Slow-Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Slow-cooked pot roast, pureed cauliflower, gravy, green salad, beet horseradish

This is a great time of year to pull out the slow-cooker and figure out how to cook with it.  I use it as often as possible because it means I’ve dealt with my dinner-making obligation early in the day and I can move on to other fun stuff – like baking and eating baking.  Besides that, everyone should know how to make a pot roast, it’s a Canadian staple dinner.

Anyhow, I bought a grass-fed beef sirloin tip roast – it works well for pot roast — or use a blade or other tough chunk of beef. We’ll be cooking it low and slow so all those fibrous strands of meat will break down in the process, all the while providing some great flavour.  I chose ‘grass-fed’ because that is what cows are supposed to eat naturally and I believe that it is way, way more healthy to eat this kind of beef.

You will need to make a flavour base to cook this in. Follow along with what I’ve used, but please feel free to stray from this guideline and use what you like and/or have on hand.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

serves 6

2-3 lb beef roast (blade, sirloin tip)

2 medium onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup red wine (I used shiraz – use a good wine)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (use any kind)

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp tamari or soya sauce

2 tsp ground ginger

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup bbq sauce

ground black pepper

to thicken gravy:

1/2 cup water mixed with 2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

Turn slow-cooker on to high.  Spread diced onions along bottom of cooker.   Unwrap and wipe off roast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter until melted over med-high heat. Brown roast on all sides.  Place browned roast on top of onions.

In separate medium-sized saucepan, put in the rest of the ingredients (except water and cornstarch).  Bring to a boil and stir. Pour mixture over beef roast in slow-cooker. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.  When roast is tender (can pull apart with a fork), remove from liquid to a plate and tent with foil. Mix up water/cornstarch mixture and stir into liquid in slow cooker (on high). (If there is alot of fat on top of liquid, remove as much as possible before doing this). When thickened, pour into a gravy boat. Slice meat. Serve with horseradish (or beet horseradish – even better)…boiled or mashed  potatoes and carrots – or for a healthier, lower carb option – pureed cooked cauliflower and a green salad. Cheers.

Brown roast over medium-high heat

Brown roast on all sides

Mix all ingredients (except water/cornstarch) in medium saucepan.

pour mixture over roast in slow-cooker

Add cornstarch/water mixture to liquid in slow-cooker to thicken

Slice roast, serve with gravy

Middle Eastern Spiced Kebabs with Raita

Indian Spiced Kebabs

If you enjoy the exotic flavours of Middle Eastern foods, you will love these kebabs. They are as easy as mixing up a batch of burgers, but the flavour is so awesome — you might forget about standard burgers altogether.

You can adjust the heat in these depending on how spicy you enjoy your food– add more cayenne as necessary. The cucumber raita cools things down and compliments the flavour of these kebabs perfectly. I make them in a log shape–kebabs without the sticks– about 5 inches long by 2 inches wide.   They are also great in a burger shape, served on a bun with raita, lettuce and tomato. Once you make them, you will be asked to make them again. Use a good quality ground beef. I buy pasture-raised, grass-fed beef and it does taste alot better. { Investigate your local farmer’s market to find organic beef and many other wholesome products.}

*once you have mixed up your mixture and shaped them into logs- they freeze perfectly too.

Middle Eastern Spiced Kebabs

makes 8 (4 oz) kebabs, or 4 (8 oz) burgers

2 lb ground beef

1 medium onion, grated

2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 tsp  ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp garam masala (spice mixture available at asian / indian markets)

2 egg yolks

1 tsp salt

a handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely (if you have it)

Mix up ingredients. Shape into logs or patties. Cover and refrigerate, let the flavours meld for at least 1/2 an hour.  Heat bbq up to medium (about 325-350F). Cook directly on the grill, turning frequently, until cooked through and kebabs have reached an inner temp of 170F. Serve with raita. (see recipe below)

meat mixture with all ingredients

kebabs shaped into 5 inch logs

grill kebabs

Cucumber Raita

1 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup grated (and squeezed out on a paper towel) cucumber

1/2 tsp cumin

Mix ingredients. Serve with kebabs.

raita mixture

kebab with raita and salad – a healthy lunch or dinner