Monday, June 13, 2011

Roast with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, and DUMPLINGS!

My family moved to rural Missouri from a suburban area in Florida when I was in the eighth grade.  Let's just say it was a culture shock!  I remember the first year here around Christmas, possibly Christmas Eve we went to a very small town to visit some of my parents' friends.  This little town is located on the Missouri River and had a population of something like 25.  Their claim to fame was that one of the residents of the town had built come kind of solar porta pot!  Crazy... the things you remember.  Anyway, back to my story.  I remember that in our town's newspaper was a small section highlighting the news from the very small town we visited and we thought it was hysterical that our visit made the actual newspaper!

The lady made us a very delicious meal and one of the things we loved that she served was dumplings in the roast gravy.  She took the gravy from her roast and put it in a little pot, brought it to a boil,and dropped in some small pinches of canned biscuit dough.  These dumplings were so yummy and easy!  My mom started making these dumplings with her roast and so when my husband and I got married, this soon became one of those things he just could not live without.  He CANNOT have roast without those little dumplings.

I made roast / potatoes/ carrots/ and onions on Saturday (it was cool & rainy here in mid-Missouri) and of course, I had to make some dumplings.  In my quest to avoid processed foods, I suggested that I use the recipe I use for rolled / square dumplings in my chicken & dumplings) instead of the canned biscuits in this dish.  My husband likes the chewiness of the dumplings in my chicken & dumplings, so he was "okay" with this substitution.  Definitely it was a good decision.  We both agreed that they were perfect!

This is how I make my roast and my dumpling recipe & instructions will follow.  But, if you don't want to go to all this work (really its not that bad), but you can pour off your gravy (my husband helps with his chore because its hard to hold the pot, hold the lid cracked, and dump the gravy in the pot without making a huge mess), just use canned biscuits.  Either works fine and tastes very yummy!

ROAST WITH POTATOES, CARROTS & ONIONS (baked)

  • One roast of your choice.  My husband prefers rump roast
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or use HM cream of mushroom soup)
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (this is a key ingredient to us)
  • Potatoes, peeled and sliced in thirds lengthwise
  • Carrots (no need to peel), just cut in short lengths or use baby carrots, or canned carrots (I used some I canned last summer)
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions:

Place the roast in a large baking pan.  I like to use my heavy enamel dutch ovens but it is a bit heavy!  Place the peeled / sliced potatoes (thick slices) and carrots around the roast.  Place the onion quarters on top of the meat.  Dump the cream of mushroom soup on the roast (just plop it on top; it will dissolve as it bakes).  Fill up the soup can with water and add the teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet - stir to dissolve).  Add another can of water. (total=2 cans water)  Dump the water/Kitchen Bouquet mixture on top.  Cover tightly with foil or the lid to your dutch ven.  Place in 350 degree oven for approximately 3 hours.

When your roast is fork tender.  Drain the gravy into a medium sized sauce pan.

DUMPLING RECIPE (or use 2 cans of cheapo canned biscuits)

In a bowl stir well:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Next add:

1 Tablespoon margarine  or butter

Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter/margarine into the flour mixture til small crumbs. 

Add:

2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk

Stir well and then using hands keep kneading and folding all of the flour in the bowl into the ball of dough.  No need to knead a lot, just knead until most of the flour is incorporated into the dough.  Form into a disc.  Let rest, at least for approximately 10 minutes.  (I wrapped mine in plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge because I made my dumpling dough up when I put the roast in the oven).

When the roast is done and the gravy is poured off.  Remove dough from the fridge.  Place on floured surface.  Cut dough in half.  Using a floured rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each strip (half of the dough) a little thicker than you would a pie crust.  Using a pizza cutter wheel, cut into small squares. 

Back to the gravy in the pot!

Add 1 cup of water to the gravy you have in your pot.  Bring thi gravy & water to a boil and once it is boiling good, drop the dumpling squares in.  Stir only a little bit so as not to break up the dough squares.  Place a lid on and reduce to simmer about 10 minutes.  Gently stir occasionally.  Salt & pepper if you like.

All of this warms up great!

I will post the recipe to chicken & dumplings soon since I now have the dumpling recipe already posted and it tastes very much like Cracker Barrel chicken & dumplings.

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