There's nothing quite so satisfying as the depth of flavor you get from slow-cooked beef. Set it going on a lazy Sunday and let it simmer to perfection while you put your feet up.
This recipe keeps very well in both the fridge and the freezer so don't be afraid to make a double batch to have it on hand whenever the mood strikes.
As an added benefit, since slow-cooking works best with the cheaper cuts of meat the only real cost for this meal is time.
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: At least 4 hours
Makes: Approximately 5 servings
Ingredients Please note that quantities are approximate, feel free to vary them for your own take.
1 kg slow-cooking beef (sny cheap cut will work)
1 large onion
3 quills of celery
1 tbs beef stock
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs dried herbs of choice
2 bay leaves
1/4 cups soy sauce
1/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
2 generous glasses of red wine, the heavier the better
200g tinned crushed tomatoes
Start out by preparing the beef and vegetables. In this case I'm using a pre-rolled brisket pot roast so all I need to do with it is unwrap it and put it in the pot.
For the vegetables, just roughly chop the onion and celery, they're going to soften and disintegrate by the end anyway so there's no need to be too thorough or neat.
To start of the maturing of our flavors, brown the beef and vegetables. If you can, do this in the bottom of the pot you're going to simmer everything in so that you dont lose the caramelised bits left in the bottom.
Once the beef is browned on all sides and the vegetables have some colour, add in enough boiled water to cover at least half of your beef. I like to leave it a little bit high and dry so that the exposed parts can cook and caramelise to add to the richness of your final flavor.
Add in half of the wine and the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat as low as you can and cover.
For myself, I dont have a pressure cooker but I have found a rough work-around that will help things to cook better.
Simply, get as tight a fitting lid for your pot as you can. Then flip it upside down so that the top is flat. Now you need a handy heavy object like the tin of tomatoes you had ready and use it to weigh the lid down.
If you're using a tin like I am I recommend you put a cloth between it and the lid of the pan or you may end up with an unexpected rocket after it heats up.
Although it doesn't make a perfect seal, the speed of the steam coming out the leaks shows you that you've increased the pressure in there.
Check the progress and rotate the beef every hour and a half or so, but it will take about four hours all up so feel free to just leave it and go do something useful while you wait.
At around the four hour mark, you can check to see how it's going. Using tongs, try and pull away a section of beef. If it falls away easily then you're ready to finish it off.
Remove the beef from the liquid and eyeball to see how much you have left. If there's a significant amount, drain some out until you're left with 1-2 cups worth along with the vegetable pieces. Add in the tomato and the rest of the wine. Increase the heat to begin reducing.This is also a good time to fish out your bay leaves.
Let the beef cool for at least 10 mins to make it easier to handle.
Using two long-tined forks, pull small sections away from the main portions with a scraping motion. The length of time this takes depends on how finely shredded you want your beef to be at the end.
Once the beef is shredded to your liking, check on your liquid. It should be about halved in volume.Add the beef back into the liquid and heat through.
And now we're done. This is a very versatile dish and can be used in a variety of ways;
For a relaxed lunch or dinner, sandwich the shredded beef with thick bread and tart coleslaw. Or whip up a lemony couscous and white bean salad to top with the rich beef.
For me, today was pretty cold so I made a hearty winter feast by spooning it over buttery mashed potatoes and pan-fried broccoli.
Please experiment with this recipe as your basic guide, I'd love to hear what you do with it.
Oh! meg k......just make a 'bed' of chopped-up Celery for your base, with some beef stock, if u want the 'simplest' recipe, OR layers& layers of different veggies, with beef stock. Just ensure meat is kept 'above' stock, so that it's actually kind-of being 'steamed' by the goodness of the veggies, & stock.
If u want to do practically nothing, add an inch of stock, & place meat in that. As no moisture is 'lost' in CP cooking, it won't cook 'dry'.
NEVER lift lid of CP during cooking process, as much valuable moisture lost, cannot be regained!
Have used CP's since they came here, love them, & there're so many wonderful uses for them!
If you've little children, & having a party, they keep sausage rolls, mini pies warm (NO water,), & Cheerio's(in water).
For grown-ups, corn cobbettes, in water, go great!