Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Provencal Beef Pot Roast

~2 lbs. boneless chuck roast trimmed and cut into large chunks (mine was 2.35 lbs.)
1-2 T olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves minced
1/2-3/4 cup red wine
1/4-1/2 cup beef broth (low-sodium)
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 large carrot peeled and thickly chopped
1 large parsnip, peeled and thickly chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
Chopped fresh parsley and thyme
Salt & pepper

Sachet - see comments below**
1 t whole black peppercorns
5 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
Rind from 1/2 small orange

Brown meat in olive oil on stove top (brown on all sides) and add to crock pot (on low, covered). Add broth, wine, minced garlic, and dried mushrooms. **Ideally, using a sachet is the best method so you don't have large chunks of peppercorn or orange rind in your broth. However, I did not have cheese cloth today and so I just threw everything in the pot and sifted it off at the end. This worked out just fine, if not a little annoying. If using a sachet, combine all ingredients in a cheesecloth & secure with twine. Add bundle to slow cooker. 

So, either add sachet or add the sachet ingredients to the slow cooker. With about 3 hours left add the olives, carrots, onion, parsnips, tomatoes, and remaining seasonings. Cook for another 3 hours, meat should be tender and veggies should be soft but not mushy.

Total cook time about 7 to 8 hours optimally. I ran out of time today and cooked mine for 5 1/2 or 6 hours and it was fine, maybe not quite as tender as I expected. I would suggest the 7+ hours if you have it. Prep time is not too much, maybe about 15-20 minutes.

Comments: This is really very good, we all enjoy it. I served it with dilled squash and roasted sweet potatoes.

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