The slow cooker — also known as crockpot — is a wonderful invention for those of us who find ourselves pressed for time in the evening hours. Who wants to come home after a grueling day at work to labor in the kitchen and put a perfect meal on the table? Enter the slow cooker. You can make everything in the morning, plug it in, and let it do its work while you go about your day. Your meal is waiting for you when you get home, ready to serve without much additional fuss.
This great recipe for the slow cooker takes hours — but not your hours. Start it in the morning and come home to a satisfying meal.
- 1 beef chuck or bottom round roast (about 3 to 4 pounds, fat trimmed)
- 6 to 8 medium red potatoes
- 8 ounces baby carrots
- 4 cloves garlic (whole and peeled)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon rosemary (dried, crushed) or 2 teaspoons rosemary (chopped, fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup water or beef broth
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water)
- Optional: 1/4 cup parsley (chopped, fresh)
In the Morning:
- Place the potatoes, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Rub the herbs and seasonings into the beef and place the beef on top of vegetables.
- Add the water or broth and wine.
- Cover the slower cooker and set it to low. Cook for 9 to 11 hours, or until the beef and vegetables are tender.
When It's Time to Serve:
- Remove the vegetables and transfer them to a serving platter. Cover them to keep them warm.
- Remove the roast and carve it across the grain into thin slices. Cover the slices to keep them warm.
- Strain the cooking liquid and skim off the fat. Combine 2 cups of the liquid and the cornstarch mixture in a small saucepan. Stir until blended.
- Cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Garnish the beef and vegetables with parsley if desired and serve with the thickened gravy.
- Technically, a Crock-Pot is a type of slow cooker. Both rely on moist heat to cook food slowly over an extended period of time, but there are some minor variations between the two.
- Use a lean chuck roast or another cut of beef for this recipe if possible. If you use a fattier piece of meat, place it in the slow cooker with the fat side up.
- One to 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce will add a nice zing to the gravy if you prefer something with a little more punch. Add it with the broth and wine.
- If you have time, you can sear the beef first before adding it to the slow cooker. You might even do this the night before, then refrigerate it in a zipper back overnight.