When it comes to slow-cooking, browning the meat is an optional step. I almost always brown my meat first because I prefer it that way and I think it just tastes so much better that way. It’s up to the individual and it’s all about the texture you’re trying to achieve, with roasts and stews I almost always sear it first. This roast was just luscious and I highly recommend searing it first. It will form a nice crust on the outside of the meat .
Braising , or slow-cooking in liquid, is the easiest way to tenderize any meat and bring out it’s flavors. A braise is not the same as a stew. A braise refers to a large cut of meat cooked in a small amount of liquid, while a stew is meat that is cut up into small pieces and cooked in plenty of liquid. Searing the meat locks in the flavor and forms a crust around the meat.
I used ingredients from the fridge and pantry and came up with this combo.
one 3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible and patted dry
1 16 ounce can tomato sauce
1 16 ounce can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 shallots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper and 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for searing meat.
1. In the slow cooker, stir together the tomato sauce, cranberry sauce, wine, shallots, celery, vinegar, olive oil, horseradish and mustard. Cover and turn to HIGH: cook for 30 minutes. While this is cooking continue to next step to sear meat.
2. I patted the roast dry with some paper towels. I then rubbed a little olive oil all over the roast with my hands. I then generously sprinkled the roast with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides. I heated up about a tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet till oil shimmered. Placed roast in pan and seared it on all sides. You will let it sit for a few minutes on each side, you just want it to brown up on each side and form a crust.
Place the roast in the slow cooker and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 – 10 hours.
To serve: transfer the meat to a cutting board and I used my electric knife to make beautiful slices. If the sauce is too thin ( which mine was not) continue cooking sauce for a few more minutes while you slice meat. Serve meat with vegetables and sauce .