Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Balsamic Pot Roast

We had a good laugh a couple of months ago while watching a morning show.  A chef was making a roast and "stuffed" the roast.  The audience was in awe of "stuffing" a roast. 
We looked at each other and shook our heads. 
At the same time we asked how do they cook their roast? 

As a little girl I remember pulling up a chair to the counter and watched Mama Jeanne cooking Sunday roast.  She would make holes in the meat and stuff the hole with chopped onion and garlic. 
I asked her why she did that?
Her answer was very simple.
 To make sure every bite is tasty.

Balsamic Pot Roast with Onion & Carrot

3-4 pound boneless chuck roast
3 garlic clove minced
Cajun Seasoning
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
1-2 T olive oil

1/4 cup water to deglaze pan
3 large onions thickly sliced

2 cup carrot sliced
1 cup beef stock, reduced to 1/2 cup
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Rub roast well with seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and stuff with garlic. In a cast iron skillet or heavy pan heat olive oil and brown roast well on all sides. 
This step will take a few minutes, but will give you a wonderful taste to your finished roast.  Remove roast.
Deglaze skillet with 1/4 cup water.
 Boil stock and cook until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, cook slightly.  Mix together vinegar and tomato sauce in deglazed skillet and add to stock.
Place onion slices and carrots in crock pot.  Place the roast on top of  the veggies and pour stock mixture over roast.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until beef is tender.
You do not need to add more liquid.  Gravy will form while cooking.
Serve over mashed potatoes.

The roast is so tender it will pull apart.

My family really likes this recipe as leftovers.
Serve on top of french fries and cover with shredded cheddar cheese.
"I am not a glutton -
I am an explorer of food"
~Erma Bombeck

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet

I have to laugh because
a friend called and asked-
How do you season a
Cast Iron Skillet?

I have always taken it for granted
that everyone knew how to season their skillets.

He said he never heard of Cast Iron Skillets
until he moved to Louisiana.

The process is very easy.
And once your skillet has a good seasoning,
you are set.
In fact iron skillets are passed down
like the "good" china.
I got my set from my Nanny.

All that you need is your
Cast Iron Skillet
Lard/vegetable oil
Paper Towels
Stove & Oven

Step 1 (only if your skillet is new)
Wash in hot water and liquid soap.
This will remove the protective wax coating.
For re-seasoning rinse with hot water.
Wipe dry with paper towels, or dish cloth.

Step 2 Dry the skillet by heating it on the stove
and cool.  Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

Step 3 Place a dollop of lard into the skillet. 
Rub the lard into the skillet, outside and handle.

Don't coat the bottom! 

If you do when you cook with the skillet
the lard will burn and smoke up your kitchen.
Trust me!
You will not like the smell.

Step 4 Place the skillet into your pre-heated oven.
Cook for 3 hours.

Step 5 Cut off oven and allow to cool with door
closed 4-6 hours.

Step 6 Wipe down with a paper towel leaving
a thin layer.  Repeat 

Now you are ready to cook.
We recommend cooking something greasy like
I always recommend
The 1st couple of time cooking with 
your skillet it may smoke.

Here are a couple of tips to keep your skillet seasoned.

Wash with hot water and very little soap.
Never, NEVER put into the dishwasher.
Wipe dry with paper towel/dish cloth.
After wiping place on hot stove to completely dry.
Store with lid off so moisture doesn't collect.
Place a paper towel inside to absorb moisture
(this will prevent rust)
Do not boil water in your skillet- this promotes rust

Did we mention NEVER place in the dishwasher?

Your skillet is now seasoned.
It will look and cook the same in 20 years.


We like to cook cornbread in our skillet.
Everyone gets a cripy and buttery end.
Here is our special cornbread recipe.

Joie de vivre = "joy of living"
 – this saying and attitude is the way of life in south Louisiana.