Meeting Meat

Years ago when I was still in high school, my best friend and I decided to make pork chops for my family. I don’t remember a thing about the whole event other than it happened and that the food we made was so bad that we ended up eating something else. Hockey pucks also come to mind but that might have been the biscuits we burned. Pork chops and biscuits – both were unquestionably overcooked that night.

I am fearful of meat. My food phobias are constantly fueled by the never-ending news reports of mad cow disease, salmonella outbreaks, and the overall horrific treatment of the animals most people desire to turn into food.  So when Matt suggested we invite a friend and her family over for dinner and I cook them up a pot roast, I got anxious.

Most of the prep for Operation: Make Meat was carried out over texts and emails. Matt and I had briefly discussed the best time to thaw out the frozen hunk of beef, but that was pretty much the only time we actually verbally exchanged words over the matter. While the roast patiently did its thing in the refrigerator, Matt searched for a recipe online then promptly emailed it to me with instructions to call him before I started up the slow-cooker.

He didn’t answer. Here I was about to cook meat for the second time in my life and he was stuck in a meeting that was going to last almost another hour. But to have the roast ready by dinner time, I had to get this thing started right away and deal with this bloody hunk of slippery beef all by myself. It was rather disgusting but I figured it was decidedly safer than that time I had to break apart pieces of thawed chickens that had been sitting in the sun in order to feed some very hungry lions and tigers, when I wore the wrong gloves and raw chicken juices seeped through onto my hands and I sat around for 36 hours waiting to be taken over by salmonella. Yes, dealing with bloody beef was much safer than that.

So, now that I’ve shared that appetizing little bit, let’s cook.

Root Beer Pot Roast

  • 1 thawed beef roast, 3-5 pounds
  • 1 can of root beer
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bag of baby carrots

Place beef roast in the slow cooker first then add all of the other ingredients. Cook on low for 7 hours.

THAT’S IT. Phew.

root beer pot roast

I must say, I impressed even myself. Everyone gobbled it up. The kids happily ate the carrots and the meat was so delicious. I am not much of a meat eater so I only had a small amount, but this just gave our guests an opportunity to put more on their plates! Then they took some home in exchange for some of the angel food cake and strawberries they’d brought for dessert and Matt, Elle, and I ate it all up again the following night for dinner.

Still, I don’t know that I’ll ever be comfortable with cooking raw meats. I buy my shrimp frozen but previously cooked.  I have never attempted to make a fish dinner unless it came from a box with baking instructions. And chicken? Oh, forget it! I made fajitas the other night with strips of, you guessed it, previously cooked chicken. But when I noticed the instructions highlighted the importance of cooking it to 165 degrees, I got scared and asked Matt if the chicken was safe.

He said, “I hope so. I just ate some straight out of the bag!”

Will I ever get to that point? Will I ever be able to eat a piece of meat without worrying about what it’s been through or what it could potentially put me through? I’m trying, and since we now have a slow-cooker recipe book and two hungry carnivores living in this house, I figure the best way to get there is to practice.


7 thoughts on “Meeting Meat

  1. Congratulations, you did it!!! Small steps for womankind, giant leap for you. 🙂 Here’s another super easy one for pot roast that leaves the meat so tender you don’t need a knife:

    Put the roast in a big pot of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down a little and let it keep simmering. You’ll have to re-add water because it will be on the stovetop for a few hours. After about 3 hours, add carrots, chopped potatoes (we usually do them in halves for smallish spuds and quarters for baking potatoes) and onions or onion powder (if you hate biting into onions like I do). Let it keep cooking until the carrots are easy to cut through, then put it all in a Pyrex or other pan, salt and pepper it, put it in a 400 degree oven. You just want it in there long enough to brown a little – you’ll see that on the potatoes most. Pull it out and smack it on the table. Delish. 🙂

    • We didn’t want to overdo this roast with potatoes but immediately wished we’d used some! (we bought some the very next day!). That sounds so good, and yes – I love onions so biting into one won’t bother me so much!

  2. First of all, way to go! I could dig into that plate no problem, and likely come back for seconds. I almost want to lick the photo.

    The truth is, the meat we cook at home is always going to be 50 times less likely to make us sick than any chemical-laden fast food burger or nugget out there. Add to that the chips, soda, and frozen pizzas most of us have in our kitchens, and it makes that freshly prepared slab of beef one of the least dangerous things you could put on your table. In my humble opinion, of course. 🙂

    Keep us posted on your next meat meal!

    • I’ve thought of that! Until recently, when my brother told me he actually got sick from chicken tenders, that was my go-to restaurant meal. I try to stick mostly to pastas now. I’m such a sissy. Ha.

  3. Your food looks amazing and it looks like you did a great job! I generally don’t cook meat unless if it’s precooked, like you, and I feel pretty nervous about it but I’m loving using a crock pot for pot roasts and I’m always surprised when it turns out good. It’s hard dealing with meat because you need to make sure it’s cooked all the way!

  4. Pingback: Weekending | Ludowe

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