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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Slow Cooker & Crock-Pot Cooking / Bland pot roast
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    Bland pot roast

    Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:39 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    In my first attempt to slow-cook a 3-pound chuck roast, the meat had a wonderful texture but seemed kind of bland. I'm wondering if it is an issue of finding the right seasonings, or if there is a more serious problem.

    I used potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, onion soup mix, and 2 cups of water in a large Hamilton Beach slow cooker set on low, for 8 hours. It turned out soupier than I intended, so I plan to reduce the water to 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups next time. I got a temperature of 210 degrees F with a meat thermometer--I'm thinking this is too high and I need to reduce the cooking time. Also the potatoes were softer than I like, and the celery seemed to disappear.

    The roast was a large, flat piece of meat. I salted and peppered it and then seared the two flat sides, but could not figure out how to sear the edge. Could this be a problem?

    A week ago I slow-cooked a 5 1/2 pound turkey breast (with bones) that was perfectly cooked after 5 1/2 hours. I used a recipe that called for 8 hours of cooking time, but unfortunately I was unable to check up on the pot roast while it cooked.

    Any suggestions on how to adjust this recipe for next time? Should I reduce the cooking time, or will cutting back the water fix the temperature problem? I'm also thinking of substituting beef stock for the water, and adding bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. I have never used Worcestershire sauce so I am not sure how much to use.
    Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:12 pm
    Forum Host
    I would definitely reduce the water, no more than a cup, or using broth, or a combination of broth and wine would be better, if you use wine. When you sear your roast in the pan - I use tongs to hold up the meat to sear the edges if I have time, but really getting the big areas seared is probably enough - anyway, deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat in the skillet, pour in about 1/2 cup of the water or broth you are using - or if using wine, pour that in. Stir like mad with a spatula to scrape up all the browned bits - that is fond, and it is the caramelized meat juices. Pour all of that over your meat in the crockpot, it adds a lot of flavor.

    If you are using wine, I would always use it for this step. Wine can taste raw if not reduced a bit, and this process also reduces and intensifies the wine. If you were cooking in a pot or in the oven, that process would reduce the liquid, and intensify the flavors, but this does not happen in the crockpot.

    A lot of recipes are written for older crockpots which cooked a bit cooler. So it is a good idea to check for doneness several hours ahead of time, if that is an option.
    Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:14 pm
    Forum Host
    A bay leaf or two adds flavor. Worcestershire or soy sauce - maybe 1/2 tbl - I always worry about the salt. I like to throw in whole peppercorns - they withstand the long cooking better and add flavor, maybe four or five, I guess.

    When your dish is done, if it still tastes a bit bland, try stirring in a tbl or so of vinegar - cider or balsamic - that acidity perks things up nicely.
    Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:14 pm Groupie
    Worceshire Sauce


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