As someone who runs her life a million miles per minute, but still values the fruits of a home-cooked meal, the slow cooker is a mainstay in my kitchen. Because of this favorite small appliance, my family gets to enjoy rich, hearty meals that taste like they’ve been simmering all day, even on those days when I’ve got just a few minutes to get dinner on the table.
I especially love making this savory slow cooker pot roast for a festive Shabbat meal. Any good starchy side like rice, potatoes or noodles will sop up the juices in a fabulous way. Plus, if you’re lucky you’ll have leftovers, which I have been known to turn into pot roast tacos the next day.
Do the prep work the night before and set the slow cooker in the morning. By the time dinner rolls around, your neighbors will be knocking on your door to join your Shabbat table. I use a slow cooker liner to make cleanup easier.
5-lb boneless beef chuck roast
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or more, to taste)
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper (or more, to taste)
2 Tpbs. olive oil
2 large sweet onions, diced
2 large carrots , diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Large sprig of rosemary
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
15-ounce can low sodium beef broth
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 dried bay leaf
Pat the beef chuck roast dry, and season with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil, and brown the beef on all sides (about 3 minutes per side).
While the beef is browning, layer the onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary and mushrooms in the bowl of a slow cooker. Once the beef is browned on all sides, place the beef on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
Deglaze the saute pan with the beef broth, making sure to scrape up any dark spots from the pan. Pour the broth in the slow cooker. Pour the diced tomatoes over the beef and tuck in a dried bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
Remove the beef from the slow cooker using kitchen tongs, and set on a carving board. Shred or slice, and serve with a starchy side dish. Or, you can remove the sprig of rosemary and the bay leaf and blend the vegetables into a thick sauce that can be used as a gravy.
Note: Steps 1 to 4 can be done the night before. Store the bowl of the slow cooker in the refrigerator overnight, and continue from step 5 in the morning.
Jennifer Stempel blogs about her experiments in the kitchen at TheCubanReuben.com.