Thursday, January 9, 2014

Slow Cooker Smoked Salt Chuck Roast inspired by Delicious Paleo

I had a few boneless chuck roasts that I needed to cook and I was looking for something different and special.  I came across this recipe for Dutch Oven Beef Chuck Roast from Delicious Paleo.  

I've made 2 changes to this recipe.  The original recipe calls for you to oven roast the beef for 2-3 hours. Unless I'm off work or it's a weekend, I really don't have the time to let something oven roast for that long.  I decided to switch this to a slow cooker recipe.

The recipe also recommends McCormick's hickory smoked salt.   That was what intrigued me most about this recipe.  I'd not used smoked salt before.  I researched McCormick's brand and it was full of some very unpaleo things like MSG.   I researched smoke salt a bit more and found a clean version at Williams Sonoma.  

I started by slicing some up an onion to create a bed for the roast in my slow cooker.  After I made this the first time, I decided it would be a great idea to add some carrots to the vegetable bed as well.  

I then prepared the meat by rubbing it with a little oil and the spice blend per the recipe instructions. 

I put the seasoned roast on in the slow cooker and added the wine.  

I put the lid on and set the slow cooker for 8 hours on low.  After about 5 hours, I checked the crock as I just happened to be home.  Using a tip from Melissa Joulwan's Italian Pork Roast, I removed the excess cooking liquid (1.5-2 cups).  

When the timer went off, this is what I had.  

 Here's my plate.

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  I found the smoked salt that I used for this recipe at Williams Sonoma.  I actually tried it with two different smoked salts from Williams Sonoma.  The store near me didn't have hickory smoked variety but did have an Oak Smoked Chardonnay Salt.  After talking to the clerk, he said that it will still have a smoky flavor, its just a different wood.  It was $18.95.  Ouch. I found myself across town one day near a different Williams Sonoma and they did have the Hickory Smoked Sea Salt.  It still wasn't cheap at $9.95 a 3.4 ounce bottle.  I had a coupon so it was a little cheaper.  Both salts produced a smoky tasty roast. You don't have to use the brand I did, but make sure to check the ingredients of what you do use.  You should be able to find everything else you need at your "big box" grocery store. 

Preparation & Cooking Time:  It took me only 8.5 minutes to get this in the slow cooker.  I cooked it on low for 8 hours.  

Clean Up: Super easy.  Everything I used went into the dishwasher.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumps Up!  After 8 hours in the slow cooker, the roast was perfectly cooked.  It pulled apart easy.  The main flavor of the roast was a smoky cinnamon flavor.  Of course the onions I cooked the roast on had absorbed the flavors of the spices and were lovely.  The second time I made this a peeled and cut 4-5 carrots into sticks and added them to the onion bed in my slow cooker.  I'll not do it any other way in the future- smoky cinnamon carrots. Yum.  I was looking for something different, and I found it.  I think it would turn out equally fine if you slow cooked it and didn't remove the extra liquid.  One of these days, I'll oven cook it per the recipe instructions and report my results here.  

I'm going to be looking for other ways to use smoked salt.  Any suggestions?  I wonder how it would taste on pork roast made in the fashion of Nom Nom Paleo's Kalua Pig