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I can’t remember why, but last week we made the amazing questionable decision to move the TV into our bedroom.  It was glorious.  Meals, of course, were relocated to the bed (where crumbs were accrued, but we felt that this was an acceptable sacrifice) and vegetation mode commenced.

Saturday morning was the first morning Dr. Matthews and I were both home, in our own place, on a morning in several weeks.  Needless to say, a lot of TV was watched.  Productivity, however, did not cease altogether.  Dr. Matthews spent several hours completing our taxes, I went on a run, and this braised beef slow cooker meal was compiled.  The original recipe instructs one to put this recipe together in a skillet; however, when I noticed that there was a slow cook option, it was a no-brainer how I would prepare this dish.  (See Recipe Tips tab in link to view slow cooker instructions.)

Braised Beef with Shallots and Mushrooms


1 beef chuck pot roast (about 2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces small shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, minced (Of course increased this to 4-5)
1 package (8 ounces) mushrooms, cut in quarters (I omitted these – even though they’re in the title, I am not a big fan of shrooms)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (this is important – I forgot to increase this amount for the slow cooker version and the broth turned out very watery)
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained (I used garlic, onion and oregano flavor)
1 1/4 cups Swanson® Beef Stock
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

(I also added about 4 small carrots, peeled and sliced)


  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Stir 1 cup stock, vinegar and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Place the beef, shallots, garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes into a 4 1/2-quart slow cooker.
  4. Add the stock mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. (I did mine for 6 hours and added carrots with about two hours to go.  Mine laid on top of the meat, which made them cook slower, so if you like them more mushy I’d recommend adding them earlier or mixing them in more)
  6. Stir the remaining stock and flour in a small bowl until smooth.  Stir the flour mixture into the cooker.
  7. Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens
  8. Grate 2 tablespoons zest from the lemon.  Stir the lemon zest and parsley in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the lemon zest mixture over the beef mixture.

I was so excited to finally have a dish with which I could serve these babies:DSCN2130

I have to be honest, I’m not that into Red Lobster, but I could make a meal out of these dang biscuits.

I served this over egg noodles (Dr. Matthews’s favorite) but think the broth would have been better soaked up by mashed potatoes (my favorite).  Then again, if I put the correct amount of flour in, either would have worked well.  We weren’t sure if we were supposed to eat the shallots, but they ended up pretty mushy so we avoided them.

The yellow from the lemon zest gives it a strange hue...

The yellow from the lemon zest gives it a strange hue…

We both thought this turned out really well.  The flavor of lemon and tomatoes seemed odd for a pot roast, but I thought it was unique and a nice compliment.  The meat was nice and tender and the biscuits re-heated very nicely in the toaster oven for left-overs (but left lots of crumbs in the bed!).