This may come across as a bit of a “winter like” recipe, but I assure you that you can eat this all year round. The weather outside is awful at the moment from where I am writing, 32° F with rain, snow and some hail in between. But like I said, you can eat this all year round. It’s not at all heavy and depending on what you serve it with you can make this either a winter feast served with mashed potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprout or baked potatoes. Or a Summer dinner, serving it with a cold beet root salad and some crusty french bread. Or some grilled summer vegetables. Maybe even Corn on the cob.
I start off by searing the beef in a pan and then transferring it to the slow cooker. So you don’t have to hang around in the kitchen for long. You can even get everything ready the evening before by searing the beef and putting all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Leave overnight in the refrigerator and then before you go to work the next morning, put it in the slow cooker, set it on LOW and when you come home in the evening dinner will be ready. When you leave it to cook all day make sure you add enough liquid so it doesn’t dry out.
2 tbsp. Olive oil
2 lbs. Beef chuck, cut into two thick slices
4 medium carrot, peel and cut into fairly large chunks
2 cellery sticks, washed and cut into thick slices
2 to 3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and bash with the side of your knife
4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (2 tsp. dry)
2 sprigs of rosemary (1 tsp. dry)
2 tbsp. tomato puree
1 1/2 tbsp Apple butter or coconut sugar
1 glass of dry white wine
1 C. beef stock
3 Bay leaves
1/2 a cinnamon stick
a good grating of nutmeg or 1/2 tsp. powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/.2 tsp. All spice
Season the beef liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Then heat a pan on high, add the olive oil and brown the meat on both sides until it is dark brown and has a good caramelized color. This is very important for the flavor. Transfer to the slow cooker. Turn the heat of your frying pan to medium and add all the vegetables and the garlic cloves. Cook for about three minutes until they just begin to color and add to the beef.
Now put the tomato puree and the spices in the frying pan and the apple butter or coconut sugar and slowly add the white wine. Swirl around and pour over the beef.
Add the bay leafs, thyme and rosemary to the beef and pour in the beef stock to just cover the meat.
Cook on high for about 5 hours, or on low for about 7 or 8 hours. Check the liquid towards the end and add some beef stock if necessary.
Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles, and a salad or vegetables.