Archive for the ‘Slow Cooker’ Category

Pomegranate Beef and Martinis to Match

January 7, 2018

The brutal cold has continued through the weekend.  That drives many of us into the kitchen to make big pots of soup and stew and warm comfort foods.  The weather is keeping a lot of our social time indoors.  Yesterday, Saturday, I invited some friends over for dinner and games so we wouldn’t have to drive around on frozen streets.  Now I need something warm and cozy, but also good enough to serve to company.  A matching drink is just a bonus!


The post-holiday weeks also mean a lot of house projects around here, so I can’t have as much time for complex meals as I usually might on the weekends.  Given all the stuff on my to-do list this weekend, I broke out the Crock-Pot.  I may be the only person on the  planet who didn’t get an Insta-Pot for Christmas, but my Crock-Pot works just fine for me. I’m pretty good at planning ahead.

If you’ve used your slow cooker much in the last few years you’re probably familiar with Stephanie O’Dea.  She cooked meals for her family for a solid year and created a blog and then a cookbook out of it.  Make It Fast, Cook It Slow is a favorite of mine.  The commentary lets you know if the recipe was a hit; what the kids thought; any substitutions you might want to try.  Definitely worth picking up a copy.  That’s where I turned for my dinner plan.

I find that the coldest nights call for the heartiest foods.  Beef roast.  I chose Pomegranate Beef.  It sounded elegant enough for company, but it’s still just a beef roast with onions, garlic, tomatoes, etc.  I was slightly leery of the spices in this.  Coupling herbes de Provence with cinnamon was new to me, but c’est la vie!  I followed the recipe pretty precisely, as I often do with brand new recipes.  The only departure was that I left out the golden raisins.  I’m not a fan of cooked raisins.  Here are the ingredients.  Put them in the slow cooker and cook 8 hours on low or 5 hours on high.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 pounds beef roast (I used a chuck roast)
4 garlic cloves (whole is fine, or you can chop them)
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup golden raisins

I cooked it on high for 5 hours, but not until it was tender enough to cut with a spoon.  I actually removed the roast from the post and cut it up.  I wanted cubes instead of shreds of beef.  Then I added the beef back to the pot before serving it up.

I served it over grits instead of potatoes or polenta.  I rarely have either in the house, but I always have grits.  And I served sauteed spinach on the side.  I thought the color would be nice and a green vegetable is almost always a good idea.


For essentially a beef stew,  this turned out to be a pretty elegant meal.  It’s very good.  Just a little sweet.  It could have used just a touch more salt for balance.  Since I had pomegranate juice in the house I thought pomegranate martinis would be nice. They added just a little extra fancy.  Here’s the recipe for those.  Cosmo-style.