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Crock Pot Beef Roast with Root Vegetables and Flourless Gravy (gluten free, ACD)

Posted Feb 03 2010 7:05pm

Last week at the gym I was watching the Food Network while walking on the treadmill.  My 60-minute walkw was narrated by two shows about meat: one highlighting the best burger these foodie folks had ever hadand the other about barbecue.  By the time I got off the treadmillI wanted a steak or a hamburger so badly I could hardly stand it.  

I suddenly realized I hadn't had red meat in a few weeksand dangcould I tell.  I wanted some beef. Or bison. Or venison.  I felt like a cave womanabout ready to chase down a grass-fed cow myself.  Give this girl some meatSTAT!  

Yes friendsI'm the girl that has a raw foods feast on the weekendthen cooks an entire beef roast for herself during the week.  

I apologizevegan readers.  As an ex-vegetarian/sometimes vegan of 10 lovingly dedicated years I know how grotesque it can be to watch meat-eaters revel in their meat eating.  Never in a million billion years did I ever think I'd go back to being a flesh eater.  But I didand my health is better for it.  Yeahsometimes I really wish I could be veg*n and be healthy and happy and satisfiedbut it just isn't in the cards for me.  I'm allergic to too many plant-based proteins.  PlusI'm stronger with meat.  I'm leaner with meat.  My skin and hair are better with meat.  My metabolism is better with meat.  My body simply likes meat.  And my taste budsas it turns outdo to.  I have developed a passionate relationship with homemade free-range chicken stockhickory-smoked grass-fed beef burgerssmoked turkey legslocal lamb from my favorite people at the farmer's marketand broiled wild-caught salmon.  And turkey bacon.  We must never forget the turkey bacon.  

AnywayI had been fantasizing about meat all week.  Those raw sunflower-pumpkin seed burgers from my raw feast over the weekend just didn't satisfy my meaty craving.  The chicken I baked didn't even do it.  I wanted something red.  Thenwhile perusing The Nourished Kitchen yesterdayI stumbled across Jenny's recipe for Beef Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables. It stopped me dead in my tracks.  I needed to make one.  ROAR!  Look at this cave woman go.  

Like a lion in pursuit of a gazelleI hastily went to the co-op after work.  I breezed through producegrabbing a few local root veggies on the waythen b-lined for the meat counter. Minutes later I had a beautifully marbled roastwrapped in paperready for my crock pot.  

Those lions have to work much harder than I do to get a nice meaty dinnerthat's for sure.

I had never actually made a roast myself.  Despite my interest in large cuts of meatsomething about buying a roast seemed very intimidating.  PlusI live alone.  I know I can freeze leftoversbut a whole roast for one single girl seems like overkill.  I needed meat reinforcement.  My parents make killer shredded beef roastso I called them up to ask what to do.  It was easy peasy!  Nearly effortlessin fact!  Beef roast + slow cooker = incredibly easyincredibly tasty meal.

Aromatictenderearthyand flavorfulthis roast is sure to satisfy any beef-eater out there.  The vegetables are equally as awesome; tenderchunkyknife-and-fork-worthy pieces of vegetable wonderment.  Yum.  Seasonal comfort food at its best.  And - to top it off- my meal was nearly 95% local.  The olive oil and Hawaiian-Himalayan sea salt mix threw me off! 

Make sure to pick a nice marbled roast for maximum tenderness; ask your butcher if you need help!  I've said it before and I'll say it againbut it is worth repeating: find a quality source of meat. Localgrass-fedand antibiotic and hormone free is best.  It will cost more per poundbut it is worth more.  You are paying for responsibly and respectfully raised animalsfairly paid farmers and meat processorsmore hygienic meat processingand a more nutritiousmore delicious meat.  Seriouslyhigh quality meat is worth every penny.  Need more convincing?  Check out the Oscar-nominated documentary FoodInc.

If you like gravy (I doI do!) you can make an awesome gluten-free gravy with the leftover cooking liquid and some of the cooked vegetables.  Throw it in the blenderand BAMthick and creamy gravy. It beats any flour or starch-thickened gravy out thereand is naturally gluten-free.  This is the only way my family makes gravy (my mom is a gravy wonder woman).  

If gravy ain't your thingtry eating it with a little freshly grated horseradish or some homemade mustard. Serve with a big salad and something lovely like raw sauerkrautsauteed cabbageroasted asparaguspan-seared brussels sproutsor steamed green beans.  

Hmn.  MEAT.  Vegetables.  Gravy.  Yum.

Thank you blessed beeffor giving up your life so that I may live mine.  I hope to do right by you.

yield: 6-8 servings

active time: 15-20 minutes prep

total time: 9-10 hours (includes slow cooker time)

2-lb beef roastgrass-fed and antibiotic and hormone-free preferred

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion

3 large carrots

2 large parsnips

2 large turnips

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp rosemarylightly crushed

3-4 Tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp salt

2  cups chicken or beef broth

Wash and peel carrotsturnipsand parsnips.  Chop vegetables into 1 or 2 inch chunksand cut the onion into eighths.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Sear the roast evenly on all sides (this takes less than a minute on each side)flipping just when meat turns brown.  When all sides are evenly brownedtransfer the roast to the crock pot.  

Place the onions in the saute panadding a little more olive oil if necessaryand saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add carrotsturnipsand parsnipsalong with 1/2 cup broththymeand rosemarystirand cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes on lowthen stiradding parsley and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to get all the good caramelised stuff.  That's where the flavor is!  Transfer vegetablescooking liquidand any leftover scrapings into the crock pot.  Add saltpepperand remaining 1 1/2 cups broth.

Cook on low heat for 9-10 hoursuntil vegetables and meat are tender.  Serve straight from the crock pot for a particularly rustic experienceor separate out veggiesmeatand cooking liquid and serve family style or on individual plates.  If making gravy (see recipe below)you'll want to separate everything out or drain out the cooking liquid and remove some veg.  Looks lovely served family style on a large platterwith meat surrounded by tender chunks of vegetableswith gravy on the side!  Garnish with sprigs of herbs. 


yield varies

leftover cooking liquidcooled slightly

cooked root vegetables

Place desired amount of cooking liquid in a blenderand add a scoop of the cooked vegetables.  Make sure cooking liquid has cooledsince blending hot liquids can be explosive!  Blend until totally smooth and creamyadding slightly more liquid or veggies to reach desired consistency.  If desiredyou can strain through a fine sieve to remove any remaining chunks.  Reheat in a small pan over low heatthen serve.


Bon appetit!

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