I'm looking for ideas from anyone on a good herbs/spices combination for a roast I plan to put in the crock pot. I've got my celery, onion, mushrooms and peppers on standby along with beef or chicken stock. Who wants to throw in the towel for a great suggestion?
Why not make a bed of your celery, onion, mushrooms and sliced peppers to lay the beef roast on after you rub it with a herb butter mix- say oregano, thyme, and garlic with cracked black pepper.
If you are so inclined you could add a splash of red wine.
Then cook on low for 6-8 hours.
I agree with the "low and slow" method. I recently cooked a top round by giving it a dry rub of black pepper, followed that by wrapping it in aluminum foil, then put it in the oven for eight hours at 200 degrees.
What came out was medium well (I will go for less time the next go-round) and absolutely delicious. I ate it for lunch and dinner for the next few days.
When you say roast, I assume you mean chicken?.....well, here are some ideas for chicken.....
You could rub herbes de provence into the skin, this is a dry mix of several herbs including basil, bay leaf, lavender, marjoram, orange peel, rosemary and thyme. This would be great if you are doing a 'dry' roast.
Slices of garlic inserted into holes in the skin is what I usually do. I put a sliced lemon inside the bird to keep the whole thing moist.
For a more exotic taste you could pierce a few whole cloves into the skin or place a couple of star anise inside (goes well with sliced oranges inside the bird and spoonful of orange marmalade in the gravy). Poivrons Vert or Rose (Green or Pink peppercorns can add a delicate flavor too)
The most wonderful aroma comes from a woody herb such as fresh thyme or rosemary laid inside and over the skin in whole sprigs, if you can find lemon thyme this will go beautifully with a whole lemon inside the fowl. If you wrap the whole thing before cooking the flavours will intensify. Tarragon is another classic poultry herb, again in whole sprigs laid over the chicken. My mother used to cook chicken with lovage - called Ache de Montagne here in the Alps, if you can find handfuls of it to stuff the chicken with, it will impart a wonderful celerish taste to the meat and gravy.
A good rub of celtic sea salt crisps up the skin too.
I sometimes use apple slices and cinnamon, sounds weird but it is delicious and if you combine that with cider (a cupful or two splashed over the bird before cooking) this really gets the aromas going.
You can also pack hay around the chicken, it keeps it incredibly moist - before you put it into the slow cooker, slather the chicken with fat and the herbs you have chosen, lay a bed of hay in the crock pot, nestle the bird in the hay and cover again with more hay. Make sure if this goes in the oven that no hay is protruding from the lid of the pot as this will catch fire. Cook on a low heat and make sure to let the bird rest for 20 minutes in the hay after you bring it out of the oven/slow cooker. The hay will have charred against the chicken, just scrap it off and carve the bird in the usual way. Here is a recipe that uses hay and pastry, but you do not eat the pastry, it is used to seal in the aromas of the cooked chicken. If the hay is sweet and grassy it gives the chicken the most amazing 'meadowy' aroma......you can buy hay at the pet shop.
bon apetit, let us know what you decide to roast and if it is beef, well, I can offer more suggestions!!
And better yet, skip the crock pot. Do a spice rub on the roast, stick it in a pan, and put it in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes to sear it, then turn the heat down low- say 150-200F, and leave it in there all day.
It is the most succulent roast meat you will ever eat. Low and slow is the way to go!
Another vote for low and slow. I also agree that starting off with a high heat first to start the fat running is a good idea, although some people recommend cooking long and slow first and then turning up the heat to sear the outside. I don't know what the thinking behind the latter strategy is, but would be interested to hear the pros/cons.
I would also recommend throwing some garlic in there, along with the other vegetables. Being liberal with the garlic/wine/herbs is also a good idea if you're worried about reducing AGE and ALE. Some carrot/squash (depending on how many carbs you want) would also be good, especially then they cook in the fat from the meat.
Personally, I'm going to cook a large joint of lamb using the same method today, which will hopefully see me through the first couple of days of the week. Herbs of choice being lots of rosemary and coriander (I'm out of mint, and I find the flavour doesn't hold up so well during long cooking times). Ordinarily I would make lots of incisions in the meat and tuck garlic in there, but I find that garlic doesn't keep that well once cooked.
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