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A couple of months ago, I lost a very dear, sweet friend. Patricia Rains was a friend of mine, a friend of my family, and a friend to so many people in my hometown. It was astounding how many people I would meet in various ways who were also friends with Pat!

You’ll recall that Bart and I have been able to visit recently with her daughter and son-in-law, Kenda and Nathan, during their recent move and on our trip to New England. Our latest visit was bittersweet as we grieved together over her mother’s recent passing, but we shared some great memories together about her.

Known firstly for her love of God, Pat was secondarily known for being an amazing cook. You could never go over to her house without the kitchen being full of delicious goodies! Ever the writer, she maintained a cooking blog, A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That, and even published a cookbook of the same name a few years ago. Not long after it came out, I was visiting back home for a few days, and she gifted a signed copy to me. As a tribute to her mom, Kenda is continuing on with the blog and sharing some of her mom’s favorite recipes.

While I was processing all of this after our trip, Bart came up with a wonderful idea last week. At his suggestion, I’ve decided to dedicate this week of blogging to Pat by featuring some of her recipes from her cookbook and sharing them with you. Today I’m going to start with her “Easy Pot Roast and Vegetables.” This was fitting because we had house guests this weekend, and it was an easy, flexible one-pot meal to share with them. Plus, Pat was all about using food to bring people together, so it was perfect to serve for a group.

Easy Pot Roast and Vegetables

From “A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That” by Patricia Rains

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef chuck pot roast (2 1/2 to 3 lbs)
  • 3 to 5 medium baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 to 4 large carrots, cut in chunks (or use whole baby carrots)
  • 2 ribs (not stalks!) of celery, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Cavender’s Greek seasoning, to taste
  • 1 cup flour + 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth

First, gather your ingredients. I didn’t have Cavender’s Greek seasoning, so I looked up the ingredients and substituted basil, rosemary, parsley, and salt to get a rough approximation. I also opted for the baby carrots, since I had those around. For beef broth, you’ll note that I primarily use a beef bouillon base instead of cartons because I find the form factor much more convenient, and it lasts a while for me. But either way is just fine!

Gather your ingredients

Gather your ingredients

Wash and blot roast dry with paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with meat tenderizer (I didn’t have this, either, so I skipped it), garlic powder, then Cavender’s Greek seasoning (or my substitutions). Roll in flour/paprika mixture to coat all sides and place in slow cooker.

Season the roast

Season the roast

Then transfer to slow cooker

Then transfer to slow cooker

Then, Bart and I (okay, just Bart) chopped up the veggies. Note that we left the onion slices bigger so they would cover the top of the roast.

Chop those veggies

Chop those veggies

Place onion slices on top of the meat to cover and arrange other veggies evenly around or on top. Now, I have a huge slow cooker, and my poor roast was drowning in veggies! Yum yum.

All tucked in!

All tucked in!

Pour broth around the edge of the slow cooker crock so it drains to the bottom without washing seasonings off the beef. The recipe says to cover and cook on low 8 1/2 to 9 hours or until beef is fork-tender. I was running shorter on time, so I put it on high and cooked for 5 to 6 hours, and my roast was perfectly tender. Once it’s finished, remove beef to serving platter and arrange vegetables around beef. Remove and discard bay leaves.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the beautiful and tasty final product; I was too busy chatting with our visitors and stuffing my face to think about a photo op. But I promise it was delicious and certainly fulfilled my needs for a quick, hands-off, and satisfying meal for a group. Plus, slow cookers can be a great option for those hot days you don’t want to fire up the entire oven for a meal. I hope you’ll give it a try the next time you need a hearty meal to feed family or friends. EnJOY!

Easy Pot Roast and Vegetables

From “A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That” by Patricia Rains

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef chuck pot roast (2 1/2 to 3 lbs)
  • 3 to 5 medium baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 to 4 large carrots, cut in chunks (or use whole baby carrots)
  • 2 ribs (not stalks!) of celery, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Cavender’s Greek seasoning, to taste
  • 1 cup flour + 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth

Wash and blot roast dry with paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with meat tenderizer, garlic powder, then Cavender’s Greek seasoning. Roll in flour/paprika mixture to coat all sides and place in slow cooker. Place onion slices on top of meat to cover and arrange other veggies evenly around or on top. Pour broth around the edge of the slow cooker crock so it drains to the bottom without washing seasonings off the beef. Cover and cook on low 8 1/2 to 9 hours or until beef is fork-tender. Remove beef to serving platter. Arrange vegetables around beef. Remove and discard bay leaves.

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