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Anne's Kitchen: What to make? How about Mississippi Roast?

 

Mississippi Roast is traditionally made by placing a chuck roast in a slow cooker and simmering it beneath a stick of butter, a package of ranch dressing mix, a packet of

Mississippi Roast is traditionally made by placing a chuck roast in a slow cooker and simmering it beneath a stick of butter, a package of ranch dressing mix, a packet of "au jus" gravy mix and some pepperoncini. The recipe, which traces back to Robin Chapman of Ripley, went viral on the internet, where it took on the name Mississippi Roast. Photo by: delish.com

 

Anne Freeze

 

 

It's a busy May over here and I'm looking forward to mid-June for my fourth annual "retreat" with 16 girlfriends from my hometown of Athens, Georgia. We've met at Sea Island, Georgia; Smith Lake, Alabama; and Lake Lure, North Carolina. This year we head to north Georgia near the town of Blue Ridge. It's going to be an extra special treat because my oldest friend (since babies) will be joining us for the first time from Nanaimo, British Columbia. I'm so thrilled that Pooh can come.  

 

As usual, I've divided the group up into cooking teams for supper each night. I was put in charge of the menu for my team of Peggy, Pooh, Penny, Gina and me, and you'd think I was serving at the White House for all the thought I'm giving it. It's a weakness of mine that I have a hard time deciding on the perfect meal for guests. It needs to be palatable for a group of women who are all very unique. And not too fussy. And it's best if leftovers can be eaten for lunch the next day on a salad, or in a sandwich. So I decided on a recipe I had hanging around for a Korean pot roast using gochujang, a mild, slightly sweet and spicy red chili paste I happened to have and need to use. But then I thought of Mississippi Roast! We are having a mini book club for anyone who has read "Dispatches from Pluto" by Richard Grant. Several have finished the book and are fascinated by the portrayal of the Delta and Yazoo City. So Mississippi Roast seemed to fit the bill. I thought I had shared the recipe in this column, but I can't find it in my files so I'll share it again, or for the first time. Don't know.  

 

I had never heard of Mississippi Roast until I saw an updated version in The New York Times where the author made the ranch dressing from scratch, etc. I poked around and found that Robin Chapman from Ripley first made this 15 or so years ago as a version of one her aunt had made. A friend had it and it became part of her meal rotation. Then the friend put it in a church cookbook and others made it, and it grew and spread and eventually became a recipe on Pinterest called "Mississippi Roast." I thought I'd make it the day before I go to Blue Ridge and then heat and shred it for sandwiches the next night, along with slaw and a black bean and corn salad. Peggy oversees dessert, and Penny and Pooh will buy buns and make slaw. Gina will do some appetizers. It would be fun, but is it too complicated? Now I'm leaning toward a chicken enchilada casserole with homemade tomatillo salsa and a green salad. I'm stressing out on this; obviously, I need a hobby or have too much time on my hands. 

 

I do want to make Dole Pineapple Whip for dessert if I can talk Peggy into it. Supposedly this is a big deal at Disney World and last weekend, while there with family, I looked and looked for a vendor, but nary a one in sight. Probably OK, as it would have been $10 for a cup as was everything else in the parks. But I found a recipe and it's very like making the frozen banana whip. I found a couple of variations, but chose one with three ingredients. I have not made it yet so let me know how it is. I don't think it can go wrong. 

 

Don't forget that the farmers' market is open. Please stop by and support the growers. 

 

Anne Freeze of Columbus is a former gourmet food store owner and restaurant general manager. 

 

 

 

MISSISSIPPI ROAST 

 

 

 

1 roast (3-4 pound), your choice of cut 

 

One stick butter 

 

1 package au jus gravy mix 

 

1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix (dry) 

 

Pepperoncini peppers, number to your liking, and a little juice 

 

 

 

  • Sometimes we use chuck, sometimes sirloin tip, sometimes rump. Sometimes we sear it. Sometimes we don't. 

     

  • Put roast in slow cooker. Add other ingredients. Salt and pepper if you like, and cook on until tender. 

     

    (Note from Anne: This is the original recipe, verbatim) 

     

     

     

    MISSISSIPPI ROAST "GOURMET STYLE"  

     

     

     

    1 boneless chuck roast or top or bottom round roast (3-4 pounds) 

     

    2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste 

     

    1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 

     

    1/4 cup all-purpose flour 

     

    3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola 

     

    8-12 pepperoncini 

     

    2 tablespoons mayonnaise 

     

    2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 

     

    1/2 teaspoon dried dill 

     

    1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika 

     

    1 teaspoon buttermilk, optional 

     

    Chopped parsley for garnish 

     

     

     

  • Place roast on a cutting board and rub the salt and pepper all over it. Sprinkle the flour all over the seasoned meat and massage it into the flesh. 

     

  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan set over high heat until it is shimmering and about to smoke. Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes a side, to create a crust. Remove roast from pan and place it in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the butter and the pepperoncini to the meat. Place the lid on the slow cooker, and set the machine to low. 

     

  • As the roast heats make a ranch dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, dill and paprika in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify. Add the buttermilk if using, then whisk again. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and add the dressing. Replace the top and allow to continue cooking, undisturbed, for 6-8 hours, or until you can shred the meat easily using 2 forks. Mix the meat with the gravy around it and serve as you like. 

     

    (Source: Sam Sifton, New York Times) 

     

     

     

    THREE-INGREDIENT PINEAPPLE SOFT SERVE 

     

     

     

    4 cups frozen pineapple 

     

    1 frozen banana, halved. 

     

    1/2 cup coconut milk, chilled 

     

     

     

  • Combine pineapple, banana and coconut milk in a food processor or blender and pulse, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula until smooth. Scoop into cups and serve.

     

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