Good morning! Can you believe it is March already? This winter is flying by, which is fine by me. I’m excited for Daylight Saving’s Time this weekend too. I love when it gets darker later. Maybe I have SAD….Seasonal Affective Disorder. I should probably look into that.
So like I told you last Thursday….today I will be showing you another “Straight From the Pantry” meal. And when I say that….just know that I am including your fridge and freezer too. I am really just trying to say that I am cooking with what I have on hand. No special trips to the grocery store. I should change the name….but that would be a really long name.
Besides eggs, tortillas and salsa, which we already covered, many you of you also had spaghetti sauce, or crushed tomatoes, noodles, frozen chicken, frozen beef, etc. I created a slow cooker meal that is easy and delicious, using these things. I call this “Italian Pot Roast”. I will show you what I used, what I had on hand, and what you could use if you have a couple of different items. For instance, you could totally use chicken or pork instead of beef. And I served mine on noodles, but you could use rice or potatoes if that is what you have. You gotta work with what you’ve got.
I happened to have a rump roast in my freezer. It has been there awhile. I had high hopes for it back in November that never came to fruition. I’m kidding. I have no idea what I had planned for it. But there it was, tucked in the back of my freezer. Like I said above, chicken or pork would work too.
I also used a big can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, red wine, onion powder, bay leaves, dried basil leaves, crushed oregano, and chive flavored cream cheese.
I have a pretty well stocked spice cabinet, but if you don’t…..you could just use Italian Seasoning. I am willing to bet that you all have that. Also, I happened to have about one cup of red wine left in a bottle in the fridge. I bet you have wine lying around too. I know you guys;)
If you have spaghetti sauce instead of crushed tomatoes, great! That will work too. And I always have tomato paste. If I don’t have a can of it, I usually have a bit in the freezer. Did you ever notice that you never use a whole can and you end up with a few tablespoons left? Freeze it. It freezes wonderfully.
Lastly, as for the cream cheese….I had that leftover from the weekend, sitting in my fridge. You could use regular cream cheese or even heavy cream. If you don’t have any of that….leave it out. No big deal.
I started by browning my rump in some hot oil first. I think this is a necessary step for meat that is getting put in the slow cooker, except for chicken. If you are using chicken….skip this step. If you are using pork loin or pork chops, please brown your meat!
Meanwhile, I threw everything else into the slow cooker.
Then, I added the browned rump roast into the slow cooker. I cooked mine for 8 hours on low. If you are using chicken breasts, don’t cook yours for 8 hours. It will dry out.
This will make your house smell so good! Kind of like an Italian restaurant. You will smell the tomatoes and spices…..Yum!!
After 8 hours, I pulled the meat out to rest a bit. It was tired after cooking that long.
The sauce will be super thick. The meat cooking in it gives it amazing flavor. I skimmed the fat off the top and threw that away.
Don’t forget to pull out your bay leaves!
I stirred my cream cheese into the sauce. It will melt right in.
Next, I shredded my meat. Really any meat cooked in a slow cooker will shred when it is done. It should just kind of fall apart.
I returned the meat to the slow cooker and let it heat back up a bit.
While the meat was reheating, I boiled a box of noodles.
I always have noodles on hand. When all else fails, I give my kids buttered noodles to eat. Truth be told, they probably would eat buttered noodles every night of the week. Truth be told again, I probably would too.
This ended up to be such a yummy dinner! It is a little bit fancier then regular spaghetti, but really not much more difficult. All the spices that I added really gave this great flavor. When something cooks all day in a slow cooker, the flavors really concentrate. You will really taste the wine, garlic, basil and oregano. And the cream cheese really makes it creamy and delicious.
This was a winner for sure! Go check your pantry, fridge and freezer. I bet you have all of this stuff in there. I know you have the wine;)
See you all on Thursday. I am going to start sharing St. Patrick’s Day recipes!!
Italian Pot Roast
3 tablespoons oil
Meat, such as a rump roast, chuck roast, pork loin, 4 large pork chops, or 4 large chicken breasts
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, or 1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons crushed oregano
2 teaspoons crushed basil leaves
2 bay leaves
4 ounces chive cream cheese
Preheat large pot. Add 3 tablespoons oil. Brown meat on all sides over medium heat. If using chicken, skip this step.
Add remaining ingredients, except for cream cheese, to slow cooker. Add browned meat. Set slow cooker to cook for 8 hours on low.
After 8 hours, remove meat to rest for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard. Skim fat off the sauce and add cream cheese. Stir until melted.
Shred meat and return to slow cooker to heat through.
Serve over pasta, rice or potatoes.
Serves about 4-6