Almost every Sunday, my Mom made pot roast when I was growing up. She would break out the crock pot and add a can of cream of mushroom soup, then she’d use the can to add water, and a packet of Campbells Onion Soup Mix. Mom would start it early in the morning and it would fall apart as we took it from the crockpot that evening. And I loved it.
Looking back, I think I have idealized this recipe. This is one of those meals that vividly reminds me of the good times in my childhood. But, the meat really wasn’t that tender and it wasn’t overly flavorful. I hated the vegetables she’d put in the crockpot with the roast – they were so mushy and soft that I’d gag trying to choke them down. I much prefer her Orange-Ginger Glazed Carrots any day.
But when you are a single mom trying to make ends meet financially and burning the candle from both ends, it is recipes like this one that saved the day. I can say one thing, I never went hungry and looking back, I was loved more than I ever acknowledged.
Using the Sous Vide to Tenderize the Chuck Roast
Chuck roast is not the most tender of cuts. It comprises muscles from the front of the shoulder moving towards the ribs. The muscles interweave into many layers and there’s a lot to break down when you cook it. That makes the chuck roast one of the best for sous vide cooking. The long slow cooks break down muscle and connective tissue. And the toughest cuts can become as tender (and more delicious) than some of the most expensive.
Save Money, Buy Tough Meat
My other favorite part about chuck roasts – they are much less expensive and you can get them in almost any size. At the Costco I shop at, you can get the full chuck cut, about 24 pounds, for just under $100. That sounds like a lot – but if you cut those into 4 pound roasts – that’s 6 meals – with the meat costing you under $10 dollars a roast. You simply can’t get better than that.
The further towards the ribs you get, the more tender the meat, but even getting the toughest cut, you can turn it into a juicy delicious roast simply by cooking it low and slow with a sous vide.
Who Knew Love Tastes Like Pot Roast?
My mom and I have had it rough over the years. I was a hard headed, pain the butt who thought I knew better and was horrible to the woman who sacrificed so much for me. Thank goodness I grew up. As I’ve grown, my mom has become my best friend. I talk to her every day and she’s always there for me.
When I post this, my mom will have flown to Utah to watch my husband and I celebrate a very important moment in our marriage. I’m making this recipe for Sunday dinner while she’s here. It is my little tribute to her. Just a silent note thanking her and letting her know I noticed all she did for me. I’ll never be able to pay her back for everything she’s done.
She’s not just my best friend anymore either, she’s an amazing grandma to my kids. If you’ve read my blog, you know that growing up my paternal Grandmother was one of the biggest influences on my life. My mom is that for my boys. I hope she realizes how much she means to them and how much it means to me that she loves them and is there for them.
What is the one meal that your parents made for you growing up that will always bring back those nostalgic moments? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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