Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

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(this is how I think of it, so it’s how I’m going to title it)

I made this a bunch last winter, but apparently I never posted it here; because when I went to make it this evening, alas! I couldn’t find it. So I had to go back and find the original recipe online, which is (easier than looking for a paper recipe) not as easy as it could be. :}

I finally found it, though, here:
http://www.thekitchn.com/slow-cooker-rec-160583

The Kitchn is one of my favorite cooking websites. If I’m looking for something new to make, and a couple choices come up, and one is from The Kitchn, I’ll try that first.

Of course, as usual, I didn’t have all the ingredients as in this recipe (I don’t think I’ve ever made this exactly as shown), so here’s how I did it today:

Slow Cooker Peppered Beef Shank in Red Wine
serves 4 to 6 as a main course

2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef crosscut shank, fat trimmed away (I had 2 lbs of beef round)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or peanut oil (I use olive)
10 to 12 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (I leave them whole)
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped (I had half a large sweet yellow onion)
1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped (nope, I don’t keep celery in the house. Just don’t like it)
1 bay leaf (I used 2 because that’s how I roll)
1 rosemary sprig (about 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary, crushed)
750 ml bottle inexpensive red wine, such as Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon (I used a lot of cooking sherry)
4 cups beef broth (I used about 5c water)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I often use black cherry, but today I went with plain)

First, in a large deep skillet, brown the meat. Get a really nice dark brown crust on it. (It says to season the meat before cooking, but I usually don’t, as I have an OCD thing about handling raw meat and oh my god my hands get sticky and ASDFGHJKL; — I know. I’m a wuss. It works just fine if you add the spices later.) My skillet is neither deep nor large enough to do all this meat at once, so I cut it into smaller chunks and do in two batches. I season as it’s cooking, and I add some salt/pepper to the pot.

Meanwhile, I was chopping the onion and preparing the garlic cloves — I don’t chop them, I add them whole, because I love getting a sweet stewed garlic clove. It’s like a little gift — and adding whole mushrooms to the pot (I don’t like celery, but I loooove mushrooms), as well as the bay leaves and rosemary. (You’re supposed to add those to the skillet in a minute, but my skillet was already overflowing with onions etc)

Once the beef’s seared nice and brown, I plop it over into the Crockpot, and add the onions and garlic to the pan. Let those soften for a good long while — I usually get them semi-transparent — and then add the wine (sherry). The recipe says a whole bottle, but skillet overflow is a tragedy when it involves alcohol, so I just added enough to deglaze the pan and simmer the vegetables. Maybe an inch. Then the balsamic vinegar, letting it simmer for about 10 minutes. This is a great time to wash dishes and tidy up!

After that was done, I poured it over the beef in the Crockpot, then added more sherry — about another third of the bottle — and water to cover, which was about 5 cups in my pot. Then covered it with the lid, and turned it on high for 4 hours. Hopefully that will be enough to get the meat somewhat tender… I hope. lol I’m impatient. I don’t want to wait until tomorrow lunch. 😀

I’ll get back to you on whether this was a long enough cook time.

UPDATE: It wasn’t quite long enough to tenderize the meat, but it’s fully cooked and not too tough. I just pulled out my five big beef chunks and cut/shredded them into bite-size chunks, then added them back to the pot. And the flavor is deLISH. So, good enough!

 

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Author: Christine Na'imah

I am a pretty bubbly person. A dancer, a prancer, and sometimes a vixen. Romantic and striving for grace, but unfortunately the emphasis is on "antic"; occasionally lunatic, trying to be demure. Probably failing.

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