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Get Out Your Slow Cooker for an Easy Pot Roast in Barolo

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I’ve only learned to love my slow cooker in the last few years. And the more I use it for some rustic comfort food, such as this Pot Roast in Barolo, the more I want to use it.

Pot Roast Johns 2This recipe came from “The 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes” (Robert Rose, $24.95) by Judith Finlayson, and it’s the best guide I’ve found so far because it doesn’t load the book down with recipes that are too complex or filled with too many unwanted or unhealthy ingredients, such as starches or gluten.

So, when I have a writing day or a long day of studying ahead of me, the slow cooker is usually filled with a soup, a roast or seafood. It’s doing its job while I’m trying to do mine.

A word of advice on this recipe, however. Don’t go for a Barolo. It might work in Italy, but you might end up spending $50 for a bottle to make this. I used a perfectly decent, $3 bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from Trader Joe’s, and it worked quite well.

I also preferred to eat this as a stew, so I didn’t use the immersion blender on the vegetables. I left them whole, served everything in a bowl and topped each serving with a generously ladle of wine sauce.

Pot Roast in Barolo


Just add your vegetables.

2 tablespoons clarified butter, pure lard or beef tallow, divided use
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1 (4-pound) boneless rump or chuck roast, patted dry
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1/4 cup minced reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes
3 cups dry robust red wine, such as Barolo
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the clarified butter over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to 5-quart slow cooker stoneware.

Add beef to pan and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to stoneware.

Pot Roast in Barolo

Pot Roast in Barolo

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tablespoon of clarified butter to pan. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, sea salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Add wine, bring to a boil. stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Cook, stirring, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until meat is very tender.

Transfer meat to a platter or cutting board, tent with foil and keep warm. Remove and discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree sauce. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Slice meat thickly, transfer to a warm platter and smother in sauce.

If you are having this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 quart) slow cooker. Reduce cooking time to 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.

Once the roast is in slow cooker, turn halfway through cooking, if possible.

If you have fresh rosemary on hand, substitute 1 stalk, stem and all, for the dried. Remove and discard stem before pureeing the sauce.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

From “163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes” by Judith Finlayson


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