Braised beef with garlic

For the last few months of living alone, I’ve done minimal cooking and minimal red meat-eating. Cuts of meat aren’t easily adapted to a one-person meal and I try to stick to lean meats in general.

However, I stayed in for New Year’s this year and without any plans whatsoever, I decided New Year’s Day might be a good time to cook something rich, something special – but not elaborate. I have too much to do (more on this later!) in preparation for Travis arriving to sit around and dilly-dally with complicated recipes.

This recipe is slightly adapted from one I found on epicurious.com (Oven-Braised Beef with Tomato Sauce and Garlic). I cut down on the tomato ingredients, added red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs for flavor, and adapted the whole thing for the crock pot, since I don’t have a large enough oven-safe pot. I also used a smaller cut of meat, but I think the ingredients would work just fine with up to a 3.5 lb chuck roast.

Braised Beef with GarlicΒ 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 – 2 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 small – medium head garlic
  • 1/2 c. beef broth
  • 1/2 c. crushed tomatoes and juice
  • 1/2. dry red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
  • 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (fresh would also be excellent)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (see above)
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes, optional, but recommended
  1. Separate garlic cloves and remove thinnest outer peel only. Place in crock pot.
  2. Rub beef with salt, pepper and red pepper, if using.
  3. Heat olive oil in heavy-bottomed pan, such as cast iron, until very hot, but not smoking.
  4. Sear beef on both sides, about 3 -4 minutes each. Remove and place in crock pot.
  5. Pour wine into cast iron pan to deglaze, scraping any stuck on bits with a wooden spoon, and continue simmering to reduce liquid by about half.
  6. Add beef broth, crushed tomatoes and juice, Worcestershire, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf to a bowl and whisk to blend.
  7. Pour broth mixture over beef in crock pot. Add reduced wine sauce from pan, too.
  8. Cook on low in crock pot about 8 hours, or until meat is very tender and able to be shredded with forks.
  9. Serve beef and gravy over s/mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or whatever you like!