“Chuck roast hitting a hot, oiled pan.”
If this was an essential oil, I’d totally join your team.
My folks made their first trip to St. Louis to see us and I invited them over for a home-cooked birthday dinner. As I was searching for an uncomplicated one-pot meal to prepare, Whitney of Little Leopard Book’s recipe for Slow Cooked Beef Ragu caught my eye. This recipe for slow cooker beef is a breeze to prepare in the morning and has a short ingredient list.
Slow cooking turns the beef silky and fork tender. At the end of the day you’ll find a rich, complicated sauce made from just the broth, aromatics, red wine, and canned tomatoes. I served the beef with parmesan polenta and crusty french bread to soak up every last drop of the sauce.
Everyone returned for seconds and that’s all we need to know.
Italian Slow Cooker Beef
Thank you Whitney of Little Leopard Book for giving me your blessing to share my tweaks on your recipe! This recipe served our family of four, providing everyone with seconds + some leftovers.
3 lb chuck roast
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon per 1 tablespoon dried)
1 can chopped tomatoes (I used the a variety seasoned with Italian herbs)
1 can tomato paste
About 1/2 cup red wine (I used Merlot)
About 1/2 cup beef broth
1 tsp kosher salt (or less, depending on how salty the broth is)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Spread sliced onions, rosemary, and smashed garlic cloves in the bottom of a large crock pot.
- Season the beef lightly with salt and pepper.
- Sear the roast on all sides in a hot, oiled pan.
- Place the roast in the crock pot.
- In a bowl, mix together the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, beef broth, salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour over the roast.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook until the meat is fork tender. Whitney’s instructions suggest cooking the roast on high for 6-8 hours. My slow cooker runs hot so I cooked the meat for about four hours on high and two on low.
- When the meat is tender, remove it from the crock pot and set aside on a plate. Turn off the heat for about 15 minutes so that the fat can settle at the top of the sauce.
- Skim off as much fat as you’d like. Return the meat to the crock pot and shred. Hold at a warm temperature until ready to serve.
I served the pulled beef with creamy, parmesan polenta.
For a sweet and savory breakfast treat, make enough polenta to have leftovers. Store it in a flat container in the refrigerator so that it will congeal into a shape that’s easy to cut. The next morning, carefully cut out a slice of polenta and lightly dredge it in flour. Saute the polenta in hot butter until golden brown on both sides and drizzle with maple syrup or honey.