Inexpensive ingredients make this one of my favorites! Roasts are an economical way to feed your family, as the per pound prices are considerably lower than other cuts of meat. This recipe is for pork roast, but can be adapted to other meats as well. I really do use beef broth in my pork roast; it infuses a richer flavor into the meat, grains and vegetables. Barley and lentils (purchased dry in bags) are very inexpensive, as are potatoes. This frugal recipe gives you enough extra meat for several nights’ meals, and can be frozen (cooked) if you can’t use it fast enough.
This recipe is written for a crockpot. Crockpots save you time and energy; if you don’t have a slow cooker yet, it’s time to add one to your shopping list! I have 2 (sometimes I get them both going at the same time!):
a West Bend 6-Quart Round Crockery Cooker
and a Hamilton Beach Black 4qt Oval Slow Cooker
Remember not to remove the lid of your crockpot during the day, not even to stir. Each time you lift the lid, 20 minutes must be added onto the cooking time to compensate for the lost heat (a handy tip I picked up from Reynolds).
Pork shoulder roast (or other cut, whichever is on sale!)
Potatoes, peeled and quartered
Carrots, peeled and quartered
1 cup dry lentils
1 cup dry pearled barley
2-3 cans of beef broth (depending on roast size)
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Salt to taste
1. Put roast into crockpot first
2. Add broth and garlic
3. In pooled broth, add barley to one side of roast, add lentils to the other. It is important that the grains settle in the broth at the bottom of the crockpot for the best tenderness and taste.
4. Add potatoes and carrots to the crockpot. Add water until crockpot is nearly filled. Allow about 2” at top for the grains to expand.
5. Set crockpot to high and cook for 6-8 hours.
When done, use your handy meat thermometer to make certain the center of the pork roast has reached 170 degrees. (Different meats have different temperature requirements.)