When I think of foods for Oktoberfest, the first things that come to mind are brats and beer, not pot roast. But when I saw this recipe online at tasteofhome.com, I was intrigued. Pot roast cooked in the slow cooker with dill pickles, sauerkraut, potatoes and carrots sounded so different, it had to be either the worst thing possible or quite good. Hoping for the latter, I gathered my ingredients, pulled my Crock-Pot out of summer storage and let the slow cooking begin.
I'm not a big fan of most pot roasts. Mississippi pot roast made with a packet of ranch dressing and a packet of au jus, along with a stick of butter, does it for me. Until I found this recipe, it was the only pot roast I really cared for. In this recipe, the pickles sharpen the flavor and marry nicely with the sauerkraut. Bacon added to the mix just seems like the right thing to do, and a final stir of sour cream brings the entire roast to a lovely finish. Though carrots do add some color, it's not the prettiest roast I've ever made. Just good.
This makes for an easy meal once you have everything you need to make it. It does require the extra step of browning the roast on the stovetop before adding it to the slow cooker, but that takes just a few minutes. I found this to be a tasty way to celebrate Oktoberfest with something kind of different.
My chuck roast was just under 3 pounds, and it was more than enough for two people. The next day, I shredded the beef and made hot roast beef sandwiches out of it. The next day, the last of the leftovers were turned into quesadillas. I really like it when one meal can be made into two — and possibly three.
Oktoberfest Pot Roast
4 thick-sliced bacon strips
1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
1 cup chopped dill pickles
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)
2 packages (14.4 ounces each) frozen pearl onions, thawed (see note)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup stout beer or beef broth
1/3 cup Dusseldorf mustard (or other German-style mustard)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Meanwhile, place potatoes, carrots, sauerkraut and pickles in a large slow cooker. Mix paprika, allspice, salt and pepper; rub over roast. Brown roast in drippings over medium heat. Transfer to slow cooker. Add onions and garlic to drippings; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in beer and mustard; pour over meat. Crumble bacon; add to slow cooker.
Cook, covered, on low until meat and vegetables are tender, 6-8 hours. Remove roast; let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Strain cooking juices. Reserve vegetables and juices; skim fat. Return reserved vegetables and cooking juices to slow cooker. Stir in sour cream; heat through. Serve with roast; sprinkle with parsley.
Note: If you can't find frozen pearl onions, a large onion can be cut and substituted.
Think Pink Wine Dinner
It's rather last minute, but if you have no plans for dinner Wednesday evening, Carrabba's Italian Grill, 2040 Hamilton Place Blvd., will be hosting a four-course Think Pink Wine Dinner at 6:30 p.m. to benefit the Breast Cancer Charities of America.
The four courses are:
* First: Shrimp diavolo served with toasted bread. Wine pairing: Sicilian Citrus Spritz.
* Second: Italian salad with grilled chicken. Wine pairing: Belleruche rosé.
* Third: Tuscan-stuffed chicken served with sauteed broccoli. Wine pairing: Chloe pinot grigio.
* Fourth: Strawberry cheesecake. Wine pairing: Martini & Rossi sparkling rosé.
Dinner is $40 per person, with $2 from each dinner sold going to help fight breast cancer.
Call right away for reservations: 423-894-9970. Or log onto www.carrabbas.com/carrabbascares.
Email Anne Braly at email@example.com.