If one dish gave slow-cookers their culinary-backwater reputation, this was it: pot roast with creamy mushroom sauce, unrepentantly unrevised and un-updated, in the 1995 version of "Mable Hoffman's Crockery Cookery."
Pot roast with creamy mushroom sauce
Serves 6 to 8
1 (2- to- 2 1/2 -pound) boneless beef chuck roast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
Place roast in a slow-cooker. Add soup mix; top with undiluted soup. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes or over cooked noodles.
It was quintessential slow-cooker cuisine -- a big hunk of red meat smothered in fatty packaged convenience food and artificial ingredients.
I had to try it.
As a health-conscious consumer of the '90s I hadn't cooked with beef for years, but I bravely marched up to the meat counter and selected my chuck roast. A stop at the soup aisle and my preparations were complete.
Oh, except for the taste-testers. I called on my friends Andy, Steve, Lynne, Larry and Julianna.
After six to eight hours, I lifted the lid with a flourish and hefted the dripping meat onto a serving plate.
My tasters picked up their forks.
"This is good!" exclaimed Andy. Then, she added sheepishly: "Was I supposed to say that?"
Steve, Lynne, Larry, Julianna and my 23-month-old, Anna, were in clear agreement.
Mable Hoffman laughs when I relate how her recipe exceeded, to put it mildly, my expectations. "That was a basic recipe that everyone seemed to like in the '70s," she says. "We had to put it back in this edition."
Pub Date: 3/20/96