Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Easy Slow Cooker Chuck Roast

By Earl3d

Here's a quick write-up of how I make chuck roast in the slow cooker, presented by special request.

This is one of my favorite fall/winter dishes and I could easily enjoy it weekly without tiring of it. In fact, I'll probably be making this again soon, and will update with pictures at that time.

1. Get about 2-2 1/2 lbs. of chuck roast. It's ok if it is in more than one piece.

2. (optional) In a skillet, over medium heat on the stove, brown both sides. Use a little olive oil, butter, or bacon grease in the skillet. If it is thick enough, try to brown the edges too. Don't worry about over-browning it, but don't let it burn.

3. Cut up about 3 large carrots and the equivalent of 2 smaller or one medium-large yam. I peel the yam first. Put these in the bottom of the slow cooker. You can also throw in some regular potatoes if you are so inclined. Beets work well, too. When I made it with beets, I feared they would do weird things to the broth and turn everything purple, but that wasn't the case at all.

4. Cover the carrots/yams/potatoes/beets in beef broth and add about 1/2 cup of red wine. I am pretty picky about my beef broth. I just discovered that Swansons makes a beef stock, that is pricier than their regular canned beef broth, but has way better ingredients and no MSG. I generally avoid beef broth with MSG or other weirdo ingredients. You could also use water. Another way to go is to get some beef bones and boil them down or cook them overnight in the crock pot, the night before you are going to make the chuck roast, and then just use that broth. The bone broth actually gives the best flavor in the end.

If the liquid goes above the veggies that's ok.

5. Put the meat in on top. Season with oregano, sage, salt, pepper, or whatever you have on hand.

6. Take a package of mushrooms (I believe it is 8 oz.) and either cut them up or buy the pre-cut kind. Saute them in the skillet to get all the yummy crusty bits off from the browning of the meat. You can also cut up an onion and add it in there - 1/4 to 1/2" rings work well. Optionally, the onion could be chopped finer, but it will end up mixing in with the gravy and I like serving the stewed onions as a separate side dish. A little water can be added to the skillet if needed.

7. Add the mushroom/onion mixture to the top of the meat. This will release a lot of liquid (and flavor!) that will percolate down through the meat as it all cooks. If you're in a hurry, just add them raw on top of the meat and skip the simmering on the stove.

8. Another flavoring agent that can be added on top is the leafy inner parts of a celery bunch. Don't chop them up, just add them in as big pieces as you can, and discard them later.

Cook it all on high for 4-5 hours. I usually try to separate the onion/mushroom bits from the root vegetable bits from the gravy and serve it all separately at the table, but you can serve it however you like.

Also, the gravy can be reduced/thickened on the stove also, or served up as-is.

Enjoy!

Cross-posted (with minor edits) from Creatures of Prometheus.

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