Slow Cooker Beef in Italian Red Wine with cheesy polenta

Lunch / Dinner

Slow Cooker Beef in Italian Red Wine with cheesy polenta

Give plain-Jane pot roast an Italian spin with the addition of a few quintessential Italian ingredients — rosemary, nutmeg, garlic, dried porcini mushrooms, and a bold and hearty red wine. And you don’t even need to turn on your oven, just pull out your trusty kitchen sidekick — the slow cooker. The slow cooker melts away tough connective tissues in the beef, making it meltingly tender and takes an everyday pot roast from mundane to a dinner elegant. It’s sophisticated enough for your best company.

Since this dish gets much of its flavor from the wine (you’re using a whole bottle after all!), look for a decent one, but don’t break the bank. While Barolo or Barbaresco are considered the king and queen of Italian wines, they tend to be pricey. Their cousin, Barbera, is dependable and is now considered a more serious and affordable wine — great for this roast.


8 servings

Total Time

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About Porcini Mushrooms

Known as the king of mushrooms, porcini have a woodsy aroma, meaty texture, and add delicious flavor to dishes. They’re low in fat and high in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.


Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high. Brown roast on all sides, about 10 minutes; transfer to a 6- to 8-qt. slow cooker.

Add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to same pan; cook until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to slow cooker and add porcini sachet.

Stir flour and tomato paste into pan; cook 12 minutes.

Deglaze pan with stock, scraping up any brown bits. Add wine and bring to a boil. Transfer wine mixture to slow cooker. Cover slow cooker and cook roast until fork-tender on low setting, 6 hours. Transfer roast to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest 1520 minutes.

Remove porcini from sachet, chop, and set aside.

Strain braising liquid through a sieve into a bowl. Press vegetables through sieve.

Add porcini to liquid and transfer mixture to a saucepan; skim fat, then boil until slightly reduced, 1015 minutes. Serve roast with sauce.

For the Cheesy Polenta

Boil broth and milk in a saucepan.

Whisk in cornmeal, reduce heat to low, and continue whisking for 5 minutes; remove from heat.

Stir in Parmesan, mascarpone, and sage; season with salt and pepper.


Wrapping the porcini in cheesecloth makes it easy to fish them out later to add to the sauce.


To intensify the flavor and add body to the sauce, strain and press the cooked vegetables through a sieve.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (roast only)

Calories: 577

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 19g 29%

Saturated Fat 6g 30%

Cholesterol 184mg 61%

Sodium 394mg 16%

Protein 66g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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