This recipe is my submission for our Tried, Tested and True 3: Wedding Edition event. Don't forget the deadline is Friday, February 20th!
After reading Julia's (from Grow. Cook. Eat.) excellent advice regarding the importance of resilient food when cooking for a larger group, I thought this recipe would be a good option for this event. Plus, how can you go wrong with slow roasted beef?
My sure-fire method is to brown the roast very well on all sides, either using a cast-iron Dutch oven on the stovetop, or incinerating the exterior on an outdoor gas grill (keeps the mess and smoke out of the house). Remember: It must be browned well before pot roasting, otherwise you'll get an anaemic, grey-looking meal with little character.
Note: anticipate a lot of smoke. I had both of my smoke detectors going off.
After browning the pot roast well, toss it in a slow cooker with one chopped onion, a chopped carrot, two ribs of chopped celery, one-half bottle of dry red wine, a generous tablespoon of thyme, at least four cloves of minced garlic, and one bay leaf.
Then, add low-sodium beef broth to almost cover. Smack the lid on, set the heat to Low (or in the oven at around 225) and go away for 10 hours. Do not add salt, as the "low-sodium" broth is salty enough.
The roast will be perfect upon your return. Simply remove it from the slow cooker, cover with foil and set inside a 175°F oven to keep warm. For gravy, strain out and discard solids from the liquid, then boil it to reduce volume by at least half or two-thirds (taste to see if it's concentrated enough), then make gravy as usual.
Delicious! Plus, lots of left overs!
Speaking of the awesomeness that is Julia, check out what she sent me this week. We were talking about vanilla and next thing I know, she's sending me some of my very own Tahitian Vanilla Beans! It smells amazing. I can't wait to use some in a recipe.