11 March 2011

Chinese Pot Roast

Pot roast is the epitome of comfort food. This recipe is just like your mom used to make... if your mom happened to be Chinese.

Until just a few weeks ago, this was the only thing I ever cooked in the slow cooker my mom gave me. Writing about that fact when I made slow cooker tuscan beef stew reminded me to make this one again.

I originally cut out a non-crockpot version of this recipe from the Chicago Tribune about 20 years ago. I still have the clipping, worn with age and finally transcribed here. I adapted it for slow cooker.

1 chuck beef roast, 3-4 lbs
2 tsp black pepper
3-4 tbsp peanut oil
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 celery rib, sliced
4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 3/4 cup red wine, water, or stock
2 tbsp thyme
2 bay leaves

Add later:
cubed potatoes
cubed daikon radish
baby carrots


Rub roast with pepper. Heat oil in heavy pan large enough to hold meat. Brown meat well on all sides over medium high heat for about 12-15 minutes. Remove meat from pan.

Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ginger. Cook over medium heat until browned, soft and fragrant. Add 1/2 cup liquid to pot and scrape bottom well to loosen any browned bits. Transfer contents to slow cooker crockpot.

Add thyme and bay leaves. Add meat and remaining liquid to pot. The liquid should come about a third to halfway up the meat. Cook on low temperature The more gently the meat cooks, the more moist it will be. Turn meat about every hour. Cook about 6 hours.

At about 4 hours cooking time, add potatoes, radish and baby carrots.

Serve with jasmine rice and a green Asian vegetable. In this version, I used pea pods quickly sautéed with sliced green onion, lemon zest, and Maggi seasoned soy sauce. Also served this with Trader Joe's corn relish.

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