Over the holidays, my boyfriend and I made a roast for his family and some family friends. While the word "holidays" might imply that we had ample time to sit around and leisurely cook, with all of the family gatherings and catch-ups with friends (we had seven Christmas gatherings alone including Christmas Eve and Boxing Day) there really wasn't that much time. I have a feeling we're not alone in that - holidays are lovely but they can definitely be hectic and even stressful.
We were gone all day before dinner, so the only logical solution seemed to be taking care of the prep in the morning and letting the slow cooker take care of the rest. Wise choice.
This roast contains a few simple ingredients, but the end result is so flavourful. The star of the show is really the red wine, which infuses so much flavour into the meat. The juices and red wine are also the perfect base for a tasty gravy - my boyfriend's mom took care of the gravy, so I don't have the recipe, but your typical gravy method will do just fine. Just substitute the plentiful red wine and roast juices for pan drippings and thicken as required. Meanwhile, the slow cooker ensures that the meat stays perfectly tender.
All in all, this is our new go-to recipe, and it's composed of ingredients you'll likely have on hand anyway. Read on for the recipe.
Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Red Wine and Garlic
Serves 8 with plentiful leftovers
One 5 lb. beef roast (for smaller roast, adjust other ingredients' quantities accordingly)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-size portions
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-size portions
2/3 of a 750mL bottle of dry red wine
1 cup beef broth (we used bouillon)
1 tbsp. garlic
Salt and pepper
Medium or large slow cooker (size and shape dependent on the size of your roast - we used a large oval)
Arrange the chopped carrots and potatoes in the bottom of your slow cooker's crock.
Next, heat a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan large enough to accommodate your roast. Meanwhile, after removing any excess fat from the roast, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the roast pressing it in so that it sticks to the meat. Once the oil is hot enough, place your roast in the pan and cook just until the surface is browned, rotating the roast as necessary.
Place roast in slow cooker (on top of potatoes and carrots). Pour red wine and beef stock into the crock, then add garlic. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper in next (you can adjust the seasoning at the end, so don't go overboard). Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Alternatively, cook it on high for the first hour and then adjust heat to low - it will cook for approximately 6-8 hours total if so, depending on your desired doneness. The roast in the above picture was cooked using this "high-low" method and took 6 hours total.
When sufficiently cooked, remove roast to a cutting board or serving platter and slice. Remove the cooked potatoes and carrots from the bottom of the crock and place in a serving bowl (side note: these taste awesome!).
Thicken the juices leftover in the crock using your typical gravy method. My boyfriend's mother used Bisto (a gravy thickener); alternatively you could create a roux with equal parts of flour and butter and whisk in the juices, stirring until thickened. Ideally, serve the roast with mashed potatoes, as well as the cooked carrots and potatoes. A glass of red wine tastes great with this meal, for obvious reasons.