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 Garlic
- 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
- Separate garlic cloves and remove thinnest outer peel only. Place in crock pot.
- Rub beef with salt, pepper and red pepper, if using.
- Heat olive oil in heavy-bottomed pan, such as cast iron, until very hot, but not smoking.
- Sear beef on both sides, about 3 -4 minutes each. Remove and place in crock pot.
- 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.
- Add beef broth, crushed tomatoes and juice, Worcestershire, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf to a bowl and whisk to blend.
- Pour broth mixture over beef in crock pot. Add reduced wine sauce from pan, too.
- Cook on low in crock pot about 8 hours, or until meat is very tender and able to be shredded with forks.
- Serve beef and gravy over s/mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or whatever you like!