Mashed Potatoes Can Be Your Friends

9 Jun

I used to think the line “Mashed potatoes can be your friends” from Weird Al’s parody of Devo, “Dare to Be Stupid”, was just a sarcastic, inane saying. But perhaps Weird Al was really onto something. There is something particularly reassuring about a home cooked meal of meat and potatoes–something that can nearly approximate the closeness of a trusted friend, don’t you think? After all, they don’t call it “comfort food” for nothing!

Growing up, one of my favorite Sunday memories was coming home from church to the smell of a roast cooking in the oven.

So over the years, I’ve recreated this tradition in my own home. And even though cooking is not exactly my thing (love to eat–hate to shop, plan, and prepare), this meal from the September/October 2007 Simple & Delicious magazine is super easy, requires few ingredients, tastes great, and makes me feel as natural in the kitchen as Rachel Ray.

Last night, my family actually applauded, “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing when I brought it to the table (probably because I once complained that moms never get any kudos for cooking–only TV chefs like Emeril!) The colorful peppers and onions on top of the roast make for a lovely presentation and the fluffy, chive-topped potato mounds are simply divine beckoning you to dive on in. Mmmmm….

Italian Roast with Alfredo Potatoes

1boneless beef chuck roast (3-4 lbs.)

1 envelope brown gravy mix

1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix

1/2 cup water

1 cup chopped sweet red pepper

1 cup chopped green pepper

2/3 c. chopped onion

8 medium red or 5 russet potatoes, quartered

2 T. cornstarch

1/4 c. cold water

3/4 c. Alfredo sauce

2 T. butter

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 c. minced chives

Place roast in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the gravy mix, dressing mix and water; pour over roast. Top with peppers and onion. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, remove roast and keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices if necessary and pour into a large saucepan. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Drain potatoes; mash with Alfredo sauce, butter and pepper. Sprinkle with chives.

Serve meal with a tossed salad and bread. Enjoy!

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