A couple of months ago I was reading a Taste Of Home magazine while in the waiting room at my son's orthodontics appointment, and I came across a recipe for Balsamic Braised Pot Roast. I made a mental note of it and filed it away in my brain for later use.
This week, as I was struggling for dinner ideas, that recipe popped into my head. I prefer to cook my pot roasts in the slow cooker, and I knew Tuesday would be perfect since I had lots of errands to do after work that day. Ah, the smell was amazing when I walked in the door that night.
The balsamic made a huge difference in flavor AND I do believe it helped to tenderize the meat as well. This was the best pot roast I've ever made, if I do say so myself. My son couldn't stop raving about it.......yup, I've raised a meat & potatoes type of young man. After dinner he asked if he could have the left overs for dinner another night this week. I know pot roast isn't exciting, but give this version a try - you won't be disappointed!
Balsamic Pot Roast
3 lbs beef chuck roast, boneless
Garlic salt & pepper seasoning
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 fresh sage leaves (or a sprinkle of powdered sage)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup GOOD balsamic vinegar
1, 14.5oz can beef broth
3 tbsp corn starch
Salt & Pepper
Baby carrots, about a bag
2 medium potatoes, cut into mouth sized pieces
While I prefer to cook my pot roast in a crock pot, I do think it's essential to sear the meat first. I usually to do this part the night before. Sprinkle garlic salt & pepper seasoning all over the meat. Heat olive oil on medium-high in a large skillet. When nice and hot, sear the roast on all sides - couple of minutes on each side. Remove from pan and place in the bowl of your slow cooker. Top with the sliced onion, chopped garlic and balsamic vinegar. I took a piece of cheesecloth and placed all the herbs in it, tied it up with kitchen string and placed it into the pot - this way you don't need to fish all the herbs out later. Cover pot and put in fridge overnight.
In the morning, add the red wine and beef broth. Cover and turn slow cooker on low and cook for 6 hours. Add the carrots & potatoes, turn the slow cooker up to high heat and cook for another 3-4 hours. Once everything is done to your desired tenderness, pour the liquid into a large measuring cup. Let it settle, then skim off the fat. Add about half of it to a bowl and mix in the corn starch until it's nice and smooth. Add the other half of the liquid to a medium saucepan and turn it on medium-high heat and bring to a slow boil. Add the cornstarch liquid to the saucepan and stir to combine. Heat until it gets hot and thickens up a bit. Once you've got the thickness you prefer, turn off heat and pour the gravy/sauce back into the crock pot over the top of meat and veggies. Serve hot.
*If you want to shorten the cook time for this, cook it on high for 6-7 hours. Steam the carrots under tender, and microwave your potatoes. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces and add them and the carrots to the pot. While the veggies are cooking you can work on the sauce.*