Saturday, February 25, 2017

From a Clear Lake Kitchen--Cooking and Grilling during "Seasonal Seesaw" Weather

The "view" out our snow-pelted back door to the still frozen, 
but thawing, blue-black ice on Clear Lake, February 25, 2017

All last week I was sure the lake would reach "ice out"  Five days of temperatures officially just below 60, but that read a degree or two above on the bank thermometer. The bright graphics on the cheerful sign at the South Shore Inn exclaimed 63 a couple of the times when I drove past. Still the lake stubbornly remained frozen. At the seawall the aerators encouraged open water all the way to the Outing Club. There are at least 500 yards of bright blue water off shore in some places. Eagles and gulls have been standing on the ice shelf looking for lunch.  The rest of the lake has turned from solid white to sparkling white when the rain revealed some "burgy-bit" edges that had been covered with snow. By week's beginning the ice was the rich blue-black color of deep and treacherous slush.

As Wednesday turned to Thursday hope of this year's ice out breaking the March 6 earliest on record slipped away beneath the now gloomy skies. Then the Blizzard of February 2017 was upon us. An unreal wind began to blow Thursday evening. Overnight into Friday we had consistent 30 to 40 mile per hour winds, hours of "thunder snow," and accumulations of more than six, maybe 10 inches--if you could find an un-drifted place.

Between Tuesday's 60s and Friday's blizzard dinners still needed to get cooked.  Tuesday was easy.  Steak on the grill. Louie's Custom Meats had just the piece I wanted. But. planning for the weather ahead I studied the case.  Ah HA!  beautiful arm roast on sale--just what we'd need to recover from shoveling and it could cook itself right in the slow cooker, leaving plenty of time to attack what the blizzard would deliver.

Everyone has their own favorite steak and pot roast recipes.  BUT, I got to thinking. Could I combine them? What if instead of searing the pot roast on the stove before I put it in the pot, I grilled it. instead Would I have the best of both worlds?  The answer is "Oh my, yes!"

The delicious (and no dirty pot to clean) result is 
Grilled and Slow-Cooked Pot Roast. 
Smokey grilled char brings the taste of summer to this winter meal.

Grilled and Slow-Cooked Pot Roast

3- to 4-pound pot roast
1 small onion, sliced thin-- if you sliced and grilled this as well, even better!
1 carrot, diced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bottle red wine
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 1/4 up water

Carrots glazed in butter and sugar

Grill the pot roast until it has cooked just beyond raw inside. Cool and store in the refrigerator for one or two days.  When ready to cook the pot roast, put the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in your slow cooker. Add the roast and pour over the wine and tomatoes. Stir in the seasonings, cover, and cook several hours until done. Time will depend on the size of your piece of meat and the temperature of your slow cooker.  Remove the meat and set aside. Ladle the cooking liquid into a large frying pan. Blend in the honey and corn starch. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the gravy is thickened.

Glazed Carrots

1 pound carrots
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
optional seasonings 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon--ground ginger, or dill weed, or ground cumin

Peel the carrots and cut into chunks. Melt the butter in a large frying pan that has a lid. Add the carrots, lower the heat, cover, and cook until the carrots are just tender. Sprinkle with sugar and any optional seasonings. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and glazed the carrots with a rich, almost golden, syrup.

Copyright 2017 Rae Katherine Eighmey, All rights reserved.

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