I am a lot of things to many people. In fact, most of the time I’m amazed that I still only have two hands and one brain because so much is going on at once any given day. I am blessed with kids that are not boring, a husband that loves the bejeezus out of me, friends who keep me laughing, coaches at my gym who show me what I’m really capable of, people who like my food and tell me about it (THANK YOU!) and I’m blessed with… a crock pot.
Do you know how simple this recipe is? If it wasn’t so darn good, I’d almost feel silly posting it. But I believe in food like this. Paleo food is simple food and this is quintessential simple food.
2.5 – 3 pounds of beef (the good stuff… you know the drill)
2 cups chopped carrots
1 small white or yellow onion, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of red chili flakes
1.5 cups organic crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
1 TBSP tomato paste
Break out your slow cooker. Trim your beef of excess fat, cut into 3-4 inch chunks and set in the pot… crock pot, that is.
Peel and chop the carrots, slice the onion and chop the garlic. Add these to the pot with the beef along with the seasonings: salt, garlic powder, basil, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and red chili flakes.
Footnote: You know that the secret to great tomato-based Italian sauces is a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of red chili flakes, right? Try it and see for yourself!
Pour in the beef stock and crushed tomatoes. Add the tomato paste and give everything a good stir. Note: This portion of liquid will produce a fair amount of sauce. If you plan to serve the beef sections whole, you may want to reduce the liquid to 1 cup beef stock, 1 cup crushed tomatoes. If you would like to shred the beef in the sauce before serving, keep the liquid measurements as is.
Cover the slow cooker, set to low for 5-6 hours. My crock pot is an over-achiever and cooks everything faster than it should. My beef was perfect at four and a half hours, so 5-6 should work for you.
When it comes to serving this, my mind immediately went to spaghetti squash (I’m a little obsessed, I know). However, you don’t have to treat this like a bolognese necessarily. This would be great served with the beef whole alongside green beans, sautéed kale, chard or spinach. Treat the sauce more like a gravy for the beef — delish!
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This recipe is so darn easy to make thanks to the favorite tool of cooks everywhere: the slow cooker. There are many varieties to choose from — you don’t have to spend a whole lot to find a decent one. Look at these options:
There’s even this super cute to-go style crock pot for keeping lunches warm at the office:
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