Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pot Roast

The cold weather has arrived.

(Or at least our cold weather – down to the 30’s at night.)

Nothing says snuggling-in on a cold autumn day with your family than a delicious homemade pot roast.  (Or a nice hot toddy if you’re snuggling with my family, but that’s a discussion for a different day.)

Anyways, I’ve kind of gone back to my cooking roots (they’re so deep you know) and am exploring my crock pot options these days.  I wanted to make a pot roast because it sounded comforting, warm, and I knew it would smell up my kitchen for hours.  I also hoped to find a recipe that was a little different from the typical pot roast.

When I saw this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, I knew I’d found it.

The Recipe:

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pot Roast, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

4-7 lbs boneless chuck roast, trimmed of large areas of fat

1-2 T saute spice (equal parts garlic powder, salt and black pepper)

2 T vegetable oil

1 can root beer

1 can (around 9-ish ounces, the size of a soup can) red chile enchilada sauce

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T hot sauce

3 T cornstarch

¼ c of water or milk

Pat the roast(s) dry with a paper towel; then rub the saute spice all over the roast.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until it is shimmering.  Brown the roast on all sides in the hot oil, for about 1 minute on each side.  The oil should be hot enough to get the roast nicely browned without burning it.

Transfer the roast to a 4-8 quart slow cooker.  In a bowl, combine the root beer, enchilada sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and pour over the roast.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

Remove the roast, reserving juices in the slow cooker.  Tent the roast with foil to keep warm.  In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water/milk, stirring well until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Stir the cornstarch mixture into the juices in the slow cooker.  Cook, uncovered, on high for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce over roast with mashed potatoes or any other sides.

{Printable Recipe}

The Results:

Did you notice (how could you not?) that this recipe is made with root beer??  I was really excited to make it because I’d told Hubs that it would include some secret ingredients.  I wanted to test his taste buds to see if he could identify the unusual flavorings.

I started off rubbing and then browning the roast.  I’m so proud that I don’t freak out anymore when have to touch raw beef, fish, or pork (chicken’s still a whole other matter, though).

Aren't you glad I remembered to put the oil in first?

I put it in my lovely crock pot, mixed up my bubbly root beer concoction, and poured it on top.

See all the carbonation bubbles?

6 hours on high later, I had a moist, flavorful, absolutely delicious pot roast – and some darn fine gravy to go with it.  Minimal work with fabulous results!  Definitely my kind of recipe.

The root beer (or root beard as my son calls it) gave it a sweet carmel-y tone that matched well with the spicy enchilada sauce and salty worcestershire.  We also used the gravy on some delicious buttery mashed potatoes Hubs made, and it was heaven.

Unfortunately, that same four-year old (who shall now be known as Big Mouth) told Hubs the secret ingredients, so my little game did not come to fruition.  But in the end, I was okay with that because I was the big winner with this mouth-watering little gem of a recipe.

The perfect warmer-upper on a crisp, cold day.

Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops

The weather here has taken a definite turn towards fall.

Sunny days are much fewer and far between (plus it’s getting dark at night much, much earlier), so I wanted to make this grilling recipe before I wouldn’t be able to anymore — or at least before I’d have a ton of excuses why I couldn’t.

I’d had such success with the Neely’s Honey Orange BBQ Chicken recipe, so I was looking forward to trying another one of their easy, saucy, grill recipes.

The Recipe:

Grilled Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops, from The Neely’s on foodnetwork.com

4 (1 1/2-inch thick) center cut bone in pork chops

Neely’s Seasoning Salt:

  • 2 T kosher salt
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t celery seed
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t smoked paprika

Sweet and Tangy Glaze:

  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Season the pork chops lightly on both sides with the Seasoning Salt. Remember, we aren’t rubbing the chops.

Grill the chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Brush them with the Sweet and Tangy Glaze the last 5 minutes of grilling. Internal temperature should register 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chops from the grill to a serving platter and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

{Printable Recipe}

The Results:

I’m not gonna lie, I might have skimmed again (assuming it was so easy, there was no room for a mistake).

And that might have caused me to, um, rub the pork (insert 13 year-old boy snicker) with the Seasoning Salt – as opposed to just sprinkling it on lightly as it specifically says in the recipe.  That may have made the chops a tad bit salty.

Looking at this picture, and all the Seasoning Salt, I relive my mistake once again.

There was some good news, though.

1.  Hubs’ piece was less salted, so you really got a chance to enjoy the sweet and tangy glaze.  And it was really good!

2.  This is what I served with the delectable quinoa I made, so I still call the meal a success.  (And this might possibly explain why I had 4 servings of the quinoa – besides how tasty it was.)

The final verdict – I would definitely make this again, following the directions much more closely.  It had the potential to be a really good pork chop.

If only I hadn’t messed up.

Live and learn.  (I hope!)