We are enjoying the second week of summer vacation in our house. I love having the kids home with me. I sometimes feel like I "lose" them during the school year --- their teachers' somehow seem more "in charge" than I do, and while I'm head-over-heels in love with our school district, I just really like having my kids home with me.
I'm on a Little House on the Prairie kick again. I've written about my Little House love here and here and here -- there's just something about summer that makes me itchy to re-read the series (not a fan of the tv show so much) and spend more time outside instead of in. Melissa, a friend on twitter, also shares my love for all things Little House and at her suggestion I have been enjoying Into The West on dvd, Beyond the Prairie, and The Wilder Life.
All my reading has meant that I've decided (yet again) that my kids really need to step it up and help more around the house. So they made dinner.
I've called this Pot Roast "Eyes Closed" because it's so simple a grownup could throw it together while still half-asleep, or a child could easily load the crockpot with minimal instruction. If you're not comfortable with sharp knifes, onion flakes could be used instead, or you could pre-slice the onion yourself.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into rings
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck or pot roast
1/4 cup prepared ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared A-1 steak sauce
Use a 4 or 6 quart slow cooker. Place the onion rings into the bottom of your cooker and separate the rings with your fingers. Place the meat on top of the rings. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup and A-1 sauce. Pour this mixture over the top.
If desired, you can rub this mixture into the meat with your fingers, or you can simply use kitchen tongs to flip the meat over a few times to get the meat nice and saucy (that's my choice, although my 11-year-old really enjoyed rubbing the sauce around and ended up with sauce up to her elbows....)
Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for about 6 hours. The meat should cut easily with a fork when it's time to serve. The longer you cook it, the more relaxed it will become. Serve with roasted sweet or brown potatoes and something green.
I like sauces like this that are flavorful enough on their own that no extra seasoning is required. A-1 is pretty magical stuff--- it's got garlic and onion powder in it and is pretty salty -- you certainly don't need any added salt. Ketchup balances the A-1 with a sweetness that doesn't require any extra sugar. Definitely use the organic stuff if you're staying away from fructose sugars.
All 5 happily ate our dinner, and then the kids cleaned the kitchen. I'm pretty sure they grumbled much more than Laura and Mary ever would have, though...