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Slow Cooker Smothered

Culinary Elegance Unleashed: Slow Cooker Smothered Beef Extravaganza

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that epitomizes comfort and indulgence – our Slow Cooker Smothered Beef extravaganza. This recipe is a celebration of patience and the artful combination of flavors that transform simple ingredients into a symphony of taste. Let the slow cooker be your culinary ally as we delve into the secrets of creating a dish that is not just a meal but a masterpiece.

Ingredients

For the Slow Cooker Smothered Beef:

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for searing (optional)

For the Smothering Sauce:

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup beef gravy
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (for thickening)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Beef:
    • Season the beef chunks with salt and pepper. Allow them to sit for 30 minutes to enhance the flavors.
    • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the beef chunks until browned on all sides. Work in batches if necessary.
  2. Slow Cooker Setup:
    • Place the seared beef in the slow cooker.
    • Add chopped onions, minced garlic, sliced carrots, sliced celery, beef broth, red wine (if using), tomato paste, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  3. Smothering Sauce Creation:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together beef gravy, heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard.
    • Pour this luscious mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook Low and Slow:
    • Set the slow cooker to low and let it work its magic. Allow it to cook for 7-8 hours until the beef is fork-tender.
  5. Thicken the Sauce:
    • About 30 minutes before serving, ladle out some liquid from the slow cooker and whisk it into the flour to create a smooth paste.
    • Stir the flour mixture back into the slow cooker to thicken the sauce. Add sliced mushrooms.
  6. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Serve the smothered beef over mashed potatoes, rice, or with crusty bread. Spoon the rich sauce generously over each portion.

Cook Notes

  • Searing for Depth: While optional, searing the beef imparts a depth of flavor by creating a delicious crust.
  • Mushroom Infusion: Adding mushrooms toward the end enhances the dish with a delightful earthy note and texture.
  • Thickening Technique: Ladling out liquid and creating a flour paste ensures a smooth and lump-free thickening of the sauce.
  • Wine Selection: If opting for red wine, choose a bold variety like Cabernet Sauvignon for a robust flavor profile.

Variations

Bacon Bliss:

  • Add a layer of complexity by incorporating crispy bacon bits into the smothering sauce.

Herbaceous Twist:

  • Elevate the herb profile by adding fresh parsley or thyme just before serving for a burst of freshness.

Cheesy Affair:

  • Sprinkle shredded Gruyere or Parmesan on top of the smothered beef for a decadent cheesy finish.

Keto Version

Cauliflower Mash:

  • Swap traditional mashed potatoes with cauliflower mash for a keto-friendly side.

Thicken with Xanthan Gum:

  • Replace flour with xanthan gum for thickening the sauce to maintain keto compliance.

Low Carb Version

Veggie Boost:

  • Increase the vegetable content with bell peppers, zucchini, or broccoli to make the dish more filling.

Cauliflower Rice Bed:

  • Serve the smothered beef over a bed of cauliflower rice for a low-carb alternative.

In conclusion, the Slow Cooker Smothered Beef extravaganza is a testament to the transformative power of patience and culinary craftsmanship. From the aromatic blend of herbs to the succulent tenderness of the beef, each element contributes to a dish that transcends the ordinary.

This recipe invites you to savor the art of slow-cooked perfection, encouraging experimentation with variations and adaptations to suit keto or low-carb preferences. As you indulge in the rich, smothered goodness, may your culinary adventures be filled with satisfaction and the joy of creating a masterpiece in your kitchen.

Happy cooking, and may your table be adorned with the luxurious flavors of Slow Cooker Smothered Beef!

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