I posted this recipe back in March 2010 at my very neglected food blog (you can visit it by clicking here). I made a modified version this morning, sans vegetables and chicken stock. The resulting jus was a little bland, but a few spices, a little roux ... everyone was happy and fed.
Slow Cooker Boneless Chuck Roast and Sauce
Makes 8+ servings
5-6 lbs. chuck roast (I used two smaller roasts for a total of 5 lbs.)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 dashes cayenne
2 dashes paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried ground thyme
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
6 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
8 oz. sliced mini-bella mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped celery (fresh or frozen)
1 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 beef bouillon cube
2 bay leaves
In a small bowl, mix kosher salt, cayenne, paprika, pepper and thyme.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Pat the top of the roast dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with a teaspoon of the salt mixture. When oil is hot, place roast seasoned side down in pan. Sprinkle an additional teaspoon salt mix on top. Brown roast on both sides, 5-10 minutes, and place into slow cooker. If working with two smaller roasts, brown each one individually.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and cook about 4 minutes. Add carrots and cook about 4 more minutes. Add mushrooms and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen and browned bits. Add the Worchestershire sauce, tomato paste, chicken stock and bouillon cube and bring to boil. Add bay leaves.
Pour liquid and vegetables into the slow cooker over the browned roasts. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high 6-7 hours.
When meat is fork tender, remove from liquid and place in serving dish (a large casserole would work well here). Remove as much fat from the liquid as you can (I used a gravy separator) and purée the vegetables in batches. Transfer to a gravy boat if you're feeling fancy, or just put in a bowl with a ladle. Serve.
A few thoughts:
- Set aside the extra 15-20 minutes and brown the meat and vegetables. It will add depth to your finished dish. If you don't want to take my word for it, believe my mom. She's not a foodie. She's a very practical woman who doesn't like to fuss over a dish, and I can remember her standing over the frying pan awkwardly turning big ol' roasts - because she could taste the difference.
- If you don't do wine, try a 'dry' juice like cranberry or pomegranate.
- This recipe would suit a 6 quart slow cooker. Mine is 5 quarts, and there was about 3 cups of liquid that just wouldn't fit - but still plenty of delicious sauce.
- Served with baked potatoes and salad. We're planning on leftovers with noodles.