This was fortunately one of the first things I cooked for my boyfriend after I moved out of a dormitory and into a house that had a kitchen. I learned that the saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is a complete understatement. I didn’t know someone could get so excited about something. I had to tell him to stop talking when he was trying to eat, all the while effusing about how happy it made him feel; the two very compelling forces of palatable delight and encomiastic pronouncements were finding difficulty coinciding with each other. Needless to say, he still likes me, and even comes over occasionally to be my loyal taste-tester.
- 1 (2-3 pound) beef chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 2 sliced yellow onions
- 1 bottle DARK brew beer
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 4 cups low-sodium beef stock or broth
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into halved 3-inch sticks
- 2 large potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cups water
This works best if you marinate the roast the night before. Combine the salt, pepper, thyme, cumin and chopped garlic to form a dry rub/paste. Rub on the roast, and set in a bowl. Fill the bowl with beer, 1 of the chopped onions, bay leaves, and rosemary sprig. If the beer does not cover the roast, fill the rest with beef stock so the beef is mostly submerged. Cover tight with plastic wrap, and refrigerate till morning.
When you are ready to get this into the slow cooker for the day, cook the bacon in a large frying pan till cooked, but still flexible. Remove and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Pour out remaining pork grease, but keep the excess that stays on the pan. Saute the other chopped onion till slightly brown. Pull the roast out of the marinade, and sear on all sides until well browned.
Place the roast in a large crockpot or slow cooker, and turn it on high (something this size works great http://bit.ly/gys04I). Pour the marinade into the cooker as well, and add the bacon, tomatoes, parsley, and rest of the broth and water until the roast is covered by at least an inch of liquid.
I usually start this before I go to work at 8am, and it is ready when I get home at 5:30. I don’t like my carrots and potatoes complete mush, so I add them when I get home, as well as any additional salt or pepper that it might need, and then let it cook for another hour or so. But you can add them in the morning if that suits your fancy.
Serve in big bowls with freshly baked biscuits, but make sure you leave some. The leftovers are even better the next day.