Thursday, February 3, 2011

3 Envelope Crockpot Roast Beef Sliders with Caramelized Onion - My Way

Make Meal #1 of this 3 Envelope Roast a traditional supper of roast & mashed potatoes and Meal #2 can feature these yummy sliders made with caramelized onion and Swiss cheese on toasted buns.

Three Envelope Crockpot Roast Beef

A well loved recipe, this Three Envelope Roast could possibly be the easiest roast recipe ever. Made with one envelope of dry onion soup mix, one envelope of dry Italian dressing mix, and one envelope of dry brown gravy mix and a little bit of water - dump it all in a crockpot and that, folks, is it!

One of our Facebook readers reminded me of this roast recently, and it'd been awhile since I'd made one. With the big game around the corner, I thought it'd be a flavorful roast to use to make some roast beef sliders.

Just as I was about to put this roast in the crockpot, the doorbell rang and the UPS guy handed me a box containing samples of Pace Picante Sauce, courtesy of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program. I wondered if adding picante sauce to this already flavorful roast could possibly transform it even further. In case you missed it, the other jar was used to make a terrific Picante Shrimp Dip, using some leftover shrimp from the New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp I had just made. The dip was amazing and I loved the added flavor from the Pace Picante Sauce.

I stuck the chuck roast in the crockpot, though any braising roast will do, then whisked together those three envelopes with a cup of water and poured it over and around the roast. Then all I had to do was pop the lid on the Pace Picante Sauce. You could also sear your roast first if you like - I didn't.

Pour the picante sauce right on top, cover and cook the roast on low for about 8 hours, or until the roast is fork tender. Time is gonna depend on the size of your roast, and the efficiency of your crockpot.

Of course, y'all know that meal number one out of this recipe had to be a plate of roast with mashed potatoes and gravy. For the gravy, I poured off the pan sauce into a saucepan, just so that I could get it heated faster. Added a slurry of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with just a enough water to loosen it, bring to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes. The Pace Picante Sauce worked well with this roast and I liked the additional tang of it. The Cajun said the roast was so tender you could "cut it with a spoon." Just marvelous.

The leftovers went into the fridge to make meal number two sliders the next day. If you want intentional leftovers for the sliders, purchase a slightly large roast.

Now... for the sliders, I decided to add some caramelized onion. Glad I did. Despite the fact that the roast was cooked with an envelope of onion soup mix, the caramelized onions were a perfect accent for the sliders. While the onions were going, I toasted the rolls in the oven. I just used a package of split dinner rolls.

Then I finely grated some Swiss cheese. I thought the fine shred would work better than slices on these mini sandwiches. I then gently warmed up the beef in the microwave and pulled it apart with a fork to shred it. Remember the beef is already cooked so you don't want to overcook it. Just use the warm or low setting on your microwave to take the chill off.

Pile the beef on the toasted buns and top with a pinch of the caramelized onion.

Pile on a little bit of the shredded cheese and top the sliders.  I wrapped the whole tray tightly with foil and returned it to the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.  You could also run them through  the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese if you prefer.

Stack 'em up and pass 'em out while they are still warm - though they are pretty darned good even at room temperature. I only made a half dozen here - you know, just for testing purposes. You can make as many as you have the roast left for!

One important thing to note here. Since this roast recipe is based on the use of convenience products, don't be tempted to add any additional salt or other seasonings. Additionally, you would likely want to avoid this recipe altogether if you are on a sodium restricted diet, since there is just no way to reduce the sodium in these packaged products, except to make your own copycat replacements of each of these envelope packets.

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Recipe: Three Envelope Picante Roast

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 5 min |Inactive time: 8 hours | Yield: About 6 servings

  • 3 to 5 pound beef chuck roast (or other braising roast)
  • 1 cup of water
  • One envelope of dry onion soup mix
  • One envelope of dry Italian dressing mix
  • One envelope of dry brown gravy mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar of Pace Original Mild Picante Sauce

Whisk together the water with ingredients from all 3 of the envelopes. Pour about 1/4 cup of the liquid on the bottom of the crockpot, place the roast on top. Don't be tempted to season the roast. There is plenty of salt and other seasonings in these envelopes.

Pour the remaining liquid mixture all over the top and all around the roast. Pour the jar of picante sauce on top of the roast, cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours.

To thicken gravy, remove the roast and tent with foil to keep warm. Carefully transfer the contents of the crockpot to a saucepan and stir in a slurry of one tablespoon of cornstarch with just enough water to loosen. Stir into the sauce, bring up to a boil, reduce and simmer until thickened.

Cook's Notes: Use a larger roast for planned leftovers. Can use any appropriate braising beef roast including eye or bottom round steak (not top round), rump, shoulder, arm or blade pot roast. Also works nicely with cube steaks (cook on low for about 4 hours). May also substitute salsa for the picante if you prefer, or simply omit it. The traditional 3 envelope roast uses a brown gravy mix, Ranch dressing mix and Italian dressing mix and does not use picante sauce.

"Mississippi Roast" Variation: Use one envelope of brown gravy or au jus gravy mix with one envelope of Ranch dressing mix. This recipe calls to sprinkle the envelope contents over the roast and top with a stick of butter, but I don't find the added fat necessary when using a chuck roast, so I omit that and substitute a cup of water. Whisk the contents of the envelopes with the water and pour over the roast. Add 5 whole pepperoncini peppers to the top of the roast, cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours.

To Make Sliders: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the insides of dinner rolls and toast, butter side down, on a baking sheet in the oven just until warmed through and browned on the bottoms. Meanwhile in a skillet, caramelize a sliced onion in a tablespoon of canola oil and one tablespoon of butter. While onions are browning, use the lowest setting on the microwave to gently warm the leftover beef, just enough to take the chill off. Use a fork to shred the meat. Place a scoop of beef on the bottom half of dinner rolls, then top with caramelized onion, and some finely shredded Swiss cheese. If you like, stack all the sliders back on the baking sheet and cover the whole pan tightly with aluminum foil. Return to the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. Stack the sliders on a platter and serve with condiments at the table or with a nice sauce like a Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce.


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Posted by on February 3, 2011

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Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a free sample of PACE Picante Sauce.

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