Easy Recipes for Stay-at-Home-Dads: Zen and the Art of Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Let’s fact it: one downside of stay-at-home-dad status (unless you first won the Illinois Lottery) is “worry, worry, worry.” There’s money, will your kid will grow up to be “normal” with dad spending all that time at home, reemployment, (did I mention money) and the myriad of things that careen through your mind on the average day (“is it a pimple or skin cancer”).

Ah, the vagaries of life. With all the world seems to throw at you, the eternal question of “what’s for dinner” can be the straw that broke the camel’s back (or sends you scurrying to the ‘fridge for that usual late afternoon beer before you’ve even made the PB&J for your kid’s lunch). That’s one reason I started this column. It’s also why I recommend adding a slow cooker to your kitchen tool box. If you don’t have one in the cabinet I recommend getting a six-quart one which run between $25 and $40 (get one with pre-set timer controls for high and low settings, you’ll appreciate them later). Just another reason a Costco membership ranks as a top recommendation.

This recipe allows you the added benefit of putting the ingredients in the pot the night before, then popping it in the refrigerator. Come the dawn you load the refrigerated pot into the cooker, hit the timer and you’ll have dinner on the table by the time you wife gets home from the office. (Believe me, there is nothing worse than to have to get up at 5 a.m. to chop vegetables or sear meat for a 12-hour recipe.)

Anyway, once this meal is the cooker you can go on about your business, safe in the knowledge that dinner is already taken care of: one less worry for the stay-at-home-dad.

With this meal we serve mashed potatoes (instant, of course) and steamed vegetables. We also get about six or seven portions, guaranteeing leftovers (thus allowing you to use another timesaver: the microwave).

So, off to the races:

Ingredients:

4 pound chuck roast (check with the grocery store meat counter if unsure about the cut)

1 packet dry onion soup mix

1 can (11 oz.) cream of celery soup concentrate with water added

3 tablespoons flour

2 beef bullion cubes

1 onion chopped

Combine and cook at low for 12 hours

What could be simpler? Bon appétit

 

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