Sunday lunches are tricky! When we get home from church, everyone is hungry and ready to eat. So I try to have lunch cooking while we’re at church.
In the past I’ve used crockpots to have lunch hot and ready when we get home. And crockpots work great for some dishes. But others just taste better when cooked in the oven.
Dutch oven to the rescue! It’s the perfect pan to fill with food and let cook slowly while we’re at church.
Quick Cautionary Note: My cooking methods may not be approved by the FDA. They may not be recommended. But, they are working for me, and allowing us to have delicious hot food when we get home!
How I Prep Sunday Lunch Meat in the Dutch Oven
On Saturday night, I grab a hunk of meat from the deep freezer. I’ve used whole chickens, pork and beef roasts, and hams.
I unwrap the meat and put it in the Dutch oven. This gets refrigerated until morning.
As I’m preparing for church in the morning, I pull out the Dutch oven and add enough water to cover about 1/4 of the meat. Then I add salt/pepper/whatever seasoning to the meat. I throw in some onions, carrots, or celery if I’m feeling like it.
The lid goes back on, and I pop the cold Dutch oven into the cold oven. I then set the heat to 350 degrees. While we finish getting ready, it cooks at this temperature for about an hour.
Right before we leave, I turn the heat down to 275. Then the meal continues baking while we’re gone. We come home and the house smells delicious. The meat tastes great, and it’s always up to temp by the time we make it home.
Sunday Lunch Mashed Potatoes
Cold sides are easy to have alongside the meat. We’ve had green salads, Jell-o, prebaked rolls, and more.
But, mashed potatoes go really well with meat. I knew I could make those in the crockpot, but was having trouble making sure they actually got done in the four hours. So I tried preparing them in the oven.
It works great!
I wash and peel potatoes and throw them into my second Dutch oven on Saturday night. Then I cover these with water and put the lid on.
In the morning, I pull the pan out at the same time I do the meat. This allows the cold pan to come back up to room temperature.
When I drop the temperature on the oven down, I put the potato pan in the oven. The water comes to a boil, and the potatoes cook all morning.
Once we make it home, they’re simple to drain and mash. I can make a little pan gravy with the meat drippings, while I heat up a frozen vegetable.
Quick lunch, and one that leaves some leftovers for eating later in the week!
How do you handle Sunday lunch?
Streamlining meals, especially on Sundays when life can be a little busy, is important for me. I’d love to hear what works for you. Do you utilize a crockpot or leave food cooking in your oven? Please chime in in the comments.