I LOVE books, especially cookbooks! I try not to buy too many or my collection would take over the house, but when a fellow Southern Food Blogger asked if anyone would like to review her new cookbook, I jumped at the chance. I am now a proud owner of “The Southern Slow Cooker” by Kendra Bailey Morris and it is a wonderful book.
See all of those little pink tabs at the top? Those are the recipes I have marked to try. There are several!! The book begins with a little history of Southern cooking and the integration of the slow cooker along with a few other “essential kitchen tools”. Then the real fun begins with all of the recipes. Did you know that you could “bake” a cake in a the slow cooker? Well, you sure can.
Since we are beef lovers around here, it made sense to start with the Rustic Pot Roast with Bacon, Garlic and Rosemary recipe. Wow, the flavor of this dish is amazing. I will admit that there were a couple of ingredients that I forgot so I had to make a little adjustment. I am listing the original recipe below and my “adjustments” are listed next to the ingredients. This is definitely a keeper! I am not going to clog up this post with a lot of “how-to” photos because this recipe is fairly self-explanatory.
2 slices bacon
3 to 4 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat (I used a 2 lb. roast.)
Salt & black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup beef broth, low sodium
2 onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (I forgot the celery so I used carrots instead.)
2 russet or baking potatoes, peeled & chopped
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 sprigs rosemary, plus more to garnish (Didn’t have any rosemary.)
Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray. Heat a large pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings.
Sprinkle the beef with salt & pepper on both sides. Add the olive oil to the pan with the drippings. Brown the beef on all sides to form a crust. This takes about 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker and then, over medium high heat, deglaze the pan with the beef broth, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour this over the meat in the slow cooker.
Add the onions, celery (carrots), potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste and rosemary (didn’t use) to the slow cooker. Finally add the cooked bacon. Stir well, nestling the vegetables and rosemary in the broth. Cover and cook on low for at least 7 hours and up to 8 hours. (I was running a little short on time so I cooked mine on high for 5 to 6 hours.) This is where I stopped since I did need to leave, but below is the continuation of the original recipe.
Transfer the meat to a platter and turn the slow cooker to high. Leave the cooker uncovered and continue cooking the sauce for 45 minutes, or until it has thickened some. Return the meat to the slow cooker and continue to cook uncovered on high for another 15 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened a bit more.
Remove the rosemary sprigs and discard. Season the sauce with additional salt & pepper, if needed. Plate the beef on a large platter and spoon the potatoes and sauce around and over the beef. Garnish with additional rosemary sprigs. Save any extra sauce for bread dipping.
This was so tasty! If you are looking for a slow cooker cookbook that has more that just your usual “toss it in and forget it” recipes, this is it!