Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slow-Cooker Cranberry Beef Roast

Tonight I made a cranberry beef roast in my slow cooker.  This recipe is adapted from the Slow Cooker Cranberry Roast I found on my favorite recipe site  Today was the second time I've made this recipe and I made it slightly different both times.  But both times it was a big hit with Honey-Hub and he had high praises for the adaptations I made to the recipe.

Here's how to cook it.  The second time I made it (today) I decided to add mushrooms to it for a rich mushroom gravy.

1 (1oz) envelope dry onion soup mix.  I used Lipton's Onion Mushroom Soup Mix  1 (3-4lb) beef chuck roast
1 (16oz) can jellied cranberry sauce
4-6 whole garlic cloves

2 or 2 celery stalks, washed and chopped in to 2" pieces
1 cup (approx) chopped dried or fresh mushrooms.  I use the dried mix that Costco sells in the huge, tall container.
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 small bottle (6-8oz) of either red cooking wine or a full-bodied wine such as a Merlot or a Cabernet
salt, pepper, garlic powder (to taste)
flour or cornstarch (for thickening)

First I tenderized (not heavily... just a little bit on each side) the roast with my Pampered Chef meat tenderizer (that also doubles as a weapon in a pinch).

I then rubbed a mixture of kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and garlic powder over the whole roast. I did a light rub as the soup mix contains salt and other spices.

I sprinkled the package of dry soup mix on the bottom of the (empty) slow cooker.

I then placed the tenderized and seasoned roast on top of the dry soup mix.  I tucked a few (4-5) loose leaves of the fresh rosemary in to slits in the roast.

I placed the cut celery and the mushrooms around the roast in the slow cooker.

I peeled the garlic, smashed with my chef's knife, and placed them in with the celery and the mushrooms.

I then took the jellied cranberry sauce out of the can and sliced it in to 1/2" slices.  I placed the slices over the top of the roast.

I put the rosemary sprig on top of the cranberry sauce.

Over everything I poured a small bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon wine.  I like these wines that are put out by Gallo in 187ml 4-packs:

Then the lid was put on to the slow cooker and it was set to cook on low.  There's no need to stir anything.  You can literally just walk away and check on it in a few hours.  The cranberry sauce will liquify and along with the juices and fats from the roast, plenty of liquid joins the wine to keep things moist.

How long to cook is always a challenge.  I have a newer slow cooker and the sucker cooks hot and quick if I don't watch it.  Every recipe I have ever followed in my slow cooker needed a lot less time in my cooker than the recipe called for.  Tonight I pulled the roast out after 4 hours and Honey-Hub said I probably could have pulled it 30 minutes sooner.

About 4 hours later, the roast was cooked.

I turned the slow cooker down to "keep warm" and turned on the oven for the Japanese Yams (teaser.... instructions for these will follow soon).

I pulled the roast out and put it on a plate to rest.
Using a slotted spoon, I pulled out all the celery, mushrooms and garlic cloves out of the liquid in the slow cooker.  I discarded the celery and put the mushrooms and garlic in a small bowl.

I then thickened the remaining liquid in to a rich gravy and added the mushrooms and garlic back in to it.

...and along with a Japanese Yam and a fresh roll, dinner was served!

We have more than enough for leftovers tomorrow night.

Mangia! Mangia!


  1. Sounds heavenly. What would you use to subtitute for the wine?

  2. A good beef stock would be a good substitute. The gravy will taste differently but it would still be good.