Four-Ingredient Marsala-Braised Beef

My lovely friend Clive has a hookup with a local man who raises beefalo, a beef-buffalo hybrid. I received my share of our meat today, so I decided to cook one of the chuck steaks along with some of the leeks from our farm-share. This new concoction is made entirely in the crock-pot and will melt in your mouth. I can’t tell you how simple it is–actually, wait, I can!

Four. Count ’em:

  • 1lb beef (or beefalo!) chuck steak, bone-in if you like, otherwise don’t worry about it. Some fat is good, though!
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 large leek
  • 6 cloves of garlic, coarsely sliced

Okay, okay… and these, too:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt + extra for seasoning the meat
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or less if you aren’t into spice) + extra for seasoning the meat

Super simple, but you’ll want to remain in the vicinity of the crock-pot to check on the meat periodically. First, turn the crock-pot on high. Chop the leeks into 3/4″-thick roundels and add them, the wine, and the measured salt and pepper to the pot, and cover it.

While that gets going, lightly season the meat on all sides with your extra salt and pepper. Then bring a frying pan to high heat and pour the olive oil in. Sear each side of the meat for about 30 seconds or until browned–the kind of browning that approaches carmelization. Then turn the heat down to medium and remove the meat, setting it aside. Add the garlic to the pan now, and cook it for a couple of minutes in the remaining olive oil and juices from the meat.

To put it all together, add the garlic to the crock-pot and place the beef inside as well, resting on top of the leeks. Cover the pot and let the contents cook for one hour. Once the first hour is up, turn the beef and press it towards the bottom of the crock-pot. Spoon some of the liquid and leeks on top of it, cover it again, and let it cook for a second hour. After the second hour, flip the meat again. By now it should begin to separate from the bone, and some pieces should fall apart a bit if you press into them with your spoon or tongs. Cover again and cook for a third hour.

You can continue to cook the beef longer, but I took mine out at this point. Pull the meat off the bone and serve the dish in a bowl by itself or over mashed potatoes. Makes two servings for a lovely evening meal!

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