Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pot Roast and Gravy

This is a huge family favorite. It's really easy to do, but for some reason my daughters have struggled with it. I think maybe they don't get the foil closed up properly. So just make sure to get that part right.

2-3 pound boneless chuck roast
1 package of onion soup mix

Preheat the oven to about 325 to 350 degrees. The temperature depends on how long you have to cook the roast. The lower temperature is for about 3 hours, the higher for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

If your piece of meat has a lot of fat on it on the outside, cut off some of the fat, as you only need so much fat.

Find a shallow baking dish easily big enough to hold the roast. Then put a large piece of aluminum foil into the dish. I use heavy foil. Perhaps double the thickness if you only have the light foil. Put the piece of meat into the middle of the foil.

Sprinkle the packet of soup mix over the top of the meat, and pat it around evenly. Then carefully close up the foil, sealing all the edges so no steam can escape while cooking. Put it into the oven until you are ready to serve it. If it cooks longer it will simply fall apart more easily.

Making the gravy

When the roast is out of the oven carefully open the foil, making sure not to tear it, scrape the onion bits on top of the meat into the liquid in the dish, and lift out the meat onto a platter. Then get a gravy making pan, like a 10 inch skillet, and carefully put all the stuff left in the foil into the pan. Into a small jar with a lid put about 1 heaping tablespoons of flour and about a cup of water. Put the lid on and shake up vigorously. Heat the pan with the drippings and using a wire whisk slowly stir in the water and flour. Stirring constantly over medium heat cook until it forms a nice gravy. Taste for seasoning, and add salt of pepper or more water if necessary. When the gravy is done, pour into a pitcher and put in a ladle for serving.

A very nice accompaniment for this dish in the fall or winter is roasted vegetables - like potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, etc. I put the meat onto a big platter and surround the meat with the roasted vegetables.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008



1 stick butter
2 squares chocolate
1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon brandy or 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts

Grease and paper and grease an 8x8 pan.  I make the paper big enough to stick up above the pan so I can use it to lift the brownies out.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the butter and chocolate and sugar in a large microwavable bowl and put into the microwave for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  What you are going for is melted butter and chocolate.  Take it from the microwave and give a good stir to make sure the stuff is melted.

Combine the flour and soda and stir into the melted mixture.  Then stir in the flavoring and eggs.  Stirring well, then stir in the nuts.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes.  The time depends on how you like your brownies - gooey or cake-like.

As soon as the brownies are cool enough lift up by the paper and place on a cutting board. I then cut the edges off, cutting as little as possible off.  Then I cut the brownies into 36 pieces and place them into small cupcake papers.   I buy the papers at the wholesale grocery store at about 500 for $3.50.