Farm-Fresh Meal: Hearty Pot Roast, Cornbread Salad, Strawberry Bread Pudding Recipes

Close the oven door and let your slow cooker create a fork-tender chuck roast. Pair with a fresh, crunchy cornbread salad for a spring meal to remember.

By Scott Jones | Photos By Jason Wallis

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Strawberry-Buttermilk Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Serve this party-worthy dessert warm or cold.

Strawberry-Buttermilk Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Strawberry-Buttermilk Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

1 qt. buttermilk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 (12-oz.) loaf French bread

1/4 cup butter

2 cups chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Combine buttermilk, and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well; set aside. Tear bread into 1-inch pieces (should have about 7  1/2 cups); stir into buttermilk mixture.

Melt butter in a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking pan in a 350˚ oven.

Add strawberries to bread mixture, stirring gently. Pour into pan of melted butter.

Bake at 350˚ for 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve with Vanilla Sauce.

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hr. Stand: 10 min. Yield: 8 servings

Vanilla Sauce:

Prepare sauce up to 2 days ahead. Reheat in 2-cup liquid measuring cup in microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring every 30 seconds.

1/2 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Dash of ground nutmeg

1 large egg

2 Tbsp. butter, softened

1  1/4 cups heavy cream

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together first 7 ingredients in a heavy saucepot, cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 12 min. Yield: about 2 cups

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast With Gravy

This hearty recipe is best prepared the day before to allow the flavors of the roast and gravy to meld.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast With Gravy

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast With Gravy

1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

1 tsp. pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1 large sweet onion, cut in half and sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (1-oz.) envelope dry onion soup mix

1 (14-oz.) can low-fat chicken broth

1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce

3 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Sprinkle roast with pepper. Cook roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove roast to plate.

Add mushrooms, onion and garlic to skillet, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.

Place mushroom mixture in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place roast on top of mushroom mixture. Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast; pour chicken broth and tomato sauce over roast. Cover and cook on low 8 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork.

Transfer roast to a cutting board; cut into large chunks, removing any large pieces of fat. Keep roast warm.

Skim fat from juices in slow cooker; stir in tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Stir together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth; add to juices in slow cooker, stirring until blended. Increase slow cooker heat to high. Cover and cook 40 minutes, or until mixture is thickened. Stir in roast.

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 9 hrs. Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Cornbread Salad

Prepare cornbread up to two days ahead. Make this a main dish by adding chicken, beef or pork. 

1 (6-oz.) package buttermilk cornbread and muffin mix

2 heads romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 cup diced celery (about 3 ribs)

1 cup finely shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses

4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

1½ cups lite ranch dressing

Prepare cornbread according to package directions; cool and cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Combine cornbread, lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours. Add more dressing, if desired, before serving.

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min. Chill: 8 hrs. Yield: 8 to 10 servings