If your family is anything like mine, there are days when none of you want to cook. You don’t want to spend 45 minutes cleaning up after cooking either. We’ve all been there.
On days like that, I reach for recipes from my Momma’s kitchen. I talk about my Granny and her cooking a lot here in this column, but her recipes are the sort that you’ve gotta fool around with a little bit before you can leave ‘em. They take time. Momma’s recipes, on the other hand, are beautiful in their brevity. There are lots of reasons for this, but mostly, it’s because my Momma is a busy woman. She can’t stand to sit still or be in the same room for too long, and she likes to be outside as much and as often as possible. Standing around in the kitchen shootin’ the bull isn’t for her. So, her recipes have developed to accommodate her go-go-go lifestyle.
Her classic Mississippi roast is one of my favorites. It is made with a chuck roast, which are inexpensive and easy to find at most grocery stores, and an entire jar of pepperoncini peppers that lend the meat a delicious vinegar flavor. It is fall-apart tender when it finishes and is perfect on its own, with fries or mashed potatoes, or in sandwiches, which makes it perfect for a middle of the week dinner — the leftovers will get you through to Friday.
The best part? It’s one of those recipes where you mix the ingredients, put them on a low heat, and leave them to stew and mesh while you go on about your day.
The really special thing about Momma’s recipe is that she makes her ranch seasoning from scratch.
Now, this takes a little extra time and you would be perfectly within your rights to opt for a store bought ranch seasoning packet, but I promise you, you won’t regret spending a little extra time doing it yourself. The flavor is far more intense when you make your own and you have much better control over which flavors are the strongest. You can also make extra for use in dips, on chips or to turn into a homemade ranch dressing by mixing 1/3 cup mayonnaise and ¼ cup buttermilk with 1 tablespoon of your homemade seasoning.
Want to learn to make your own Mississippi roast? Here’s what you need:
♦ 1 3-pound chuck roast
♦ 3 1/2 teaspoons salt
♦ 2 teaspoons black pepper
♦ 1 teaspoon garlic powder
♦ 1 25.5-ounce jar pepperoncini peppers (including juices)
♦ 3 tablespoons dried parsley
♦ 1 tablespoon dried dill
♦ 1 tablespoon granulated onion
♦ 1 tablespoon cornstarch
How to make it:
Add one 3-pound chuck roast to your slow cooker. Add all seasonings on top of the roast, then pour the jar of pepperoncini peppers and their juices over top.
Set the timer and cook on the lowest setting for 8 hours.
Once cooked, shred the beef using two forks. Then, ladle out one cup of juices from the slow cooker. Pour them into a medium bowl and whisk in the cornstarch until the liquid is smooth. Stir the mix back into the juices in the slow cooker to form a gravy. Serve.