Last week’s NY Times had an article on an extremely simple slow cooker recipe which had been viewed over 1 million times on the internet. Here is a link to a Good Morning America segment containing the recipe:
Sam Sifton of the NY Times wrote about this internet phenomenon, expressing his view that the original was very clever, but with a little more work, cooks could make something even better. Here is a link to his article and approach:
Taking up this challenge, I decided to make Mississippi Roast, largely following Sam Sifton’s ideas, but with my own spin, based on what I had on hand in my refrigerator and pantry. The final product was tasty, and also illustrated the basic point that there is a trade-off between time and quality. I added something that I thought was a plus (slicing and sautéing two onions), but that also took an extra 10 minutes that I almost did not have to spend. Thus there are many ways to implement this general idea depending on what is on hand and how much time is available. Here is my approach:
3-1/2 lb. boneless chuck roast
2 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 tsp. black pepper
¼ cup flow
3 Tbs. neutral vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ of a 16 oz. jar of sliced pepperoncini
¼ cup ranch dressing
1 tsp. marmite (optional but adds unami)
Put the chuck roast on a large cutting board. Mix together the salt and pepper and rub the mixture all over the chuck roast. Sprinkle the flour over the roast and massage it into the meat. About half will stick and the rest will be left on the cutting board.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan until quite hot. Saute the chuck roast on each side until a good crust has developed. Put the browned roast in the bottom of a large crockpot. Turn the heat on the pan down to medium-low and add the onions, sautéing them until translucent. Add the cooked onions to the crockpot. Add the butter, pepperoncini, ranch dressing, and marmite to the crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until the meat is tender.
Skim off the fat. Then using two forks pull the meat into shreds and mix with the gravy. Serve with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.