Cooking 101 - Slow Simmered Beef in Rich Tomato Sauce

So many things to love in Michigan....so many things....but one of our family favorites is the Pegasus Taverna in Downtown Detroit.

It's called "Greektown" in that area, and this is our FAVORITE place to go!  Not only is the food amazing, but it has been our family tradition to go down there during the Christmas/New Year season and live it up Greek style with flaming cheese and all.  OOOOOPAH!  ...and the food....the food....oh, the food....makes me drool all over myself...

Often, I get a craving for some amazing Pegasus food.  We have many favorites there, but the dishes I continue to gravitate towards have been the slow simmered meats in deep, rich tomato sauce and they serve it with the most amazing potatoes I've ever tasted.  At first, the potatoes look bland, boring, and boiled - like big chunks of white, boring potato - until you take a bite and they have this incredibly tangy flavor.

SO...rather than have our traditional Sunday Roast & Potatoes Dinner, I decided to mix it up a little - Greek style {yahh!} - and although my family wasn't outwardly moaning and swaying with eyes closed like I was, I think they liked it okay.  OOOOOPAH!

Slow Simmered Beef in Rich Tomato Sauce
with Seasoned Mashed Potatoes (yum....)

For the Meat:
**you could also use lamb for this dish - just cut the sauce in half because lamb comes in much smaller portions**

Medium-Large Chuck Roast, fat trimmed as much as possible 
Flour, Salt, Pepper
Heat up a large pan, very hot, with about 1-2 tsp. oil.  Coat the meat generously with salt, pepper, and flour.  Sear on both sides and place it in your crock pot.

For the Sauce:

1 28-oz. can stewed tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled, chopped into pieces
1 medium/large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped (or that minced kind you can buy)
2-3 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1-2 tsp. dried rosemary, ground - or 1/2-1 tsp. fresh, ground
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 heaping scoop chicken (or beef) base (link found HERE if you don't know what it is or where to get it)

Combine everything into a food processor (or blender) and puree until carrots are small, tiny chunks.  Dump over the top of the meat.  

Cook in your crock pot on low heat for about 8-12 hours.  When it's done cooking, shred the meat in the sauce.  (I put mine in at 10 p.m. Saturday night, lowered the heat to 'warm' at 12:30 p.m., and ate at 2:30 p.m.  It was tender and delicious.)  

For the Potatoes: (I fed a large group, cut this recipe in half if you need)

Fill a stockpot with salted water - add:
8-10 large red potatoes, diced (you could probably use any kind you want - I just had red on hand)
a heaping teaspoon or two of chicken base (or a couple of bullion cubes)
about 1/4-1/2 c. vinegar
1 can evaporated milk
1 stick butter

Boil until potatoes are fork tender, drain, dump into a large bowl.  Add butter, salt, and a little bit of canned milk to the potatoes, mash them up (I use a hand mixer) and add more salt if you need.  These potatoes are supposed to be a little big tangy - it adds to the whole flavor.

To serve: heap a large scoop of potatoes onto your plate, top with meat mixture, serve with your favorite crusty bread & fresh veggies!  ...and escape to a quaint little Greek restaurant...so delishy.


Glitterkid said...

Hi, this looks delicious, and I've just bought a crock pot and can;t wait to try it out! Quick question - I'm in the UK and not sure what chicken or beef base is - is it like stock?

Abby said...

Hi Polly! ahhh--good question - I hadn't thought about explaining it! Chicken and beef base is a thick, condensed paste found in grocery stores here. You could use bullion cubes instead, since they will dissolve, but if you use broth, the mixture will be runny. I'll post a link to what the base would look like.

Thanks! and enjoy the recipe!

Kadie said...

This was seriously so yummy! I have been thinking about it all week! I guess I need to make me up a batch!

Glitterkid said...

Thanks, Abby! I get a bit muddled up with US products sometimes! Looking forward to giving this a whirl in the next couple of weeks.
Love your blog - you are some kind of superwoman I think!