Sunday Dinners- Slow Cooked Top Round Roast with Sweet Potato Chips


Today we start into our third month of the Springdell Show and Tell, and tonight marks our 60th post in 60 days!  Thank you to those who have been following our blog, and we hope you continue to enjoy this experience as much as we do.

Tonight has also marked another great Sunday dinner with good friends!  With more snow on the horizon, we played hard for most of the day and I decided to let my slow cooker do the bulk of the cooking. 

I usually save my biggest cuts of Springdell meat for Sunday dinners, and tonight was no exception.  I had this top round roast thawing for a couple of days in the fridge in anticipation for tonight’s use.  

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I had read about slow cooking a top round roast on a bed of onions with no broth or liquid, and I was intrigued.  Today, I decided to give it a try.  

The improvised rub I used included 2 parts Springdell Winter Share coffee and brown sugar, 1 part chili and cocoa powder, and a little salt and pepper.  

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I rubbed the roast, placed it atop the onions, covered it with some minced Springdell garlic, and went off to have fun wth my kids.

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10 hours later, this happened:

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It came out pretty good.  The only thing I would change is the cooking time. The original recipe calls for 10-12 hours, however when working with grass fed beef (such as Springdell’s) it often cooks much faster than industry beef.  I forgot to take this into account with the recipe I used and it overcooked a little.  Next time I’ll check the meat at 6 hours and go no more than 8.  Like most crock pot things, and most Springdell things, it was still good!

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As a dinner side, I went with a simple baked sweet potato chip.  For those of you that have not made these, they are fabulous, and so much better than the ones from the store.  I recommend making the “real” version (cooking the slices at 250 for a couple of hours) versus a quicker version (375 for 15-20 minutes or until crisp.) I find the slower cooking time creates a more consistent chip, whereas the faster version creates some that maybe burnt and some that may be chewy. Tonight time got away from me, however, and so I went with the speedier version.  

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If you have a mandolin slicer, I highly recommend using it as this also contributes greatly to the consistency of your chip.  I find the thinnest setting you can get to be the best setting to use.  Might I also recommend a pair of knuckle-saving gloves, such as these.  

Be prepared to have the entire surface area of your oven covered in cookie sheets as each chip needs to be in a single layer for best consistency.  I usually start the chips in the oven and as they start to shrink up, move them closer together while flipping them. Simultaneously, I add more to the sheet, kind of like creating an assembly line of sorts.  As they crisp up, I remove them from the sheet to cool, and move those that are still cooking on the sheet to make room for more.

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I thought that tonight’s sweet potato chips, sweet potato chowder and sweet potato pie might be a little too much of a good thing, but we all enjoyed the sweet potato loveliness in all its forms.  The sweet potato pie and chips were surprisingly big hits with the kids as well!  We also had some carrot sticks and carrot slaw for good measure.  As usual, it was all Springdellicious!

Sweet Potato Chips
There are slow and fast ways to make these, and though I think the slower way produces a "chippier" chip, you can get by with the fast version just fine. I've included 2 variations to use, depending on how much time you have on your hands.
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Ingredients
  1. Sweet Potato, thoroughly washed and unpeeled
  2. Oil (I usually use Olive or Coconut)
  3. Kosher or Sea Salt to taste
  4. Ideal but not necessary items to have on hand: A mandolin slicer, parchment paper, and time (see "notes" for variations if these items are not available)
Instructions
  1. Using a mandolin slicer, slice your sweet potato into circle shaped slices using the thinnest slicer setting.
  2. Toss the slices in your oil (I drizzle a little bit of oil at a time onto a plate and drag each side of the chip through the oil to try to provide the lightest surface coat possible).
  3. Place the slices in a single layer on a rimmed and parchment-lined cookie sheet. (No rim and no parchment makes them prone to sliding around, and sometimes off, the sheet.) Sprinkle sparingly with salt.
  4. Heat the oven to 250 and let the chips bake slowly, flipping after an hour and checking every 10 minutes starting at 1hour 45min, removing those that are done as they crisp up. (Mine are usually all crispy by 2 hours and 15 minutes). See the notes for the shortcut version.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes and serve!
Notes
  1. If you don't have a mandolin slicer, you can use a knife but try to go as thin and as consistent as you can. Be prepared for some crunchy and some chewy, (but all still good) chips.
  2. The parchment paper seems to minimize the soggy chips, but I have made then without using parchment paper and it was not a game changer.
  3. If short on time, replace step #4 above by heating the oven to 375. Let the chips bake faster, flipping after 10 minutes and watching closely starting at 15 minutes. Pull the chips out as they crisp up (mine were all crispy within 15-25 minutes).
  4. Try experimenting with a sprinkle of different dried herbs along with the salt. I recommend sage or rosemary.
Adapted from (Slow version) from "The Minimalist Baker"
CSA|365 https://www.csa365.org/

About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.

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