It's hot enough to fry a cow on the sidewalk. The above picture is "Accu Cow". He is on my four hour each way weekly commute between the Range and where I live while I work. If Accu Cow is wet - it's raining. If Accu cow is covered in snow - it's winter. If giving Accu Cow a pat on the rump causes 2nd degree burns - It's summer in Indiana. It WAS warm today. When I crawled in the car after the truck sat outside with the engine running and the doors locked while I made a hardware store run (I had foodstuffs already in the vehicle), it showed 114 F. (it was actually around 93 and VERY humid) So the last thing you want to do on a day like that is heat up your kitchen.
This is the perfect time for your crockpot which was put to use yesterday. It's perfect to tenderize those larger, cheaper cuts of meat. When crock pots first came out they were declared the savior of the working Mom, except most recipes call for low 4-5 hours or high for 6-8. Between commuting, lunch that's often not paid time and a stop on the way home for an errand or a child, it's not a typical day that most working folks are out of the house only 8 hours.
So when I crock pot, it's when I'm teleworking or off. This recipe, like most of mine, is a fix it and forget it while simply doing chores, spending time with friends or taking the dog to the park. The biggest advantage is I don't have to heat the kitchen and I don't have to try do the exact sequence of movements it takes to light a 60 year old gas oven. (Brigid's blood pressure goes through the roof, as told through interpretive dance.)
Simple. Simple is good.
This was an experiment that ended up being a huge hit with the menfolk (and OK, I had another sandwich for breakfast). The meat was "cut with a spoon" tender and the au jus? MMMM Hot and beefy, salty and sweet, but very subtly. The roast isn't completely submerged, so while it was basted once during cooking, it develops some great little crusty edges to lend a bit of bite to the tender roast. Perfect.
- 1 3-4 pound boneless roast beef (chuck or round roast)
- 1 and 1/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I used the 18 year aged one from Artisano's)
- 3 and 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons wild honey
- a dash or two of salt (the soy is high sodium so it doesn't need more than a shake)
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus an extra pinch
- slightly less than 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger (remove a pinch after a level measure)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
Please roast in crock pot, fat side down. Mix ingredients and pour over top. Cook on low 7-8 hours, flipping over once during the cooking and basting with juice. Serve on fresh, crusty French rolls. Strain au jus (just put into a colander over a bowl) and serve alongside to dip the sandwich into. Makes 6 generous servings and it is even better the next day.