Slow Cooker Meals to the Rescue

Moving is without question the worst job on the planet.  Worse than cleaning the litter box, picking up yard cigars and filling the car with gas combined.  Part of moving obviously includes the purging of the pantry and the cleaning of the fridge and freezer.  I think I may have inherited a food hoarding gene from my Mom’s side of the family; I have an innate fear of not having food on hand if someone shows up unexpectedly so I always tend to have an over stocked pantry. The fact that I also own a food store may contribute to the problem as well but I have no scientific proof of that.  Now, I don’t buy alot of fresh food in advance. I like my fresh food fresh but I do freeze food seasonally, like fruit & veggies and occasionally there will be meat in my freezer but as I rule, I like to buy that as I need it as well.  So during the purge of the pantry, which incidentally went really well since I have technically been purging for months and had alot of inventory to run down I combined efforts with the purge of the freezer.  Somewhere near the bottom of the deep freeze right underneath the black box from the Hindenburg, I found a roast and I was pretty sure it was beef.  Huh!  Who knew?  Now, I love a culinary challenge as much as the next guy and the roast was cryovac’d for freshness, I was fairly certain it would be all right so I thawed it, in the fridge overnight and discovered much to my delight in the morning it was indeed beef and it was indeed salvageable.  Bonus!  It was an eye of round and I think when I bought it the plan was for shaved beef sandwiches, which clearly didn’t work out too well for me. Did I mention I am moving?  So most of my dishes and appliances were packed but I hadn’t found a home yet for the slow cooker and I still had some quality merchandise in the pantry and the fridge so I got a busy with my version of a recipe from Eric Akis’ Everyone Can Cook Slow Cooker Meals.  The whole book is fantastic but this recipe was particularly satisfying on a random Wednesday night even after realizing I had to eat my dinner from a cutting board with a spoon!  In a splash of olive oil in a frying pan on the stove top, I browned the roast on all sides and transferred it to the slow cooker.  With 2 yellow onions thinly sliced, 2 cups beef stock, 1 cup of bottled barbecue sauce, about 2 Tbsp. each of brown sugar,  balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard with 3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped and generous pinch of chilli flakes. I flipped the switch to low and let it work  it’s magic on the counter for about 7 hours.  I took the lid off the cooker and the roast was starting to melt into the cooking juices.  Using the non business end of 2 spoons ( did I mention I also had serious MacGyver like skills in the kitchen ? No, sorry – I should have.)

I shredded the meat and stirred said meat back into all of the roasting juices.  In went what was left of a bag of frozen peas and some chopped fresh parsley that was languishing in the fridge.  Spoonfuls of the braised meat went onto fresh buns and I served them with plenty of napkins and a cold beer.  It was a perfect mid-week moving meal, so good in fact I might do it again one day soon on purpose.