2 eye of round steaks (about 1 ¼ lbs – I chose these because I wanted something lean and they were on sale… any nice looking roast cut into large chunks would work just as well.)
5-8 carrots (depending on size), peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
5-8 celery stalks, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
8 ounces white mushrooms (whole or cut in half)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Good sprinkle of salt
Several cracks of black pepper
2 cups vegetable or beef stock
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup half & half
Place meat in the bottom of a large crock pot. Layer in all other ingredients. Stir the veggies around a bit to distribute seasonings (leaving the meat at the bottom).
To get things going, start your crock pot on “high” for one to two hours. Turn down to “low” for an additional 5 to 6 hours.
***If you will not be home to adjust the temperature, you can absolutely cook on low for the entire time. I’d suggest leaving it to cook for at least 8 hours in this case.
About an hour before serving: In a small bowl, combine corn starch and half & half. Stir well until corn starch is completely dissolved. Remove the lid of your crock pot and move vegetables to the edges to create a well of juices in the center. While stirring or whisking, slowly stream in your corn starch/half & half mixture. Once you’ve got it all poured in, gently stir everything together to distribute the thickened sauce. Replace the lid and cook for an additional hour. (The corn starch will “activate” once your sauce comes back up to a simmer, so if it still seems quite liquidy at first, be patient!)
***If you don’t have time to wait an additional hour after a busy day at work, simply stir in the half & half and enjoy as-is! The sauce will just be a bit lighter.
[Total cook time: 6-8 hours. Serves 4.]
(I highly suggest making up a batch of my cheesy biscuits to go alongside this pot roast!)