Monday, January 31, 2011

Beef Roast with Gravy

Recipe modified by Gretchen Wilson – September 2010
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published in Taste of Home, June/July 2010.

I have a problem with cooking roast beef.  I can never get it cooked and juicy enough for my taste.  I decided to try a slow-cooker version with gravy.  I will say one thing – I hate the thought of leaving my slow cooker on all day when I’m not around, so I tend to do slow cooking when I’m going to be home. 

My finished product:

Picture published with recipe:

©Taste of Home

My gravy doesn’t look as rich and dark as Taste of Home’s gravy.  I’m guessing it is because I tried to lighten it up a little with no-fat gravy and reduced-fat soup.  Still, it tasted great and was as thick as it needed to be.
for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen's Rating System
Mess:  EH – there’s no chopping, but trying to sear the roast in a skillet can be messy.  Of course, if you drop your roast during the transfer, you're looking at a 3-alarm YIKES rating.

Start-to-Finish Time: In terms of preparing – Under half an hour, but remember it needs to cook for SIX TO EIGHT HOURS!

Prep Work: ALL FINGERS STILL HERE - you basically dump everything into a slow cooker and turn it on

Ease of Recipe: COOK IT IN MY SLEEP – literally... I may have taken a nap this day

Overall:  YUMMY – I would absolutely make this again, but it isn't a SORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS because I may look for a different variation of a simple roast with gravy recipe.

Recipe Information:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Serves: 8

Nutritional Information (5 ounces cooked beef with 1/3 cup gravy)
  • Calories 314
  • Total Fat 12g (Saturated Fat 3g)
  • Cholesterol 106mg
  • Sodium 995mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 13g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Protein 36g

You could definitely get eight healthy servings out of this dish and can probably stretch it even farther if you start with a large salad and then add mashed potatoes and a couple steamed vegetables to the meal.  Be careful using a bigger roast to feed more people because it will increase cook time and possibly not fit into the slow cooker.

Changes denoted by red text

Cooking spray
1 pound fresh baby carrots
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 beef rump roast or bottom round roast (approximately 3 pounds)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 jar (12 ounces) reduced fat or fat free beef gravy
1 can (10¾ ounces) reduced fat condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup water
1 envelope onion soup mix

Ingredient Notes:
Reduced Fat/Fat-Free Beef Gravy – the recipe calls for regular beef gravy (make sure you don’t get one for chicken or turkey) but to cut down on some of the fat – you’ll get enough from the roast – I substituted fat free gravy from Heinz.  The gravy didn’t look as thick as in the picture, but it had some heft to it and wasn’t watery.

Reduced Fat Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup – the recipe calls for regular condensed cream of mushroom soup, but to cut down on some of the fat content, I used the reduced fat version.

Equipment Needed:
4- or 5-quart Slow cooker
Large skillet
Large fork
Large bowl
Spoon - mixing

Equipment Notes:
Slow Cooker – although not necessary, I bought a 6-quart slow cooker with a removable crock portion.  It makes it SO much easier to assemble and move food around.

Spatula & Large Fork – if you’re wondering why these are on the equipment list, it was the best combination I found to sear the roast in the skillet and transfer it to the slow cooker.

(1) Spray a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add carrots and mushrooms.  Although the recipe doesn’t call for the slow cooker to be sprayed with cooking spray, I always do it to avoid sauces and gravy from baking to the slow cooker.  Just be sure to not buy the cooking spray with flour added into it.

(2) Sprinkle roast with garlic powder and pepper.  Try to cover all sides of the roast.

(3) In a large skillet, heat the canola oil and brown roast on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker.

(4) Combine the gravy, mushroom soup, water and onion soup mix; pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Skim fat from gravy if necessary; serve gravy with beef.

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