A few weeks ago Canadian Foodie asked me what I thought may be the new food trends of 2012. Of course I drew a blank since I only go to places that have a children’s menu. Those places never ever change based on trends or health fads, usually the greasier the better, which may be fine for a growing toddler but not for mommy and daddy.
When pondering longer I figured out the 2012 Polwig family trend and that is called Slow Cooker or Crock Pot. Whatever you want to call it, I love it. Of course my wonderful hubby is quick to point out that it was not love at the first sight. Apparently when I first laid eyes on it I said something about making a garbage run.
What did I know? I was a single girl from the city that did not have to worry about cooking for a family of five. I could run around town all day come home and have some soup. Now after running around all day at about 6pm I hear the door open and a friendly voice asking me “what’s for dinner?” and he doesn’t like soups.
So the only way to stay sane, or semi sane is to use this beast, and I am, so expect more, a lot more slow cooking. Well at least this winter.
You will need: 8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices) chopped, 2 onions, 4 carrots, 6 garlic cloves, 2 tbs minced fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried, 2 tbs tomato paste, 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (entire packet in my case), 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup dry red wine, 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup low sodium chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, 2 (2 1/2 to 3 lb each) beef chuck roast (tied), salt, pepper, parsley.
Note: I only used one beef chuck since 2 1/2- 3lb of meat is enough for one meal. The test kitchen used two smaller roasts because they cook more evenly and are easier to fit in a slow cooker.
Note 2: I served it with pasta but the book prefers cooked polenta.
Cover porcini mushrooms with boiling water and let sit when you do the chopping.
Peel and dice the carrots
Mince the garlic
Drain the liquid from the mushrooms and finely chop or mince
Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp
Place in the slow cooker, turn the cooker on (low/high depending how much time you have)
Pour all but 2 tbs of bacon grease from the skillet. Add carrots, onions, garlic and minced mushrooms.
2 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano (2 tbs fresh)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Cook mixing together until the veggies are soft and lightly browned about 8-10 minutes
Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup dry red wine. Meaning pour in and scrape the bottom pieces off.
Make sure to pour yourself a glass too, which is one of the primary reasons why I love slow cookers. 1/2 cup in the rest is mine.
No I did not drink the entire bottle, I used it for cooking.
Transfer the mixture to slow cooker, add 2 bay leaves, 1 cup chicken broth
and a 28 can of crushed tomatoes
Season the meat with salt and pepper
Place in the slow cooker, cover with sauce, close the lid. Cook 9-11 hours on low and 5-7 hours on high until the beef is tender.
When done remove the roast from the pan and keep covered. If you used one most likely you will be looking at shredded beef so let the sauce settle for 5 minutes then remove the fat from the surface.
Serve over pasta, sprinkled with parsley or just make yourself a tasty sandwich.