Most girls my age don’t know what the fraggle rock to do with a big hunk of meat. Well, most girls my age that I hang out with. Though the feminist side of me is glad the “family values” of the 1950s didn’t last (a.k.a. women are robots), I’m bummed we’ve let go of some of the food traditions like pie and fruit crumbles and pie and… Anyway, who makes roast anymore?? This recipe comes just in time for the long cold days of winter when all you want to do is eat warm, happy things. Like roast. I recommend trying this recipe on a weekend when you can monitor it a little better; when you become an expert, you can throw together the ingredients, turn the crock pot on low, and then go to work!
6 lb chuck roast
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled*
3 whole carrots
3 stalks celery
Sea salt & black pepper
2 bay leaves
Pat meat dry with paper towels. Using a very sharp paring knife, cut 1/2″ slits all over the roast that are deep enough to hold a clove of garlic. Stuff each hole with garlic, season meat on all sides with sea salt & pepper, and set aside. Scrub (don’t peel!) carrots, celery, and potatoes and cut into hefty pieces (about 1-2″ each). Peel onion and roughly chop. Throw vegetables, 1 tsp dried thyme, and bay leaves in the crock pot. Place meat on top and cook on high for 4 hours (do not open lid!!). Check for doneness and try and reposition the meat underneath most of the vegetables. Continue to cook until meat is tender and mostly browned through, checking only every hour so as to keep the heat in the pot. To serve, remove the roast from the pot and slice into thick slices. Pile your plate high with the meat slices, the vegetables, some crusty bread, and the beef broth.
You can keep the broth as is or you can make gravy: Separate 2 c broth from the meat & vegetables. Discard bay leaves. In a large saucepan, heat broth. In another bowl or a measuring pitcher, whisk together 1/4 c flour with 1 c milk and whisk into broth. Heat until just barely boiling, whisking the whole time. Sprinkle in more flour if a thicker gravy is desired. Remove from heat when you like the thickness.
*To quickly and efficiently peel the garlic, separate each clove from the head. Using the side of a big chef’s knife, flatten it with a swift pound of your hand. Pluck the peel off the meat of the clove, and voila! Garlic!