Slow Cooker Beef with Root Vegetables

On the weekends, I just want to relax by sleeping in and catching up on my favorite shows. As much as I enjoy cooking, sometimes I want an easy meal that’s great for leftovers. And if any guests stop by, I want to make sure I make enough. This meal fits the bill: it’s easy (don’t let the ingredients scare you–most of it is placed in the slow cooker), it makes a huge amount, it freezes and reheats well, and most importantly it tastes delicious. You can also mix and match different vegetables. Also, if you prefer to shred it for that fall-off-the-bone tenderness, you can cook the roast longer too. My slow cooker does most of the work, while I get all the credit. It’s a winner.

Ingredients:

  • 6 quart or larger slow cooker
  • 4 lb beef chuck roast
  • kitchen twine
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 cup turnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 16 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup Yukon gold potato, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 12 oz bottle dark beer
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth

Instructions:

1.Tie your roast with the kitchen twine lengthwise and crosswise. Make sure to tie it tightly. This will make it easy to flip the meat.  Generously season the roast on both sides and the edges with salt and pepper. Set aside on a tray or plate.

2. Have your slow cooker ready.

3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan.

4. Once the pan is almost smoking, carefully place the roast in the pan. Don’t move it. It will sizzle and splatter, so give yourself plenty of space to avoid the oil hitting you. Let it sear on each side for 3-5 minutes. You want a nice brown crust to lock in the juices. Once done, remove the roast and place in the slow cooker (keep pan on stove). Put the potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, and turnips on top of the roast. Set aside for now as you finish making the sauce.

5.  Cook onions in the pan over medium heat until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.  Make sure to scrape up any brown bits—that’s extra flavor right there.

6. Add the mushrooms and tomato paste, cooking 1-2 minutes more.

7. Add the bay leaves, thyme, garlic, and rosemary. Season it with salt and pepper.

8. Add the beer and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil.

9. Using a ladle, carefully transfer the tomato/mushroom mixture to the slow cooker, covering the roast and vegetables as much as possible. If there’s not enough liquid, add enough beef broth until the roast is covered.

10. Cover with the lid. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, making sure to flip the roast halfway through.

11. Once roast is done, take it out and slice or shred (depending on your preference), and return to the pot, so the meat can soak up the flavors from the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

12. Serve warm with pasta, rice, or my favorite: creamy polenta.