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Braised Beef Cannelloni

This recipe came out of a desire to use the beef pot roast that was on sale without actually making POT ROAST AGAIN.

I mean, I love pot roast.  But I get sick of it.

See, here’s a scenario for you:  you find a great price on an inexpensive cut of beef, the kind that really needs to be put in the crock pot to be tender, and you buy five of them.  And every few weeks you take one out of the freezer and make pot roast.  And by the second month you say that if you have to eat pot roast again you’re going to go insane – but there is still 10 pounds of meat in the freezer.

You’ve all been there, right?  It’s not just me?  Tell me it’s not.

So over the hills and through the internet I go, searching for something different to do with a bottom or top or sideways round roast, chuck or otherwise.  And I found this – which is now most likely on my top ten favorite recipes of all time.  Don’t let the length of instructions scare you – it’s surprisingly easy.

Beef?  Check.

Pasta?  Check.

Cheese?  Check.

Crock pot?  Easy to prepare?  Inexpensive?  Check, check, check.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Chuck Roast (any Pot Roast Cut Will Do)
  • 3 whole Carrots
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 4 cloves Garlic (add more – go crazy!)
  • 1 bunch Celery
  • 1 leaf Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 container Beef Broth (32 Oz Box)
  • 1 package (about 8 Oz. Package) Cannelloni (manicotti Will Do If You Can’t Find Cannelloni)
  • 1-½ cup Braising Liquid (that’ll be the liquid left behind in the crockpot – don’t toss it)
  • ¾ cups Cream
  • ⅜ cups Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • Mixture Asiago, Romano and Parmesan cheeses, to taste (approx 2-3 palmfuls)

Preparation Instructions

Quarter or sliver the onions, mince the garlic, remove the leafy tops of the carrots and celery. Cut the carrots into thick coins and halve the celery stalks.

Salt and pepper the meat, then sear the roast on all sides in a pan of your choice.

Place the roast in your slow cooker. Top the roast with the prepared vegetables, add the bay leaf and the thyme. Pour beef broth over the ingredients. The broth should cover the meat, it does not need to cover the vegetables.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

At the end of the 8 hours, the beef should be fork tender. Drain, and reserve the cooking liquid. You can discard the vegetables. Shred the beef with forks. Discard fat from the roast.

Cook the pasta tubes according to package instructions. Do this while preparing the sauce and meat.

Prepare the sauce by mixing together the braising liquid, the cream, the balsamic vinegar, and flour over medium heat. Sift flour into sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer for about a minute.

Mix shredded beef with grated cheeses, to taste (couple palmfuls). Add a half cup of prepared sauce, and mix.

Using any oven-safe casserole dish that will hold the filled pasta, add enough sauce to just cover the bottom of your dish(es). Stuff the pasta tubes with the beef mixture. Lay them into the casserole dish(es) next to each other. Once all the tubes are in, pour the remaining sauce over the pasta.

Broil for 6-8 minutes.

Top with any extra beef and as much cheese as you like.  I like a lot.

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