You’ll have to forgive me for being a little absent last week. I was very busy doing things like accepting a promotion at work and celebrating said promotion with a fantastic dinner with Hubster.
In a way it felt like we were celebrating more than just my success at the 9-to-5 job. It felt like we were celebrating our new life in St. Louis. Hubster bought flowers for me. This is pretty monumental considering it’s probably only the third time it’s ever happened. We have an awesome florist a few doors down from the photography studio and I knew someday it would pay off.
Also, we walked to the restaurant. Walked!! I can’t tell you how many times we sat in our suburban KC house and wished there were good, local restaurants nearby. In this new St. Louis life we actually walked to a fantastic local restaurant. And if we didn’t feel like that one, there are a handful of others we could get to on foot.
So it was kind of a whirlwind last week and a lot of things were left undone, like blogging. Even the pot roast I had in the slow cooker the day I accepted had to wait to be savored. Somehow pot roast didn’t seem like the right meal after the day took such a sharp uphill swing. But that’s a great thing about slow cooked meals. They can always be reheated and sometimes they taste even better.
This meal will taste great the first and second time you enjoy it. My Crockpot isn’t small enough to scale this back any further, so the recipe below is for four servings. Trust me when I say it will be worth the freezer space to keep the excess and pull it out as a quick meal further down the road. I thawed it for a day in the fridge and reheated in a saucepan on the stove. It made the whole condo smell fantastic (both times)!
Braised Italian Beef
4 garlic cloves
2 small carrots
1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage
1 lb beef stew meat
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups red wine
1 28 oz can peeled whole plum tomatoes
Crushed red pepper flakes
Coarsely chop onion, mince garlic, and peel and slice carrots into rounds. Finely mince herbs if necessary. Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Coat the skillet with cooking spray and brown the beef, working in batches if necessary to make sure the skillet is not too crowded.
Put the browned meat in a slow cooker. When the meat is done, add olive oil to the skillet and add the onions. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, rosemary and sage. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté until carrots are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add one cup of wine to the pan, scraping the bottom to loosen any browned bits. Add the vegetables, all of the wine and the tomatoes to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for at least 8 hours.
When nearly ready to serve, boil some short pasta like farfalle (bow ties). Divide into two bowls, top with beef and add some crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.
Notes: Technically this recipe makes enough for 4 servings. You could scale it back if you have a small slow cooker. I suggest freezing the leftovers for a quick meal down the road. Thaw the mixture slightly in the fridge and reheat in a sauce pan on the stove while your noodles cook. Also, you could skip the noodles and serve the meat with crusty bread and some extra juice if that’s your thing.