i used to kind of have a thing against slow cookers. i always thought they were bad news. growing up, my church knew how to throw a potluck, and i really knew how to eat at potlucks. my area of expertise was the dessert table. i had a system: one quick run through the entree table to please mom, then two, three or four trips to the dessert table, as many as i could before i felt ill. the entree table was always laden with slow cookers — a great way to keep food hot during the church service until it was time to eat. but did they ever have good food in them? uhhh……. no. at church potlucks, i tasted one too many off-kilter UCs (Unidentifiable Casseroles) that came from outdated CrockPots in ’70s color themes…. strange meats, strange orange-colored sauces, always elbow macaroni in them…
but slow cookers are awesome!!
they don’t have to produce orange pasta, and they are the savior of the working woman. or man. how fantastic is it to spend a day at work, mind on other things, then come home and open the door to tantalizing, delicious aromas of tasty dinner, as if someone was home cooking for me all day. 27 degrees outdoors, warm and meaty indoors. that rocks! my slow cooker makes me feel the love of hot, homemade food. my slow cooker is a giver. i should have gotten one YEARS ago.
(if you don’t have a slow cooker…………… you should. they start around $20 at target and you don’t have to get the fancy model. mine is cheap and white and plain. if you work a lot and feel that a homemade dinner several times a week is a challenge, this purchase is worth every penny.)
this roast beef is really fantastic, and you’d never know that it requires so little effort, so few ingredients. a handful of every-day aromatics dresses up a humble cut into a dinner fit for guests, all nestled inside a hearty roll with your favorite fixings. the beef is super-tender, which is amazing since chuck roast — while inexpensive — is a generally unhappy cut of beef that will kick back unless cooked and treated properly. here, slow-cooking breaks down the tough connective tissue running through, making it juicy and coaxing it into fall-apart tenderness. i hope you’ll like these sandwiches as much as we do!
slow-cooker roast beef sandwichesadapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food serves a crowd
- 3 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 3 or four equal pieces
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
- few dashes dried oregano
- few dashes dried rosemary
Nestle the beef into the bottom of your slow-cooker. Pour broth over, and sprinkle with smashed garlic cloves, oregano, rosemary and cracked pepper. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, or at a higher temp for 6 or 8 hours, until tender.
Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the 3 or 4 pieces of beef and stow on a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred with two forks (“shred” is a generous term; it will practically fall apart under your gaze).
Pour the delicious juices and soft garlic through a strainer into a small sauce pan, and cook on medium until reduced and slightly thickened, maybe 15 minutes. Taste carefully (it’s hot!) and season with salt, though you may not need any. Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker and add just enough of the au jus to your liking to make sandwich filling, and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve on kaiser rolls with sliced red onion, mayonnaise mixed with horseradish, and you really couldn’t go wrong with cheddar cheese slices, in my opinion.
- 5 small-to-medium-small Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese of your preference (i used jack, and some cream cheese)
- sliced green onions (optional)
- salt and pepper
Wash and dry potatoes, and prick all over with the tines of a fork. Arrange on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high until tender through, 6 or 8 minutes. Cool, or refrigerate for later.
Cut each potato in half, and scoop the flesh into a bowl, being careful not to tear the skins. Add sour cream, cheese(s), green onions if using, plenty of salt and pepper to taste, and stir/mash to combine. Spoon potato filling to heaping on each skin.
Arrange halves on a baking sheet, lined with foil and sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Cook at 375 until hot and melty. If the tops aren’t browning quickly enough, move the oven rack to the very top and turn on your broiler for a few minutes. Serve hot.
Make ahead: The cheese/potato filling can be refrigerated separately from the skins. Fill and bake when the party is about to arrive.
leftovers rating: A+
This roast beef reheats like a dream! i started by pouring a little of the au jus (refrigerated separately from beef) into a shallow skillet. when it was hot, i added the cold shredded beef and let it all simmer away. just before all the juices were absorbed, i topped our sandwiches. as good as the first round for sure!
Also, cold twice-baked potatoes are delish, though a trip through a hot oven again would treat them very well.