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Dutch Oven Roast and Leftover Shredded Barbecue Meat Sandwiches-Freezer Meal Friday

Image credited to Hamilton Beach

One of the biggest blessings for me has been the gift of meals or meal ideas, and since we have a house full of meat-eaters, this is always a favorite. I usually prepare it for Sunday dinner, but as our schedules rev up with three different sports schedules, over 20 animals, and the frigid January weather upon us, a good hearty roast, in the dutch over or slow cooker, to come home, definitely helps fill and warm up those hungry bellies from a busy day. I've added a couple extra ingredients, because I like to mix it up, but the key is sss-lll-ooo-www cook the roast. I have cooked many a roast that could've double for shoe leather, because I didn't slow cook it. Taking the time and letting it just be, will create a soft, shreddable roast filled with the wonderful ingredients its seeped and simmered in all day. Prepping this as a freezer meal, helps a ton, and it can double the next day, or as a freeze-able meal, for shredded barbecue meat sandwiches. The directions for these options are below.

Ingredients for Roast

2-3 lbs roast (beef or elk)

2 medium white or yellow onions (cut into quarters)

3-4 medium yellow or russet potatoes

1 1/2 cups carrots

2 tbsp. Montreal seasoning or 1 packet of onion soup mix

1 can French onion soup or 1 can of lager (The lager helps make the meat tender. A darker lager is a good option, or I often use a light beer, which is fine too. In my opinion, a darker lager creates a deeper, more thoroughly rich flavor in the meat.)

1 heaping tbsp. beef bouillon

1-1/1/2 cups beef broth

2 bay leaves

1 sprig of parsley

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Cornstarch (for the gravy after roast is cooked)

Ziplock bags for freezing

Grease Dutch oven with a light oil or spray slow cooker with a cooking spray. Layer the roast using the onions as the base, fill in with carrots, and place meat on top of the onions. Add the remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven or slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. I typically set my oven at 225 degrees or set my slow-cooker on low, check the roast about six hours into cooking, to insure there's still enough liquid and it's not shriveling into a dried up hockey puck. I add a little more water if need be, and close the lid usually for another couple hours. Once the roast is fork tender and easy to pull apart, it is done. I remove it to a platter, then take out the sprig of parsley and bay leaves. Using a slotted spoon, ladle the onions, potatoes and carrots to the platter with the roast or to another bowl. If you want a thicker gravy, than the aus jus created from the roast, remove the liquid to a sauce pan, and add approximately one tablespoon of cornstarch to the roast's liquid. It's helpful to remove about a half of a cup liquid into another small bowl. Mix the cornstarch and liquid until blended completely, then return the blended mixture to the liquid in the sauce pan. This helps avoid clumping cornstarch in the gravy by separately mixing these two ingredients. Heat sauce pan on stove top on low stirring constantly, until it's the consistency desired. Serve alongside meal.

To freeze, add all the ingredients in two Ziplock bags, one for the meat, and the other for the vegetables. I like to add the the Montreal seasoning or half of the onion soup packet to the meat bag as well as the can of french onion soup. Don't add beef broth, bouillon, beer or lager to this portion of the freezing, wait until it's ready for cooking to add this option if desired. Add the other ingredients in the vegetable bag, including the other half of the onion soup packet, if used for the meat. Label with date and meal. Attach the two bags together (I usually staple the bags), so when you're ready to grab a freezer meal you're getting all the ingredients, and freeze for a later date.

Leftover Shredded Barbecue Meat Sandwiches

Hopefully there's a little meat left, shred it completely, mix in your favorite barbecue sauce and serve on Kaiser or Hawaiian sweet buns. To freeze shredded meat, insure it's cooled, and then using a gallon Ziplock bag, label with date and meal (avoiding question of "what's the mystery meat?" at a later date), place meat into the bag and freeze. To make the complete meal, freeze the buns and connect the two bags together. I like to do this so I have everything ready to go when I pull it out to thaw.

Now there's two delicious meals out of one, to freeze and enjoy!

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