When I took my first bite of this dish in the kitchen, a group of guests in the living wondered if I was okay. I couldn’t hold back my “WOOO!” yelps after every bite. Unfortunately for them, this dish was not for sharing. Don’t be deceived by the unappealing visual. This beef was so packed with flavor I didn’t even know what to do with myself.
Sometimes people think I’m lying when I tell them my food prices. The trick is finding the more expensive items, like beef roasts, while they’re on sale. This could’ve comfortably fed at least 5 people, which is quite cheap.
*Side note: Why did I go with a fatty cut like a Boston Butt? Because roasts need fat if they’re going to cook all day. That fat is going to render down and moisturize the muscle around it. That’s what helps it fall apart after hours of cooking. More info about cooking muscle vs. fat.
We want to sear the outsides of the roast so the juices can stay inside as it’s cooking in the liquid. Get a nonstick pan screaming hot on the stove. Feel free to add a little vegetable oil, but you may not need it. Drop your roast in fat side down.
When the sides start to brown, turn it over to another side. You’re not trying to cook it through, obviously, you’re just trying to sear it and get some color on it. Watch for popping grease.
Make sure all of the sides are seared.
Drop it in your slow cooker.
While the roast is searing, or after you’ve dropped it in the slow cooker, cut up a few onions and a whole head of garlic. Don’t worry about making it pretty. Half-moon onions and roughly chopped garlic is just fine.
In the same pan with the same oil that you sautéed the beef, drop in your onions and garlic with a nice big pinch of salt.
Saute quickly on high heat, flipping or stirring often. You’re not trying to cook these through–you’re just trying to get some color on it to give the roast some depth of flavor.
Drop the onions and garlic right on top.
*Side Note: You may be wondering why I’m not cooking the roast with any other vegetables, like carrots, or potatoes. Good question! I have a very good reason for separating them.
1) Texture: This roast is going to cook ALL DAY and we’re going to cook the crap out of the onions and garlic. That’s intentional. Roasted potatoes or other vegetables only need 10-30 minutes, depending on how big the pieces are. They will inevitably turn to mush. Because the potatoes and veggies will be cooking in liquid, you’re basically boiling them. Ew. I don’t want boiled, soggy veggies. I want them fresh and crunchy. They deserve another cooking method that will give it texture, like roasting or a quick saute.
2) Flavor: If you drop potatoes and carrots in with this roast to cook all day, all of the flavors are going to mix together, but not in a good way…in a bland, boring, monotonous way. Let the onions, garlic, wine and beef do it’s thing and cook your veggies and potatoes separately. Trust me!
Anyway, where was I? Drop the onions and garlic on top of the roast.
Ever have a bottle or box of wine that you forgot about? And you don’t want to throw it away, but you definitely don’t want to drink it? This is a PERFECT recipe for that leftover red wine. This was a leftover box of Franzia cabernet and I was very displeased with it.
How much wine you use is sort of up to you. I used probably 3 cups of wine, and I stopped when it almost covered the roast. If you run out of wine, feel free to use stock to finish it up to the top, or if you HAVE to, water.
My roast cooked for about 6-7 hours. It fell apart if you just looked at it wrong.
Carefully pick the roast out of the liquid and set aside. It will probably fall apart all over ya, so be careful.
Now pour the remaining liquid and the junk in the slow cooker into a saucepan.
*Side Note: You could technically pour some cold flour water into this and make a gravy. But I promise you, you will regret it. We’ll be cooking this liquid down until it becomes a thick gravy itself. No flour needed. There’s not enough fat in this liquid to require flour to cut the fat. The gravy will be the most flavorful sauce you’ll ever eat!
Turn the heat on high. I’ve learned from several bad experiences to never leave the kitchen for more than a minute if you’re cooking anything on high. So although this won’t need constant stirring, just keep an eye on it.
DON’T ADD SALT YET! Never, ever add salt to a sauce that you’re reducing until it’s almost completely reduced to your liking. If you salt the sauce based on the flavor in this stage in cooking, it will obviously be bland. Wait till the end before you add anything at all.
See the difference in the amount of liquid here? This is after it had been cooking down for maybe 10-15 minutes. The more liquid that evaporates, the more you want to watch and stir it because it can burn quickly due to the sugars in the wine and onions and garlic sticking to the bottom.
Once the liquid really starts to thicken and coat your spoon, you may want to turn the heat to medium. The thickness of it depends on your preference, but I prefer it very thick. Don’t forget to taste it for saltiness!
While your sauce is cooking, I recommend making a pot of rice or potatoes. If I had thought of mashed potatoes in time, I would’ve done that instead of rice.
While my rice and gravy was cooking, I went ahead and put the majority of the beef in a container for meals that week.
Plate your rice and put a beautiful portion of roast on top. It may not look very moist in this photo, but believe me, it was.
Cover with a hearty spoonful of gravy and let the yelps begin.
- Boston Butt Beef Roast – $6.39
- 2 Onions – $.67
- Head of Garlic – $.35
- 5 Servings: $7.41
- 1 Serving: $1.48