Yesterday I pretty much just took the day off. My daughter Andrea visited and brought the grand girls with her. We hung out, had tea, made THIS for lunch, chatted, cut recipes out of old magazines while the the girls colored, and watched 5 Maurice Sendak books on DVD (including In the Night Kitchen and Chicken Soup with Rice. ) I found the DVD in the $5 bin at Walmart. How could I pass that up? They’re as quirky and adorable as I remember them to be from my childhood. Andie pointed out a few not-so-PC details in the books, which was funny. That seems to happen with the old books, TV shows and cartoons. Have you noticed that? It’s hard to miss. Don’t even get me started on Bugs Bunny or I Love Lucy. Oh dear.
We have lots of fun things planned for the upcoming weekend, and when that happens I LOVE to cook with my Crock Pot. Easy, delicious, comfort food just waiting for you when you walk through the door at the end of the day.
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium chopped onions
3 cups finely chopped celery
1 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms (optional)
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used gluten free)
2 Tablespoons butter
4 to 5 lb. chuck arm beef roast
6 smallish potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste (I used unsalted)
28 oz. can whole tomatoes including juice (I used unsalted)
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash original seasoning blend
salt and pepper to taste
Coat the inside of a 6 or 7 quart Crock Pot with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Heat the other 2 Tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots to the hot oil. Saute for 5 or 6 minutes, or just until the veggies are tender and the onion is slightly golden. Add the minced garlic during the last minute of cooking time. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Rub the roast with the flour on all sides. Add the butter to the skillet. Once the butter is melted and sizzling, spread it around on the bottom of the pan so the whole surface is covered. Add the roast to the skillet and brown it on both sides (about 3 minutes per side.) Transfer browned roast to Crock Pot. Top with the veggie mixture. Whisk red wine and tomato paste together. Pour over everything in the Crock Pot. Break up the tomatoes and add them to the pot (including the juice.) Top with the seasonings and a little salt and pepper.
Cover Crock Pot and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until roast is very tender and almost falling apart.
Serve in slices, or cut the roast up into chunks and serve as a stew.