Slow-Cooker Braised Beef over Sweet Potatoes
and spring salad / oranges / almonds
Use the slow-cooker to turn a relatively inexpensive cut of meat into enough tender braised beef for two nights of dinners. This night's dinner is classic comfort food with beef served over sweet potatoes with a fresh spring salad on the side.
Slow-Cooker Braised Beef (for two nights):
- Potatoes, sweet (aim to buy one small potato per serving) - 4
- Onions - 1 , chopped
- Carrots, large - 2 , chopped
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Beef, boneless chuck, shoulder or round roast (enough for 2 nights) - 3 lbs
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Tomatoes, diced (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
- Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
Spring Salad with Oranges and Almonds:
- Oranges - 2 , sliced into segments
- Vinegar, white wine - 2 tsp
- Maple syrup - 2 tsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Poppy seeds (opt) - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Lettuce, butterhead or Boston leaf (sub any mixed greens) - 4 oz
- Almonds, sliced - 1/4 cup
- Potatoes - Scrub potatoes clean. If you prefer to cook potatoes in the oven (rather than in the microwave), heat oven and get potatoes roasting before continuing with other prep steps. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Carrots / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine in one bowl. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Brown beef - Season beef on all sides with some salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and then sear meat until browned on all sides.
- Slow-cook beef - In your slow cooker combine beef, onions, carrots, garlic, diced tomatoes (including liquid), tomato paste and oregano. Set cooker to low and cook until beef is falling apart and tender, 6 to 8 hours (or 4 to 5 hours on high). (Note: If you prefer not to use the slow-cooker, you can also prepare the beef by browning it in a Dutch oven, adding all remaining ingredients, and baking it covered at 325F / 163C until tender, 2 to 3 hours.) (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Oranges - Slice into segments.
- Pierce potatoes with a fork. Place in a baking dish and pour 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of water in the dish. Cover with a wet paper towel and cook in microwave until tender 8 to 10 minutes, turning once in the middle. (If you prefer not to use the microwave, pierce the potatoes with a knife and roast, wrapped in foil, at 425F / 218C for 45 minutes or until tender.)
- While potatoes cook, chop or shred beef using a fork and sharp knife. Return to slow cooker and toss with cooking liquid. Once tossed in liquid, set half of the meat aside for Thursday’s lettuce cup "tacos."
- Make vinaigrette by combining vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, poppy seeds (if using) and oil. Toss with greens, almonds and orange segments just before serving.
- Cut a slit in the top of each of the potatoes and use a spoon to press the sides of the slit open. Spoon beef and cooking liquid into the potatoes. Enjoy with salad on the side.