These are my very favorite ingredients to use when I cook a roast. Simple and straight forward.
Boulevard beer is a locally brewed beer. This particular flavor is the one I use the most for cooking a roast. I have used many kinds of beer, except the lime beers. This time I used box beef stock. One medium onion and salt and pepper to taste. How simple is that?
Watch for sales on roasts. Any cuts work great. Chuck roasts and seven bone roast both have lots of connective tissues and will require more cooking time. That is why they have the best flavor. I just buy whatever is on sale. All roasts will cook all day in the slow cooker. A lean roast like a rump roast, will need lots of added flavors. That’s why I like the sliced onions in the bottom of the cooker. Garlic is also a good addition. Whatever you like.
I love roast beef. I also love the juices that are left after the roast has cooked all day. Of course, it makes the best gravy. It makes killer au jus if I make French Dip sandwiches. I also use the pan juices for the depth of flavor it gives to French Onion Soup. It is just beefy goodness. Here is how I cook a little roast. I just have to share the deal I got on it too. Check out the price, $4.02. Heck of a deal!
The slow cooker was made for cooking a roast. I will do one in the oven if I am home all day or if I cook a roast too big for the slow cooker. I only use the oven in the Winter. But the slow cooker really does the job, especially in the Summer.
First thing I do is brown all the sides. I like to use the Dutch oven because the sides are high. I used a skillet this time because the Dutch oven was in service. The oil certainly splatters! Do it anyway. Don’t skip this step. Browning all sides of the roast will insure great flavors, especially for the juices.
The pan, with about 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (not olive oil), should be rather hot. I’d say Medium High. If it starts smoking, turn it down a bit. Put the roast in the hot pan very carefully It only takes a couple of minutes on each side. On the irregular sides, I usually just hold it in position with the tongs. It should splatter a bit.
What is left is fond. That yummy result of caramelizing the sides of the beef. I will use either some of the beer or beef stock to deglaze the pan. Just turn the heat off and add about a cup of the liquid of your choice. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen up the fond on the bottom of the pan. You will get quite a facial with this step. Lots of steam and boiling sounds. Sorry for the fogged up picture, there was lots of steam.
Put the roast into the slow cooker. Sometimes I set it on a bed of sliced onions. This time I did.
Pour the contents of the pan in which you browned the roast, along with all the liquid. Add the remaining beer and stock to the cooker. A little salt if the stock is not too salty and of course, freshly ground pepper. Cook on high for about 5 or 6 hours. If you want it to cook for longer than 6 hours, set the cooker on low. Low is best.
In the summer, I like to cook a little roast. Sometimes I will ask the butcher to cut one in half for me. We use roasts for wraps, dip sandwiches, served with gravy and potatoes, shredded with barbecue sauce, or ground up as a sandwich spread for road trips or picnics (a Grandma/Mom/Aunt favorite from way back).
How to make gravy with the roast juices in the next post. Pretty yummy.