Sunday, October 2, 2011

Autumn Pot Roast

Enough summer barbeques. Now is the time to enjoy some hearty, meaty dinners. My “Crockpot” is now out and sitting on my counter waiting for those easy fall recipes. Pop in a nice piece of meat and some vegetables in the morning and you won’t have to think about dinner when you get home. It’s worth a few extra minutes of preparation. For this recipe, you can even prepare the onions the night before. Just braise the meat in the morning and get your slow cooker ready to go.

Olive oil
1 3-pound beef chuck roast
1 ½ - 2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Sea salt and pepper
2 cups red wine, divided (optional) OR 2 cups beef broth,
   or a combination of both
1 bay leaf
Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Arrowroot powder (available in health food stores)

2 sweet potatoes, cut into quarters

Equipment: Slow Cooker

Place 1 tablespoon of olive in a large skillet. Heat to medium-high. Trim chuck roast of excessive fat and season with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and brown on all sides. Put into slow cooker.

Turn the skillet down to medium and add the onion and garlic, adding a little oil if necessary. Cook the onions until they become lightly browned. Add 1 cup red wine (or 1 cup broth, or half of each), and the bay leaf. Simmer for several minutes. Pour the onion mixture over the roast.

Cook the roast in the slow cooker for about 8 hours. Again, this will depend on the size of the roast and which cooker you are using. You will know when it is done if the meat pulls apart easily when you cut into it.

If you like, add sweet potatoes halfway through the cooking time.

To make gravy:

Strain the broth from the slow cooker into a small pan. Add another cup of the wine or broth and simmer until it is reduced by about half. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. You can thicken the gravy by mixing some arrowroot powder with warm water. Slowly pour into the saucepan and stir until thickened. 

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