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I decided it’s time for me to eat better, meaning eat less bread, rice, pasta, chips, and chocolate. In fact, I’m going cold turkey on my three favorite foods–you guessed them–bread, rice and pasta. Hence, I’m kind of, sort of (with one foot in and dragging the other one kicking and screaming) doing the Paleo diet. I did a bunch of research online, and some folks say you can still eat hard cheeses and drink wine. Which is great news because I love having wine with dinner and eating good cheese when I can. So, after having brussel sprouts for the better part of the week, I’m now slow cooking pot roast. Mind you, I like brussel sprouts, and enjoy eating them stir-fried on a skillet with olive oil, dashes of garlic powder, black pepper, red chili flakes, sea salt, and a few squeezes of lemon or lime… but I miss having a good piece of protein.

I’m a big fan of The Pioneer Woman when it comes to beef. I’m sure living in Montana and being married to a cowboy doesn’t hurt. Ree Drummond (the PW) just understands how to coax succulent flavor out of beef. I used her Perfect Pot Roast recipe and, rather than purchasing beef broth, I made my own vegetable stock. Then I put everything in a slow cooker (a.k.a. crock pot) and set it for a 10-hour cooking time. My place smells incredible right now (yes, it’s still cooking at midnight). Tomorrow, I will feast on my roast beast.

Vegetable Stock, ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, chopped into 1/2-inch or less slices
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch slices or so
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 cups of water

Steps:

  • On medium heat, place 2 slugs of olive oil into a stock pot or large saucepan (count 1, 2, and you’re done).
  • Add garlic and stir until slightly golden. NOTE: Do not leave the garlic; it can burn very quickly.
  • Add onions. Stir the mixture until the onions soften and looks slightly transparent.
  • Add celery. Stir mixture for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add a few dashes of black pepper.
  • Stir the vegetable mixture around, perhaps 2 more minutes.
  • Add water and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Lower the temperature and simmer on low.
  • Add 1 tsp of kosher salt.
  • Simmer 30-40 minutes on low.
  • When done, remove vegetables with a strainer — pour the stock, one ladle-full at a time, through the strainer.

Pot Roast, ingredients:

  • 2 lb London Broil (this is what I had on hand, though the Pioneer Woman recommends a 4-5 lb Chuck Roast) [Edit: You’ll want to follow PW’s advice. Trust me, get the Chuck Roast.]
  • 3-4 cups of Vegetable stock (above recipe)
  • 2 whole onions, halved
  • 6 whole carrots, cut into 1-inch slices
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (I highly recommend using fresh herbs, not dried. Makes all the difference in the world.)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of red wine

Steps:

Follow The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pot Roast recipe with the following changes:

  • After deglazing the dutch oven, add the vegetable stock to the wine and stir.
  • Line the bottom of the slow cooker with half of the carrots and onions.
  • Add the meat to the slow cooker, making sure it rests on top of your foundation of carrots and onions.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables on top of the meat.
  • Now pour the wine/vegetable stock mixture into the slow cooker until it covers most of the meat (like my photograph above).
  • Add the rosemary and thyme (spread them out, but make sure a few of the herbs touch the meat and are as submerged as possible).
  • Set the cooking time for 10 hours.
  • Walk away and have a glass of wine. Or in my case, have some vegetable stock for dinner since it was 10 o’clock at night by the time I finished.
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