crock pot balsamic pot roast

November 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

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I am SO MAD at you guys for not turning me on to this whole crock-pot thing earlier.  It. is. amazing.  More amazing than the appliance itself is the fact that it seems to have inspired trusty sidekick to try his hand at cooking with some regularity.  And all was right in the land.

So, as to this recipe: although I’ll admit that I was dubious that pot roast in the slow-cooker could rival a pot roast prepared the old fashioned way in a dutch oven, last night’s crock-pottery was a big, big winner that we will surely be making again and again.  It’s also remarkably low-prep for a crock pot recipe, with no browning-of-the-meat or sauteing of the vegetables at 6AM, which is in and of itself a win. In fact, you could easily prepare everything the night before, saving only the quartering of the potatoes for the morning. The recipe is adapted from one found here which is itself derived from one found here.

Because I have a 6 1/2 quart crock-pot, I doubled the amount of the sauce ingredients called for in the original recipe.  If you have a smaller crockpot (e.g., a 3-quart pot), you may want to consider halving the liquid called for below.

The stuff:

  • 4-5lb beef roast (I used two two-pound chuck roasts).
  • 3 c. beef broth
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (if you, like me, only have low-sodium soy sauce on hand, then double the amount of salt you’re adding to the mix)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2-1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • approximately the same amount of celery
  • 2 lbs baby red potatoes, quartered

the how-to:

1. whisk together the beef broth, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper and garlic.  this can be done the night before and placed in the fridge.

2. chop your vegetables.

3. place half of the vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot, and place beef roast on top of vegetables.  cover with remaining vegetables and pour liquid mix over everything.  the liquid will likely not hit the magic 3/4 mark of your crock pot, but fear not! the beef’s own juices will make up the difference.

4. cook on low for 6-8 hours.  I set the crock pot to 8 hours and then had it switch itself off to warm, and arrived home to a perfectly tender roast.

Oh, and then I made gravy.
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the stuff:
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
3c. broth from the crock-pot
1/2t of salt
1/2 t of pepper
1 1/2 t herbs de provence

the how-to:
1. melt butter over medium-high heat.
2. slowly stir in flour until incorporated. continue to stir until the roux begins to brown to a light caramel color.
3. slowly stir in beef broth in cups, stirring to incorporate each cup completely before adding the next. (Note: if you prefer very thick, “lunchroom style” gravy, you may want to stop at 2 c. of broth. If you like your gravy very runny, consider adding more than the called-for 3c).
4. season with salt, pepper and herbs de provence.
5. keep on heat, stirring constantly throughout, for a total or approximately 6-8 minutes.
6. gravy!

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