Whenever I am lucky enough to be back home in Italy, I visit my 97-year-old Grandmother and watch her cook. She still prepares three meals a day for her son and grandson, who live together in the same house minding the family hardware store. At each meal you will almost always find either meat or fish on the table, and her absolute favorite “Dinner Winner” recipe is a roast.
Whether beef, pork or veal, my Grandmother uses old-fashioned and well-tried recipes from the Austrian cuisine that involve searing the outside of the meat along with some carrots, onion and celery, and then using a combination of water and wine (red for beef, white for pork and veal) along with a few spices and herbs to let the meat simmer. None of it is written down, she has it in her head along with the price of her hardware goods. One can only hope to have inherited her genes…
Well, back to the roast. In true 21st century fashion, I am always trying to find some shortcuts and with this type of meal I like to use the slow-cooker to really cut down on the active preparation time. You can squeeze out some more time savings if you skip searing the roast, but I think this is definitely worth my time – to sear in all the juices.
It is fine to experiment with the type of beef cut you use for this meal; I use the rump or chuck roast, but there are many more choices. Strike up a conversation with your local butcher – he can give you good advice on this.
Once the roast is complete (see the recipe for instructions on how to cook it here) you’ll have lots of juices from the meat. I thicken it with some flour or potato starch, or mash in the well-done vegetables to give it a different texture. Either way, the juices are best if poured over a nice heap of mashed potatoes.
If you are in for another Dinner Winner, try our Slow Cooker Roast recipe Come and Cook with Us!