Originally Posted by Felicie
2 questions, please:
1) how do you prepare chuck roast in the crock pot?
I just noticed that I never answered your questions. Sorry about that!
1. Here's how I make chuck roast
I usually cook two 2-3 pound roasts together, but the quantities are flexible.
Pat the roast(s) dry with paper towels and cover liberally with salt and pepper. Place on the counter overnight (I put it in the crock pot, but don't turn it on). My roast is usually partly frozen when I do this, but I think sitting at room temperature helps develop the flavor even if it's not.
Pat the roast dry again and pour out any juices that have accumulated in the crock pot. I don't use them - they usually go in the compost or the chicken scraps.
Heat a big cast iron skillet over pretty high heat. Melt about 3 tablespoons of tallow (or butter, or lard, or bacon fat) and then add the roast. Brown well on all sides - I think I do 30-60 seconds on each side. I especially try to brown the fat (you got your roast untrimmed, right?), because it's much nicer when it's a little crispy.
Remove the roast and put it back in the crock pot. Deglaze the pan with as much chicken or beef stock as you can - 1 cup is enough, but a quart is better, and you could even use more. There's never enough stock. Scrape up the drippings and then boil the stock until it's down to 1 or 2 cups. If you don't have any stock, you can use water, but it won't be as good. Or you could use wine or vermouth if you're okay with that. I've also used Angostura bitters - mostly to make sauces, but they're tasty and I think they could work for a roast.
Pour the stock over the beef and close up the crock pot. I usually cook for 8-10 hours on low, but 6 hours might be enough.
At this point you can serve the roast with the juice poured over it, and I usually do. Check if it needs more salt. If you have time, you can make it even better. I do this the second night I serve it:
Pick the meat out of the juice and set it aside. If you have a gravy separator or the juice is cold and the fat has solidified on top, set the fat aside and keep it as cold and hard as possible. If you can, add another quart or two of stock. Boil it until it gets good and thick. Then turn the heat way down and whisk in the fat, plus some extra tallow or butter or lard - as much as the sauce can take without separating. At this point you should have some of the best gravy you have ever tasted, and it will be lovely and thick too. I always dream of having enough stock to do this right, but it's just not possible to have that much every time unless you're spending a whole day every week making stock in a ten gallon pot!
Oh dear, I got carried away. What was number 2 again?
Chicken fat mayonnaise
2)how do you make chicken fat mayonnaise?
. I haven't made it in a while, but here's how I remember it:
1 cup chicken fat (from making chicken stock, right?)
3-5 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon, some lime juice, or some sauerkraut juice
Start with 2-3 egg yolks in your best bowl for whisking. A hand blender is a lifesaver, but there's only one container in the house that really works well with mine.
Add a little salt and about half the juice of the lemon. You can add some lime juice too to spice it up.
Whisk up the egg yolks, and then start adding chicken fat. It should be at least a little drippy, and completely liquid is okay. So if you just got it out of the fridge, warm it up gently.
Add about a teaspoon to start, and make sure it gets whisked in completely. Then add another teaspoon. Once it gets going you'll start to have a sense for how fast you can add it.
Here's a trick I've learned for extra smooth mayonnaise. When you've added about half the fat, pour out the mayonnaise into a spare container. Then add 1 or 2 more egg yolks and some more salt and lemon juice if the flavor demands it. Then start again, adding the mayonnaise as if it were pure fat, then adding the fat. This is how you fix "broken" mayonnaise, but I've learned that if I do it even when it's not broken, it just gets better.
As you go, adjust salt and acid for flavor. You can also add more or less chicken fat - I keep increasing the number of egg yolks and decreasing the amount of chicken fat, which is a shame because egg yolks are in demand in our house and there's always extra chicken fat... but that's how I like it.
Sometimes I leave the mayonnaise out for a few hours before refrigerating it. They say this gives the acid a chance to kill any nasties (but you're using good eggs, right?), and it ferments it a little bit for a tarter flavor.