Feeding the Active Writer

Ridiculously easy slow cooker roast beef with gravy.

The slow cooker is great for the active person who doesn’t have a lot of time for cooking.  It’s also nice for folk on a budget because even the cheapest (and often toughest) cuts of meat can be fall-apart tender when done in the slow cooker.

The problem is that if you don’t get the cook time exactly right, a lot of the meat’s flavor cooks right out of it.  The solution to that is to use the juices that cook out of the meat as a sauce or gravy which lets you put the flavor back in.

And that brings us to this week’s recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup diced onion. (I buy them frozen in bags, pre-diced.)
4-5 lb beef roast–round, chuck, whatever’s on sale.
1 1/2 tbsp xanthum* gum powder.
Hot water as needed.

Put the onions in the bottom of a 4-5 quart slow cooker.
If necessary, cut the beef into pieces to fit into the slow cooker.
Coat the beef with the xanthum gum.
Cook on low 10-12 hours.
When done, transfer the beef to a plate.
Check the thickness of the gravy that remains.  If it’s too thick, whisk in hot water bit by bit until it’s the desired consistency.
Transfer the gravy to a bowl.

And that’s it.  To serve simply cut slices of the beef and spoon some of the gravy over it.  Delicious.

*Xanthum gum is a good thickener for sauces and gravies for people on low-carb diets.  Not only is it lower in carb count for a given amount than flour or starch, less is needed to thicken a given amount of liquid.  Also, it doesn’t thicken as much on cooling so it’s better for things that will be saved and served later.  You might want to wear gloves while handling it simply because it makes a very cloying film if it gets on your hands and requires considerable scrubbing to remove.

I’ll generally make the roast on the weekend and feast all week.

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