Thursday, June 3

Book Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks & Road test: Perfect Pot Roast (slowcooker adapted)

Ah this woman speaks to me, on so many levels.  The love of food, the love of family - how food and family goes together, it brings a family together.  Ree Drummond (aka the Pioneer Woman) brings together breathtaking photos of her family, and mixes it with photos of delicious fare which you could find yourself licking the page.  If you are a follower or a me... of Ree's blog The Pioneer Woman, you would already know, her recipes work.  There are loads of photos to help you along the way and it's served up with equal amounts of warmth and wit. (click here to see her doughnuts I made, make them this week - Friday is National Doughnut day in the US-do you need an excuse?)

She calls her food 'cowboy food' as she lives on a Ranch with her cowboy, the Marlboro Man she likes to call him - the story of their first meeting brought a tear to my eye.  I could really relate to it.  Thank goodness his name wasn't De-Wayne.

Her four children are gorgeous and they are part of the cookbook, much like my kids are part of my blog.

There were so many recipes I could have chosen to make - but this one spoke to me.  Make me, you have to make me.  I'm so glad I did.  My Olivia who isn't really a fan of carrots of roast meat, finished her dinner first.  No struggling at the end of the meal in a hostage-negotiation session.  She asked to have it again the next day.

Truth is, it was so easy.  Never roasting beef in the oven AGAIN.  Hear me?  AGAIN.  I started it at 11am, had it in the slowcooker at 11.20, and on the table at 5pm.  The results - succulent, tasty, comfort food at it's best.

Back to the book:
Pros - Pictures -gorgeous, Editorial - easy and fun read, Recipes - achievable, but some are definitely not for dieters!
Cons - Not all the recipes are new - they are from the blog, but to be honest, it doesn't detract for me - I like having them in the book I can flick through any time.
Cost:  $49.99 - you can buy online through many sellers via here
ISBN:  9780061658198
Have a sneaky peak here

Road Test:  Perfect Pot Roast
(Adapted by me for use with slow cooker)

2 tb oil
1 piece of beef 1.7kg - 2.7kg (Ree recommends chuck, I used a 1.7kg piece of topside)
2 onions, peeled ends chopped off and halved
6 medium or 3 large carrots, chopped in 2inch chunks
1 cup beef stock
1 sprig rosemary and 2 sprigs thyme

Rub salt liberally over your slab of meat - I used salt flakes, Ree recommends Kosher salt, as it sticks well to the meat.

In a heavy based pan, pour in your oil, heat until very hot.  Add carrots, and stir frequently for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned, and remove, set aside on a plate.  Add the onion, and do the same, then transfer to the plate.

Lastly, add the beef, and brown on each side a  few minutes at most and remove and set aside.

Add your beef stock and deglaze your pan (i.e. pull all the crusty bits off the bottom of the pan) and then transfer the stock to your slow cooker.

Add your beef, onions, carrots and then rosemary and thyme.  pop the lid on your slow cooker and turn onto auto or high. for 3-5 hours depending how big your beef is.

 Remove, and carve (Ree says against the grain)

I then diverted from the recipe and ladeled out 2 cups of the juices at bottom of slowcooker and put in a saucepan, stir through 2-3 tb of cornflour, and simmer, stir until you have a flavourful gravy.

Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables of choice!

Do you have a favourite pioneer woman recipe...or is this your new favourite?
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11 lovely comments:

Kirsty S said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Oh, that looks great! I'm doing up my menu plan on Friday and I might have to add that one... it looks like true comfort food, especially if I do mashed potato to soak up more of that yummy gravy. :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I found out about cake balls through her site... drool... I call them cupcake truffles but DAMN they are good!!

And her cinnamon rolls.... mmmmmm...


Kylie on June 3, 2010 at 7:47 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

This recipe ticks SO many boxes! Yummo.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on June 3, 2010 at 10:57 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I really need to cook something from my copy. It looks really delish!

Penelope on June 3, 2010 at 2:13 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Her Chocolate Sheet Cake is the best. Love it.

Christie on June 3, 2010 at 2:17 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I'm a recent convert to roasts in the slow cooker....mmmmm so good! Looks like a great book, I must go check out her blog!

ingrid on June 3, 2010 at 4:45 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

This looks great.
Would you believe I have never in my life cooked roast beef. We always have chicken, pork or lamb. But this sounds yummy and super easy so I am going to be brave and give it a go.
thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hi Liss,

Just cooked this today and it was lovely, though it tasted a lot better than it looked. Any advice on how to make it look less burnt / dehydrated and overcooked on top?


Liss on June 20, 2010 at 6:55 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hey P23, perhaps turning it over in the pot a few times during cooking if you're at home and baste it a little in the juices (i.e. spoon the juices over the top) will probably help.

It is so so yummy! Next farmgate run I'm picking up another chunk of beef to do it again ;)

Mrs Mac on June 21, 2010 at 9:05 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Liss I made this last night and it was a great success (albeit needing a little bit more salt rubbed around the beef). Hubby loves it, it's so easy, and I've already told him that he should expect that to be on the menu regularly this winter :)

Maria on July 31, 2010 at 2:05 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

This recipe looks great, will definitely be trying it!


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