I have a love/hate relationship with the slow cooker. It is a magical tool, allowing one to leave a big raw piece of meat with vegetables in it in the morning, only to come back to a fully cooked meal at the end of the day with minimal fuss. And you can’t beat the smell. Throughout the day, the aroma in the kitchen keeps getting better, warmer, more meaty and delicious. On the other hand, sometimes whatever is cooked in it comes out a misshapen, mushy mess with all the flavor notes blended together in a bland, bleh way. (I could also very well be making the wrong things too.)
I’ve been on a mission to find great slow cooker recipes that are both easy to make yet still pretty to look at and eat! This week, I think I found one.
The idea started with this post. Pot roast and risotto, what a killer comfort food combination! I was in. After perusing the selection at Whole Foods, I ended up going with a chuck roast and a Porcini and Red Wine pot roast starter from Red Forks. I was looking for something super easy and quick to make for the week because it was going to be a busy one. If you have more time, here is a pretty comparable recipe from Epicurious that sounds amazing as well.
At home, I cut up an onion and a couple garlic cloves and placed them at the bottom of the cooker. I then browned the roast and rested it on top of the onions and garlic. After pouring the sauce and a cup of broth over the roast, I left it alone in the slow cooker for 6 hours. The meat was fork tender and easy to pull apart by evening. To serve, I spooned slices of the roast with the au jus on top of the parmesan risotto, garnishing the dish with some minced parsley. It turned out so well and was both simple enough for a weeknight yet elegant enough for entertaining. With a glass of red, this meal makes a perfectly cozy end to a fall day.