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.
FOR THE CHEESY POLENTA:
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.
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 15–20 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, 10–15 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.
Per serving (roast only)
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 184mg 61%
Sodium 394mg 16%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.