Don't you hate it when friends move away? It's a natural part of life, sure, but it still stinks. A few months ago, two of our dear friends moved away from the area. The good news? They are only four hours "down the road." The bad news? They're four hours down the road!
So the other day when Rachel emailed me a cooking question, I couldn't tell her to just drop by the house for a chat. Instead I pulled out my camera and created this post. Yay technology!
Her question: Could the "Easy Beef Roast" from my second cookbook, "How to Cook Gluten-Free" be prepared in the slow cooker.
Answer: I was 99.9% sure it would work but I wanted to test it myself. Here's what I did and the tweaks I made.
I started with a four pound boneless chuck roast. Before searing, pat the roast dry. Really dry. Then generously salt and pepper the meat on both sides. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet until it just begins to smoke. Sear the meat for about seven minutes.
Carefully turn the meat and cook for another seven minutes.
Then, using a pair of tongs, sear each side of the meat. You don't need to do this for seven minutes. A minute or two does the job nicely.
Ohh….nice. Now transfer the meat to your slow cooker.
Throw two quartered onions into the hot pan.
Cook until the onions just begin to turn golden brown. The onions get a little shiny too. And smell amazing. WOOT! Transfer the onions to the slow cooker.
Repeat with carrots. NOTE: The carrots won't really change color. Cook them for about three minutes. They turn bright orange and look amazing. Add them to the slow cooker. Turn off the burner.
Add six cloves of garlic to the slow cooker. Don't worry. The roast won't taste garlicky. It'll taste amazing. Better than amazing, really.
Top with one large can of diced tomatoes.
Add two cups of gluten-free beef broth. Be careful with beef broth. Lots of brands contain gluten. I used Kitchen Basics.
Cook for eight hours on low. I don't like this roast cooked on high.
Culinary confession: I had trouble getting the roast out of the slow cooker. It wanted to fall apart under my tongs; it was *that* tender. I cut the roast but "cut" seems to be an overstatement. It came apart really easily under my knife.
And that's it! Serve with strained pan juices and enjoy.
"But Elizabeth! What about those carrots and onions? Can I serve those?"
Good question. Since the carrots cooked for eight hours, they aren't very flavorful. At all. What I like to do is roast some carrots in the oven to serve along with the roast. This way, you get tasty carrots instead of mushy, flavorless carrots.
I'm so glad Rachel asked about this recipe for a slow cooker! With the simple addition of beef stock and a time adjustment, the roast worked perfectly.