Kristin brilliantly thought to add a slow cooker category to our site. Slow cookers really can be a working mom’s best friend. This stracoto (fancy word for pot roast) is my favorite slow cooker recipe. I’ve made it in the oven as per the original recipe, but actually prefer my adaptation in the slow cooker, which results in a moister piece of meat. It’s awfully hard to dry out a piece of meat, or anything else for that matter, in a slow cooker. Reuben must have liked the dinner, since he added this programmable slow cooker to his Amazon wish list within a few hours of finishing it.
Don’t forget to enter our first cookbook giveaway contest. Entries are due tomorrow. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment in Kristin’s October 26 post.
Slow Cooker Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms and Carrots
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network
1 x 4 lb (1.8 kg) boneless beef chuck roast or arm roast
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup (240 ml) dry red wine
1 3/4 cups (420 ml) canned beef broth
1/2 oz (15 g) dried porcini mushrooms
1 bunch carrots, peeled and halved if large, and cut into 3‑inch pieces
egg noodles or mashed potatoes, to serve
Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) over a medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total cooking time. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the onions and saute until tender, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the broth and mushrooms. Bring the liquid to a boil. Carefully pour the liquid into the slow cooker. Add the carrots. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat and carrots are tender.
Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to a serving bowl. Tent the beef with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spoon any excess fat off the top of the sauce in the slow cooker. Using a hand-held blender, blend the sauce, onions, and garlic into a smooth puree. (If you don’t have a hand-held blender, transfer the sauce and vegetables to a blender and puree.) Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut the beef across the grain into 1/2‑inch-thick slices. Arrange the sliced beef on a platter and spoon the sauce over. Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes, passing the remaining sauce in a sauce boat.