Thursday, October 13, 2016

Slow Cooker Garlic Ale Roast Beef Sandwiches

Apple shown for artistic reasons. What is artistic about an apple? Hell if I know, but damnit I did not take a picture without the apple so I need to make up some bs excuse... Er, I mean just leave me alone. You just do not understand my art!

One cool think about being on social media with your hobbies is people share. Before I had an social media cooking presence, I would get the occasional recipe from my mother. Once in a blue moon, I would get a cookbook as a gift. These days on the other hand, I get recipes, tips, hat tips, etc. on a regular basis.

So a week or two back my mother-in-law send me a recipe. At the time it sounded good, but I did not expect to make it. The wifey is not a huge beef person (as you may have previously noticed we eat a lot of chicken). Well I realized I had a roast in the freezer that was getting a little old.

So I decided to make this anyway and split it into a week's worth of lunches. This is a great "Sunday meal prep" kind of recipe. It is fairly low effort. It makes enough for several meals. It was pretty cheap for me too as I usually buy roasts when they are on sale and it does not need to be a great cut.

Waiting is the hardest part!

Resources:
1 two-pound beef roast (a larger roast is fine if your slow cooker is bigger than mine)
season salt
black pepper
5 garlic cloves
1 red onion, sliced
1 cup Italian dressing (I used Olive Garden)
1 cup lite/light beer (Kentucky K├Âlsch, IC Lite, Hudy Delight, or in my case Miller Lite <shudder>)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Method:
Sprinkle both sides of the roast with season salt and pepper. Place the roast into a slow cooker. Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves, and the red onion on top of the roast. Then pour the Italian dressing and beer over the roast.

Cover and cook on low for 10 hours (or 6 on high). Stir once half way through.

Discard bay leaves. Trim the fat and then shred the meat with 2 forks, smash the garlic with the back of a fork and stir the garlic into the shredded meat. Separate the onions and add to the meat as desired.

Strain about a three cups (I winged this part) of the juices to a pot and heat over high heat. Stirring frequently. Once a rolling boil is achieved, mix two teaspoons cornstarch with two teaspoons of water. Mix until a paste forms. Add to the boiling mixture. Continue to stir until the sauce becomes thick (five or ten minutes based on taste). Pour the sauce over the meat and onions.

Serve on bread with toasted cheese. This made me four hearty sandwiches.

Commentary:
I modified this recipe from the original a bit. The broad strokes are the same, but the some of the details are not. The link is above if you feel like noting the details. The big change is I added the sauce back in.

Creative license.

Do not be afraid to be generous with the season salt and pepper. I know nobody wants to over salt their food, but this is a big slab o' meat!

Look at that meat!

I will mention I specified the beer and Italian dressing. Why? Those can make a HUGE difference. Not all Italian dressings are even remotely the same. Plus I could I have used the bottle of Yards Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce I had lying around, but I did not want my roast to taste like a pine cone. 

I really hate when recipes do not specify beer. At least give me a general style. Nope, not here. Original recipe: "use your favorite". What kind of lazy writing is that? Seriously what kind of stupid advice is that anyway?!? No other ingredient would people say that. This recipe needs some vegetables. "Use your favorite"! Because there is no difference between broccoli or celery or a potato. Meat? Sure, "use your favorite" because a salmon fillet is interchangeable with brisket or a pork sausage. Can you tell this really annoys me?

While we are on the topic of the original recipe: when did a slider become a generic term for a small sandwich. Some of you may be thinking where did this come from? Well I edited out the word slider from the original recipe. A slider is a WHITE CASTLE HAMBURGER or equivalent. The original is a small sandwich. Goddamn heathens.

And another thing: what is wrong the <generation>? Why do they not understand that <problem> can be fixed simply by <over simplification of problem>?!?

Phew. Glad I got that off my chest!

Honestly there's not much to this recipe. Do no over think this one. Meat, seasoning, and sauce go in a slow cooker. Cook. Shred. Eat.

Conclusion:
Good stuff. Do not skip the sauce/onions step though. The onions took on a very different flavor and the three together really made this a winner.