Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits

It's time for another edition of the #BookClubCookbook Cooking Crew!  Each month, one of the group will send out an invitation to read and create a dish based on a book from Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp's The Book Club Cookbook (Revised Edition).  This month, Renee from Tortillas and Honey invited us to read A Lesson Before Dying.

I have to admit, I didn't read this book at this time.  I read it almost 20 years ago while in Teachers College.
This is a powerful story.  So powerful that I remember crying through the last 50 pages.  I just wasn't up to reading it again.  But if you haven't, I totally recommend it.  Just have the tissues ready.
I debated what I wanted to make this month.  The cookbook suggested pralines, but I'm not up to making candy right now.  I need quick and easy dinner recipes.
I considered posting a Facebook question asking what people would want as their last meal (the book centres around time before one of the main character's execution for a crime he didn't commit), I searched Southern Food on Pinterest, and ended up perusing a site called "South Your Mouth" with lots of interesting recipes, and having a few roundups that I pinned from.  But then I got smart.  I sent a message to Janet.
I've only met Janet once, but she used to work with J when he lived in Charleston, SC.  I sent her a message asking for some true Southern food.  J has always told me that Janet is a great cook, and she had lots of suggestions.
Janet is from the Low Country of South Carolina, not Louisiana, so her suggestions favour that part of the US.  I still want to try Benne Seed cookies, but the recipes I found all made a huge number.  She suggested shrimp and grits, but I don't eat shellfish.  She also suggested anything with sweet tea, or Coca Cola Cake.  I finally took her first suggestion, with a recipe I'd seen featured on South Your Mouth:  cheese grits and a crockpot roast.  Perfect for fall.
I present to you now from Plain Chicken BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits:

For the roast:
1 - 4 or 5 lb boneless chuck roast
1-1/2 c Coca Cola
1-1/2 c Spicy ketchup (I used Heinz with Tabasco sauce)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c milk

For the Grits:
1-1/2 c quick cooking grits (not instant)
3 c chicken broth
2 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix
1-1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar

1.  Season roast and place in crockpot, fat side up.  Stir together Coca Cola, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour over roast, cover and cook 8-9 hours on low, until meat is tender.
2.  In a cup, stir together cornstarch and milk.  Remove roast from crockpot and keep warm.  Turn crockpot to high.  Add milk mixture and stir occasionally, leaving crockpot uncovered.  Allow mixture to thicken.
3.  Make the grits:  In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Add grits slowly while stirring.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook, about 5 minutes.  Stir in Ranch mix and cheese.  Allow cheese to melt and serve immediately.
Adapted from Plain Chicken

I didn't take many pictures, and no process pictures.  Making grits is like making soft polenta.  I make it more often with butter and parmesan.  Equally as delicious, and the Ranch adds something for sure.  The meat was fork tender after all that time in the crockpot, and the sauce had a great kick.  It's sweet, but not too sweet.  I was so pleased with this, and that we got 2 nights out of it with leftovers for the freezer.  I still want to make Benne cookies, but cheese grits were so good.  Thanks Janet!

This month Renee at Tortillas and Honey, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from September 1st till September 30th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Renee received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp to use in this year-long project plus the opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.


  1. I love crockpot recipes and this one sounds perfect.

  2. I don't have a crockpot, but I'll bet I can adapt this recipe. Thanks for posting.

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