday night... i'll let you know how it turns out! :)

Stephanie said...

Yeah! I'm anxious to hear what you think!

Sarah said...

ok, I got all excited about trying this, but then I scrolled down and read the poop blog and lost my appetite.

tapango1 said...

FunMom's Crockpot Beef Roast

1 Beef Roast (to fit your crockpot)
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Packet of Ranch Dressing Mix
1 Packet of Italian Dressing Mix
1 Packet of Brown Gravy Mix

Put roast in crockpot, pour water around the base. Sprinkle all 3 dry seasoning packets over roast. Cook for 6-7 hours on low. Remove roast to cutting board and let sit 15 minutes; slice thinkly across the grain (electric knife works best).

tapango1 said...

yours sounds delish too i will have to try it out....

sheltonfamily said...

Love it! However, I just made a yummy pot roast with onions etc... via pioneer woman cooks and that night I got the stomach bug and even the thought of it makes me want to gag. I couldn't even read your post! However, I do love your cooking and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it! I also do it in the oven... go to and check out her roast recipe...