Sure, you could caramelize the onions. And of course you could dredge the roast in seasoned flour, brown on all sides, and deglaze the pan to get all the wonderful fond for the sauce (I actually had someone suggest that "this is how I would prepare it, because I like a little more flavor." As if....! K, well maybe she wasn't that snooty, but it felt like it.) But you know what? I didn't wanna. I wanted to throw everything in a pot, set the timer, walk off, and come back six hours later to dinner. And that's pretty much what this recipe does for you.
A quick internet search for the recipe turns up that it more than likely appeared in Cooking Light in its original form. Funny, CL's recipes always seem to involve dozens of ingredients; this one is either some strange anomaly, or else it's not really a CL recipe. But just to be on the safe side (having read a David Lebovitz article about the subject of recipe plagiarism just last week) here is the recipe, courtesy of Cooking Light (probably), via Karrie H. Enjoy. It's so, so SOO, good. And easy enough for a Monday nite when you've been on the go all day.
2 T butter
2 large onions, sliced
a 2-3 lb beef roast (I use a boneless chuck roast, but use what you like)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t dried thyme
1 c. beef broth
12-oz bottle of Newcastle Ale
2 T cornstarch
- Set slow cooker to low.
- Add the butter and sliced onion and stir together.
- Place your roast on top of the onions and season with the salt, pepper and thyme.
- Pour in the broth and beer.
- Cover and let cook for 6-8 hrs or until the meat falls apart.
- Spoon out about 2 cups of the liquid and place in a saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer and add the cornstarch, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Let cook one minute more and remove from heat.
- Serve roast alongside potatoes and pour the gravy over both, if you like.
You can also prepare the roast in the oven. If you do, first brown the roast in a skillet on all sides and then cook in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 -2 hrs.
No effort, no thought. And I promise that your family will LOVE you for this.