SERVES 2 (WITH LEFTOVERS)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 to 8 hours
Total Time: 6 to 8 hours
1½ pounds beef roast (chuck, boneless short ribs, brisket, top round, rump)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 onion, sliced
3 carrots, unpeeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled and large-diced
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
2 cups beef broth or water
If you have the time, you can add even more flavor to your roast by browning the meat, onions, and carrots before adding to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to low heat, and season your roast with salt and pepper. Melt 2 to 3 tablespoons of clarified butter or coconut oil in a large pot (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and (without stirring), sear them for 1 minute on one side, then flip using a wide spatula and sear the other side for 1 minute. (Onions should be slightly browned.) Remove from the pan, add the carrots, repeating the process, until carrots are also browned. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking fat, and add the roast to the pan. Sear it for 1 minute on all sides, until browned. Follow the rest of the above instructions.
Set your slow cooker to low heat, and season your roast with the salt and pepper.
Add the beef roast, onions, carrots, celery, butternut squash, garlic, and thyme sprigs to the slow cooker. Top with the broth or water (or enough to cover the roast halfway) and leave the roast to cook for 6 to 8 hours. The roast should be fork-tender when done.
Remove the roast, transfer to a large plate or serving dish, and cover with foil. Allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Remove the thyme springs from the broth and discard. Slice the roast against the grain. Divide the meat and vegetables on individual plates, and ladle broth over the top.
✪ JUST LIKE WOOD, meat also has grain—muscle fiber bundles that are thicker and more prominent in harder-working muscle meat like the cuts that go into a beef roast. Cutting parallel to the grain (along the same lines as the grain) can make your meat much tougher. Instead, cut against the grain (perpendicular to those lines), to naturally soften up the meat and retain a much more tender texture.