Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mushroom Gravy over Slow Cooked Roast Beast... er, Beef

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I’ve made roast beef in the slow cooker before (Slow Cooked Beef with Garlic and Red Wine, Slow Cooker Cheesy Beef, and Slow Cooker Java Roast, but this time, I decided to put the focus on the gravy. Could I come up with a delicious, hearty gravy using juices from the slow cooker? The answer is yes! And best of all, there are lots of chopped mushrooms in the gravy, which means you don’t have to worry about lumps. It’s supposed to be lumpy!

I decided to skip my usual step of searing the beef in a cast iron pan before putting it in the slow cooker. I wanted to see if it really made a difference. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference at all. Certainly not enough to warrant the extra dish washing. So there was no fussing at all in the pre-cooking stage, but because of the gravy, there was a slight amount of fussing afterward. I’d say it took 30 minutes from the time I removed the beef from the slow cooker until we were eating it – although that was partly because I needed to take a picture. And what a festive picture it is! You can see my Christmas tree in the background.

Mushroom Gravy over Slow Cooked Roast Beef

1 4-pound roast beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 t Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, sliced thick
8 oz whole mushrooms
Black pepper to taste
2 T vegetable oil
2 T flour

Place the onion slices on the bottom of the slow cooker, and put the roast on top of them. Mix together the soup, soup mix, and Worcestershire sauce. Spread over the beef. Toss the mushrooms and garlic on top of everything. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for about 8 hours.

Remove the roast from the slow cooker and set aside. Remove the mushrooms to a cutting board and mince. Pour the liquid through a strainer. You’ll need 2 to 2 ½ cups of liquid. If you don’t have enough, supplement with water or beef broth.

In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the oil. Toss in the flour and stir to coat. In small increments, add 2 cups of beefy liquid, stirring well to break up the flour. Heat to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once the gravy is thickened, add the minced mushrooms. If the gravy is too thick, add more beefy liquid in small increments until the consistency is what you like. Serve with mashed potatoes.

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