The low, even heat of the slow cooker helps flavor powerhouses like miso, sesame oil, and soy sauce impart tenderizing moisture, umami depth, and savory personality to common pot roast.
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1/2 cup unsalted beef stock
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
11 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
1 tablespoon white miso (soybean paste)
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
3/4 cup julienne-cut carrot
1 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
16 Bibb lettuce leaves
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Est. added sugars 5g
How to Make It
Coat bottom and sides of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer onion slices in bottom of slow cooker; top with garlic.
Heat canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chuck roast to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place beef on top of onions and garlic; pour any drippings from pan over top.
Combine stock, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture over beef and onions in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
Place cucumber and carrot in 2 shallow bowls 15 minutes before meat is done. Combine remaining 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; divide vinegar mixture evenly between cucumbers and carrots. Let stand until ready to serve; drain well.
Transfer beef from slow cooker to a large platter; shred with 2 forks. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; add shredded beef to pan, pressing into an even layer. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, without stirring. Turn off heat. Sprinkle evenly with salt and 1/4 cup cooking liquid from slow cooker; toss to coat. Discard remaining cooking liquid, onions, and garlic. Divide beef and pickles among lettuce leaves; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
My family really likes this recipe. I skipped the browning step (I know, I know), but with all of the umami favors I didn't think it was that necessary. I mixed everything (used 2 Thai chilies instead of red pepper) and cooked it in a Dutch oven at 275 for about 5 hours. I also skipped browning at the end. I just shredded and put it all back in the cooking liquid - that's where all of the flavor was. That liquid was also delicious over rice on the side. The first 2 times I made this I followed recipe for pickles. Most recently I just tossed cucumber and shredded carrot with some rice wine vinegar and called it a day. I thought that was just as good and a lot less effort. I had Thai basil the first time I made this and it was great sprinkled on, but not a must. This is definitely a keeper for my family. Very good and very little work.
Easy and delicious, but not crazy about the pickles
The meat was absolutely delicious. I almost skipped frying it up in the sesame oil at the end, but was SO glad I didn't. (It was totally worth the extra step!) That said, we weren't crazy about the pickles, or the combo of the beef with the pickles. We ate this with some white rice\cilantro and more of the leftover sauce, which was so good, it would have been a shame to waste. This was so easy and yummy, I would definitely make the beef again, but I probably will not serve it as lettuce wraps with the pickles.
Delicious flavors. I did not use a slow cooker, but cooked the meat like a pot roast for 3 hours. Trimmed off all extra fat from the roast first, then browned the meat, then the onion slices in cast iron pan. Placed all in a dutch oven as described. Cooked at 350 degrees for 2 hours covered, then one more hour uncovered. Frying the shredded meat in a hot pan with oil adds delicious crispy bits. The meat does need more of the sauce than called for, and even some of it served on the side would be good. Also, the onions are really delicious. We did not discard them, but added some to each lettuce wrap. The sesame seeds are a nice finishing touch. Served with a cucumber and watermelon salad from the NY Times, but CL also has good recipes for the same.
This was not loved in our house. The house smelled so good while the roast was cooking! But the taste just didn't live up to the smell. Maybe it needed more of the cooking liquid; and liquid that had been reduced a bit? The pickles were meh; like they were missing something. I did like the step of searing the shredded beef in the sesame oil. Added nice crispy bits. But overall, this recipe was a good idea that fell flat.
I've made this twice now to rave reviews. My husband, who is typically very wary of anything "light" absolutely loved it. The second time, I served this to a small group of lades for dinner and received compliments from all. I'll definitely make it again!
These were amazing!!! Will definitely make again. Our full review with pictures can be seen here: http://www.nickandalonakitchen.com/2016/06/slow-cooker-beef-lettuce-wraps-with.html
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