Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Slow Cooker French Dip

Slow Cooker French Dip - made May 16, 2014 from Shugary Sweets
I've been slacking off lately on the cooking but I have killer microwaving skills. And my crock pot expertise is right up there with my microwaving genius so I occasionally manage to feed myself without falling back on takeout.
But at last, a savory, non-dessert recipe I can post. However, as always, it's still a production for me to put a dish together, even something as simple as throwing stuff in a crock pot. I didn't have grill seasoning so I just went without and added more salt and pepper. I managed to get the right cut of meat (I think). But the really ridiculous moment is when I had to get beer. Bear in mind I don't drink. At all. The closest I come to alcohol is Kahlua cake. I do occasionally use wine or sherry in cooking if the recipe calls for it but I cook so sporadically that oftentimes the wine or sherry bottle gathers dust before I use the contents again. So imagine my trip to Target to buy beer.
Actually, I had planned to get the beer at Trader Joe's but I was at Target first to get something else and they had an end cap of beer so I figured I'd save myself a trip. But....did you know there are many different kinds of beer? And brands. Pale Ale. Stout. Guiness. Light beer. Some fruity something or other. But nothing that said, "I'm just beer. Buy me." The recipe called for "dark beer" so I figured something labeled "pale ale" or "light" wasn't it. So that took out 25% of my choices but what about the remaining 75%? Honestly, I think I spent 10 minutes circling that end cap like it was some exotic animal and I was trying to decipher its tag but it was written in code. A code to which I had no cipher. It would've probably been faster if I'd grabbed a college student and had them pick for me. So then I fell back on the millions of advertising dollars beer companies spend every year and figured I should go with Budweiser because I like those Clydesdales when I watch the Superbowl every year. Except there wasn't any Budweiser on that end cap. And I wasn't trusting the other brands which may or may not have been some form of beer. I finally settled on Heineken because I knew that was beer. I don't know if it was good beer but at that point, I didn't care.
So, if you don't drink, the hardest part of this recipe is getting the beer. After that, it's back to easy street again with throwing ingredients in the crock pot, turning it on low and walking away for the day. I ended up cooking this for over 10 hours before I was satisfied that the meat was tender enough. The au jus was pretty liquidy (as it should be) and there's no beer taste at all in the finished product (whew). There's no pretty picture of this dish, at least not the way I cooked it. They were just pieces of meat. But I have to admit when I melted some cheddar cheese on top of the beef, sandwiched it in a whole wheat bun and dipped it in the au jus, it really did taste like honest to goodness French dip. It would probably have looked more like it if I had better knife skills or sliced the meat when it was raw but taste-wise, this was pretty good. My mad crock pot skillz still reign.
5 pounds beef rump roast
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grill seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 1/2 cups beef stock
12 ounces dark beer
  1. Place roast in large crock pot. Season with salt, grill seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, beef bouillon and minced onion. Add broth and beer to crock pot, cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until fork tender.
  2. Take out the meat and slice or shred it. Strain the au jus so there are no clumps or meat or fat. Serve on French bread with cheddar cheese and side of au jus.

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