If I was a food blogger worth my salt (get it?), I would have come up with some clever theme for the last two weeks. Like, Slow Cooker Bonanza Week or Slow Cookerpalooza (too much?) since, unintentionally, every main dish I’ve posted in the last two weeks has been a slow cooker wonder.
But. Since I didn’t come up with a clever theme or tagline, I’ll just make peace with my one track mind that’s clearly focused on slow cooker meals right now (and I’m pretty sure if the stars align, I have a killer slow cooker soup coming next week, too).
It’s no surprise that the beef cooks up tender and delicious.
I mean, that’s the whole appeal to a slow cooker in the first place. But the roasted garlic? That smashed, caramelized, roasted garlic thrown in there with the flavorful bits of meat puts it waaaaay over the top. Way.
If you’ve never roasted garlic before, you’re in for a treat.
The sometimes harsh, strong flavor of garlic totally mellows as it roasts in the oven, browning and becoming butter-soft. It adds such a delicious layer of flavor to the slow cooked roast beef (and about a million other things).
I figure if we all start roasting garlic on a regular basis and putting it in everything, no one will even notice the arlic-gay eath-bray issue.
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth or stock (use less salt above if not using low-sodium broth)
2 full heads garlic
Pat the chuck roast dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, black pepper, onion powder, paprika and brown sugar. Rub and pat the spice mixture evenly on the roast.
Place the roast in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Pour the beef broth around the roast, cover, and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
While the meat cooks, roast the garlic (you can do this several days in advance and refrigerate). Peel most of the paper skin off the heads of garlic (making sure all the cloves stay intact). Slice about 1/4-inch or so off the tip of the head of garlic so the ends of the garlic are exposed. Place the two heads of garlic cut-side up on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Wrap the foil around to cover completely and bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until the garlic is starting to look caramelized and brown and the texture is very, very soft.
Let the garlic cool until it doesn't burn your fingers off before squeezing the soft garlic out of the skins. Mash and lightly chop the garlic; set aside.
When the meat has finished cooking, remove the roast and liquid from the slow cooker. Shred the meat into small pieces, discarding any pieces of fat. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir in the liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until it's as moist as you want it to be (I don't add it all back in because I don't want the sandwiches dripping and soggy but add it to your personal taste). Stir in the mashed garlic and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook on low until ready to serve (up to an additional hour, if needed).
Serve warm on rolls.
Flavor: if you really want to max out the flavor, rub the spice mixture (in step 1) on the beef, cover and refrigerate overnight before putting in the slow cooker.
Freezing: this freezes wonderfully - when reheating, if it seems dry, add a little beef broth.
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