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To celebrate our oldest daughter’s homecoming from university yesterday, I wanted to make something warm and rich and wonderful for dinner. But as I had to be at the office of a client all day, I knew that “that something” would have to come from my crockpot.
In the mood to try something a little different, I did a quick Internet search for pot roast, and came upon this recipe.
Food purists might balk at the pre-packaged ingredients. But on a busy day, that’s exactly what appealed to me. The recipe is simple – has only a couple of ingredients (all of which I had on hand), and I knew I could throw it together quickly and easily, always an important consideration at 6 a.m.
The only thing I did differently was this: we had some lovely Italian red wine (made by our lovely Italian neighbour) so I added some of that (I’m guessing about a half-cup) to the mixture, thinking it might help further tenderize the meat and enhance flavours. I set the crockpot on low and it did its thing while I was out all day.
When I got home, I took the recipe’s advice and roasted the vegetables separately. I cut up a large onion, scrubbed and cut (in one-inch chunks) half-a-dozen potatoes and a couple handfuls of baby carrots. Tossed everything together with some olive oil, coarse salt and Herbes de Provence, then spread the works on a tray and baked for about 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Dinner was scrumptious! The roast literally fell apart, the vegetables demanded second helpings and the gravy was thick, rich, silky smooth and intensely satisfying.
Our hungry student’s reaction? At first mouthful, she closed her eyes and tilted her head back – ever so slightly. She didn’t chew. She didn’t move. I honestly wondered for the briefest moment if she might be praying.
When she opened her eyes and saw we were all staring at her, she laughed, “Just savouring every one of the flavours.”
Welcome home, honey.
“An ordinary meal is an extraordinary coming together of life … The sharing of such meals is the most ordinary of human endeavours … and, at the same time, the most extraordinary. The most earthly … and the most heavenly. The most routine … and the most spiritual.” – Eugene H. Peterson