Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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I have to believe that one of the most beloved dishes ever made is Pot Roast. I’ve never come across anyone who didn’t adore this one-pot meal until now. That’s right until now! Steve doesn’t like stews of any kind. I thought… how can I turn him around? This is one challenge I’m up for!

This is my Slow Cooker Pot Roast.

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Crock Pot

Onions

Potatoes (2)

Potatoes (3)

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet,  7-quart Crockpot, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
1 (3-pound) chuck roast, room temperature
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper

2 onions, quartered
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 quarts plus 1/2 a cup of beef stock, unsalted (reserve 1/2 cup for *slurry)
1 pound of organic colored carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
2 pints of whole Cremini mushrooms, cleaned
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
3 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch

Directions:
I needed to start with a pan that could take this 3-pound piece of chuck roast over the top. Yes, an affordable yet so forgiving piece of chuck roast. I compare this piece of meat to the Boston pork butt of the beef family. Lots of marbling and fat running through it. Cooking low and slow, this fat will melt and add so much flavor to the finished chuck roast.

Sart by allowing the meat to sit out on the counter until it reaches room temperature, about 30 minutes. Next, season the chuck roast, on both sides, with 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper. Pour 2 tablespoons of Canola oil onto a sheet of paper towel. Wipe the bottom of the skillet down using the oiled paper towel.

Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Just as it starts to smoke, lay the meat right into the skillet No matter what, don’t fuss with it. The meat will let you know when it’s ready to flip. How can you tell? Take your tongs, and try to lift up the roast. If it gives you no resistance, then it’s ready to flip, 3 to 5 minutes. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes on the other side. Once both sides are beautifully caramelized, transfer the roast to a plate. Set aside.

Note: While the meat is searing, quarter the onions and roughly chop the garlic.

To the Crockpot add the quartered onions, sliced garlic, and tomato paste. Next, place the roast nestling it right on top with two sprigs of fresh rosemary. Add enough beef stock to the Crockpot where it comes 3/4 of the way up the sides of the roast. Place the lid on, and set the timer for 4 hours on high.

Note: The liquid may vary depending on the size of the slow cooker. You want the liquid to come up 3/4 of the way up the sides of the roast.

Three and a half hours in, remove the roast, transfer it to a cutting board. Add the carrots, cremini mushroom, potatoes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

What I like to do at this point is… the meat is starting to become somewhat tender. It’s easy enough at this point to remove any connective fatty pieces. Trim those all off and cut the meat into large chunks. Place the meat back in over the veggies and continue cooking for another 2 hours.

During this part of the cooking process, the veggies will release their water and the meat will submerge back into the juices.

After six hours the slow the Crockpot is at a slow boil and it’s time to make the *slurry.  In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of beef broth with cornstarch, whisk until paste-like and combined.

Add the *slurry to the Crockpot, give a gentle stir to combine. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Set the Crockpot on warm until your ready to serve.

To serve, I like to add the potatoes and vegetables to the bottom of the bowl. Place the meat on top and ladle that delicious sauce over everything. This dish does not require a knife. The meat is so tender that it will break apart using only a fork. After Steve took his first bite, he said, “This is the best Pot Roast I’ve ever had!”

*Slurry: A thin paste of water and starch (flour, cornstarch or arrowroot), which is added to hot preparations (such as soups, stews, and sauces) as a thickener. After the slurry has been added, the mixture is typically stirred and cooked for a few minutes in order to thicken and lose any raw taste.

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Cooper’s Hawk-Orlando

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We recently celebrated Steve’s daughter, Jessica’s birthday at Copper’sHawkWinery and Restaurant. Cooper’s Hawk has two locations in Orlando, one at 8005 International Dr. and the location we visited at 529  N. Alafaya Trail, or visit http://www.chwinery.com.

This location was nestled in a large shopping complex that’s in the style of an outdoor mall, with an eclectic variety of restaurants, shops, and a movie cineplex.  Here’s a peek into Cooper’s Hawk.

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When you enter, you see the wine bar that offers the tastings. All around you are beautiful displays of wine, accessories, and a dessert case filled with chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate truffles that would be awesome to pair with a dessert wine. The dining room is open and spacious with contemporary decor.

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The menu offers a suggestive wine pairing to go with the dish of your choice.  The Roasted Vegetable Flatbread with Goat Cheese and a Balsamic Glaze was delicious. I chose the Chicken Saltimbocca with Asparagus and Artichokes. My favorite was the Bruschetta with Burrata, Prosciutto, Arugula, and  Balsamic Glaze. That dish went so fast, I wasn’t able to get a picture fast enough!

Happy Birthday Jessica, and thank you for sharing this special night with your father and me.

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Cabbage Soup

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Cabbage Soup has to be one of my very favorites when it comes to food for the soul. I believe, if you’re a fan of stuffed cabbage, you’ll love this soup.

I’m using Savoy cabbage (green cabbage is fine as well) and a 90% lean ground sirloin which makes for a healthier and better-tasting soup.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart stockpot, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 1/2 pounds of lean ground sirloin
5 cups of Savoy cabbage, core removed and chopped (substitute green cabbage)
1 cup of onions, diced
1 cup of carrots, diced
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of white rice, (Sucess rice Boil-in-a-Bag), remove from the bag
2 quarts of chicken stock, unsalted
2 cups of good tomato juice
Homemade Ciabatta Croutons for garnish
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated for garnish

Directions:
Start by prepping all the vegetables going into the soup. This includes cabbage, carrots, garlic, and onions.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat add olive and the ground sirloin. Using a wooden spoon begin breaking up the meat. Add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7 to 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

Next, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Continue cooking, add the diced carrots, cook together for another 5 minutes. Throw in 2 bay leaves stir to combine.

Add the chicken stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Lower the heat to medium, slowly add the chopped Savoy cabbage. Using the wooden spoon to push the cabbage down into the liquid.

As the Savoy cabbage softens and wilts into the chicken stock, add the rice. Simmer (adjust the heat, to medium-low if needed, to a slow simmer) for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Finally, add the tomato juice, stir to combine. Turn the heat off, remove the bay leaves, and cover. Wait 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with Homemade Ciabatta Croutons and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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