Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pot Roast Recipe, Cliff Notes Version

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast with Gravy
Adapted from “Cook’s Country” Magazine

• 1 large boneless beef chuck roast (5-6 pounds)
• Salt and pepper
• Garlic, 1-2 cloves, sliced
• 4 teaspoons oil… Vegetable is preferred, but olive works.
• 3 or 4 medium yellow onions, chopped or sliced
• 1 large celery rib, chopped
• 4 medium carrots, chopped
• 6 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup red wine
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
• 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth… You can also just use water.
• 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• Fresh parsley to garnish

1. At least an hour before cooking, slice small divots all over the roast and place slivers of garlic in these small cavities. Liberally season the roast with salt and pepper. You want a healthy teaspoon per side of salt, which is more than you’d ever think you’d need. Place in the fridge until ready to move on to the next step.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the seasoned roast on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total cooking time. Transfer roast to slow cooker.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet, along with onions. Sprinkle with some salt and gently cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and almost translucent. This can easily take 10 to 15 minutes; lower your heat if they start to turn brown. Transfer onions to the slow cooker.

4. Add celery, carrots (or whatever root vegetables you like) and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.

5. Increase heat to high. Add red wine to empty skillet, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth (or water), and bring to a boil. Stir in pepper flakes, bay leaves and thyme. Transfer to slow cooker. If the liquid does not come up to the top edge of the roast, add a little more water.

6. Set slow cooker to high, cover, and cook until tender, 6 to 7 hours. Or, better yet, cook on low for 9 to 10 hours. You can check the temperature with a meat thermometer about 2 hours before the roast is supposed to be done to prevent overcooking. It will be well done at 160 degrees F.

7. Transfer roast to carving board; loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Discard bay leaves. Allow liquid in pot to settle, about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface.

8. To be really fancy about making gravy (and we did not do this in Santa Fe), puree liquids and solids in batches in blender or food processor. Or, use an immersion blender. Stir in some fresh parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in a gravy boat and wow your friends.

9. Cut roast into 1/2-inch-thick slices, ladle on some sauce, and serve over the starch of your choosing: buttered egg noodles, boiled potatoes, or mashed potatoes.

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