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Italian Pot Roast

I made this the first time during harvest last year and I think I made it three other times after that last winter. The classic tomato/rosemary/garlic trio is always a winner for me. You can make this in a slow cooker, or on top of the stove, as your schedule allows. It’s wonderful served over pasta or polenta.
Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bottom round roast about 3 – 31/2 pounds tied with butcher’s twine
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large onions coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced
  • 1 cup hearty red wine
  • 4 dried porcini mushrooms crumbled (or about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes with their juice (I use fire roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish


  • Rub the meat with the garlic and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the meat on all sides and then transfer the browned meat to a slow cooker (5 – 7 quarts).
  • In the same skillet sauté the onions and rosemary until the onions begin to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the onions to the slow cooker.
  • Add the wine to the skillet, bring to a boil and scrape up all the good flavored bits that might have stuck to the bottom. Once you’ve deglazed the pan, pour the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker. Add the dried mushrooms and the tomatoes and stir to combine.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 10 hours, until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the meat from the slow cooker, cover it with foil and allow it to rest while you finish the sauce, at least 15 minutes.
  • Transfer everything that is left in the slow cooker to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the sauce simmer briskly for about 10 minutes, to reduce and enhance the flavors. In a small bowl, combine the flour and the butter and by mashing together with a fork. Once you have a paste, add it to the sauce, a bit at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk until the sauce is thickened.
  • Off the heat stir the parsley into the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Slice the meat onto a platter and pour some of the sauce over it. Pass any additional sauce on the side.