Mid-winter is my preferred season to haul out the slow cooker. The weather is frigid, requiring heartier dinner fare to make up for all the energy we spend trying to stay warm.
Yesterday’s Sunday dinner was a slow cooked veal roast, seasoned with orange zest and surrounded by an assortment of root vegetables. To say it ‘hit the spot’ after a mainly meatless week of meals would be an understatement.
It spurred us on to bundle up in toques and scarves and spend an afternoon ice skating. The city maintains a winding skating area along the river’s edge around this time of the year and it winds and bends with views of the snowy island directly opposite. It was the perfect opportunity to let go of the stress of the week and gather fortitude for another seven days.
Our children are fanatical about snow and winter sports and we try to fit in as many family outings as we can on the weekends. We ended up adventuring all afternoon long, stopping here and there, even watching ice fishermen trying their luck at catching whitefish. Of course there was also the requisite break to warm up with chocolat chaud.
They may not be the prettiest vegetables in season right now, but these carrots, parsnips and white turnips nearly upstaged the grass-fed veal roast. I know roasting vegetables is all vogue, (and we like that method, too) but the mild flavours of winter root vegetables really lend themselves to a slow cooker preparation.
I find they complement proteins like veal and chicken without overwhelming them. Side note: the recipe below would also be utterly fantastic with a whole chicken.
In case you’re just tuning in, we’ve brought back the tradition of Sunday dinner at mid-day because it works for us in this stage of life. That doesn’t mean slaving away in the kitchen on your precious relaxed Sunday mornings. No indeed. Today’s slow cooker recipe is one of many designed for minimum effort and maximum enjoyment.
Serve this slow cooker Veal Pot Roast with Root Vegetables with a crunchy salad, perfect mashed potatoes, or an easy baked rice pilaf and everyone leaves the table happy. Just don’t forget about dessert.
|Sunday Veal Pot Roast with Parsnips, Carrots & Orange||
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 3 lb boneless veal roast, tied
- 4 medium carrots, peeled
- 2 parsnips, peeled and halved
- 2 white turnips, peeled and quartered
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 orange, scrubbed
- 1 cup chicken or veal stock
- Heat a large cast iron pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Season the roast all over with salt and pepper.
- Place the roast in the hot pan and sear it on all sides. This will take a good ten minutes; don’t rush it.
- Transfer the roast to a slow cooker.
- In the same hot cast iron pan, add in carrots and parsnips. Cook for 5 minutes or until they are slightly caramelized. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker. Repeat with turnips and garlic. You may have to add a little more oil to the pan.
- Tuck all the vegetables around the roast in the slow cooker. Zest the orange over the top and add the thyme. Cut orange in half and juice it into the slow cooker. Add the stock.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook roast for 5 hours on low.
Seasonal Eating Series:
Spearheaded by Becky from The Vintage Mixer, I’m teaming up with a few friends to highlight seasonal eating and celebrate what is fresh and delicious now. Also chiming in with their seasonal eats are:
Each month Becky’s hubby Josh is whipping up an illustrated Seasonal Produce Guide, which you can save to your desktop computer or iPhone, if you like. February’s is above, a striking lemon. Join us on Instagram and tag your photos with the #eatseasonal hashtag.
Okay, let’s talk seasonal produce! What’s in your fridge or pantry right now?