Saturday, 27 November 2010

Fitting Michael Symon into my Slow Cooker

It's that time of year, life suddenly speeds up. I am spending more time trying to find the perfect wii games, fashionable sweaters and sling backpacks for my children, who are not so much children anymore but young adults with heavy course-loads and jobs, than I am in the kitchen!

And I do want to cook great meals,  I really do. And Michael, as much as I love you, these two dishes come to about 12 hours of cooking even the way you did them! So here's the deal - I am going to cook your awesome roast and the homemade tomato sauce - but I am going to do them in the slow cooker. Don't look at me like that - it can, and will be done. In fact, I did it the other day. And it turned out deliciously, if I do say so myself. And I do. So there.

Michael, you are a fairly big guy, but it turns out I can fit you into my busy schedule, and I can fit you into my slow cooker. Whew!

Italian Braised Beef With Root Vegetables
adapted from Michael Symon's Live to Cook for Symon Sundays
for the slow cooker

1.5-pound rump roast
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
2 cups Yia Yia’s Sunday Sauce (below, or substitute)
2 bay leaves

Season the roast well with the salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a cast iron pan.
Sear all sides of the meat and place into the medium-sized slow cooker.
Throw the carrot, onion, and celery root into the pan that the meat was in, sauté until starting to brown. Add them to the slow cooker. With the pan off the heat, deglaze with the wine. Pour into the slow cooker.
Add garlic, the tomato sauce and the bay leaves.
Mix as best you can and let cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Yia Yia’s Sunday Sauce
adapted from Michael Symon
for the slow cooker
Makes 2 Quarts

¼ cup Olive Oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 28-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 2 minutes.
Place into medium-sized slow cooker, add all the other ingredients (crushing the tomatoes as you go).
Stir well, place lid on and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir occasionally in the last couple of hours.