7 September, 2018
The Italian Roast Beef Encounter
Do I call this The Italian Roast Beef Encounter because it’s smothered in wine and tomatoes? Is it because there are about nine cloves of garlic included? Or could it be that there is an abundance of Italian herbs sprinkled throughout? Maybe because I like to add in cooked fava beans when I have them fresh out of the garden? Whatever you want to call this recipe, it’s darn good roast beef and one of the easiest recipes I’ve made in a while.
Pre-crockpot era roast beef needed to be cooked on the stove for hours (and still can be cooked that way). A few Italian Pot Roast recipes that are prepared in a more traditional manner (not crockpot adapted) can be found in Rachael Ray’s “Everyone is Italian on Sunday” cookbook and “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan.
Chuck roast is not a tender cut of meat but cooked slowly in some liquid, it ends up the perfect texture. I have vivid memories of this type of roast beef simmering on the stove for a Sunday dinner when I was a child. Sunday dinners were/are important in Italian families. The wonderful aroma wafted throughout the house for hours making it almost impossible to wait until dinnertime to eat it.
The crockpot roast beef prepared here is great served as a Sunday dinner to a group of guests or anytime really. When writing this blog, I remembered a cooking class I took in Taormina where all the recipes we made were for 20 people. The chef said they were his grandmother’s recipes and she always had 20 people for Sunday dinner. You may have to be Italian for this to make sense. 🙂
Anyway, this recipe makes a lot, so unless you have a crowd to feed, or cut the recipe in half, be prepared for leftovers. Check the end of this blog for some ideas to use the leftovers.
Cut up vegetables (trinity plus garlic).
Add Italian seasonings.
When cooked, the meat falls apart into small chunks.
Roast served with gravy.
- 3-4 pounds boneless beef chuck
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and rough chopped
- 4 small to medium red potatoes (or russets if you prefer)
- 9-10 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or minced
- 1 stalk of celery chopped
- 1 15-oz can Italian stewed tomatoes (or use chopped tomatoes from the garden)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups of wine, red or white
- 1 cup of beef broth (store brand or homemade, or 1-2 cubes of beef bouillon mashed, adding water to equal 1 cup broth
- Leaves from a few sprigs of thyme, oregano, and basil
- Garlic herb salt
- Salt & pepper
- OPTIONAL: peppers and/or pepperoncinis
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups liquid from crockpot
- Rub roast with salt, pepper, and seasoned garlic salt or powder. Lay in crockpot.
- Chop all vegetables and add to crockpot.
- Pour liquids over roast and vegetables. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Set crockpot for 8 or 10 hours. Roast is done when it literally falls apart.
- GRAVY: Pull out as much liquid as possible and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan, sprinkling with flour and constantly stirring. Add liquid from crockpot and whisk into a moderately thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Pour back into crockpot and mix with meat and vegetables or keep separate and serve on the side.
Spread the roast beef leftovers into a baking dish.
Make up a small batch of mashed potatoes and spread on top of roast beef mixture.
Cook at 350 degrees to warm all ingredients and obtain a crust on the mashed potato topping. Scoop and serve!