The first man in my life was my grandfather. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve noticed how much I’m like him. Stubborn, determined, passionate, downright frustrating sometimes, extremely type A – listening to that list, you’d think we’re the kind of people you’d hate! Toughest on the people we love the most, unrelenting when we have a goal. I could really go on and on.
When I was little, I was terrified of grandpa. His domain was the kitchen – one didn’t just enter uninvited. I spent years trying to be good enough for him. So the first time he asked me to come cook with him? I was shocked. And terrified. And determined to be amazing.
Over the next few years, he taught me to make some of his favorites – cranberry sauce, Christmas candy, blueberry muffins – the list just keeps going. Some easy, useful recipes. And some outlandish and really not very tasty ones that were (to my 10-year-old mind) “supposedly” fancy. In my personal opinion, any recipe that requires the cook to peel grapes shouldn’t be made. Ever. I learned a lot in grandpa’s kitchen. I learned technique and skill. I gained respect for what he did there and earned a little of my own. But most importantly? I fell in love with my grandfather.
My favorite of his favorites is undoubtedly his Shredded Venison with Mushrooms and Onions. I don’t often come across venison these days, so it’s still wonderful made with beef. Slow cooked and eaten with potato rolls, it’s everything that is wonderful in the world all rolled into one. Salty and savory with that soft bread soaking up all the juices – it’s paradise.
This weekend I was feeling a little bit down in the dumps. I needed something to remind me that everything is going to be ok. So I made the roast for the boys. And, if only for a little while, all was right with the world.
Shredded Beef with Mushrooms
- 1 chuck roast
- 1 8 oz. package of fresh, sliced mushrooms
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 5 cloves chopped garlic
- 1/2 bottle red wine (I used a cheap one, and really eyeballed it. Go with your gut!)
Ok, so cooking this is so easy I can’t really give you instructions. You have two options:
1. Assemble all your ingredients. Throw them in the slow cooker on medium for 4-5 hours. Return and shred.
2. Put your oven on 300. Throw all the ingredients in a roaster. Come back in 4 hours. Shred. Continue cooking another two hours, removing the lid as necessary until the juices concentrate into deliciousness.
Now I should make a note, these times are approximations. Depending on your oven/slow cooker/roast, it may take longer to achieve the shreddable delicious stage. Also, you may need to add salt. I do, but not until the very end – I find I can get away with using less that way. This is also a great recipe for parties (can feed a huge crowd easily!) and it just keeps getting better as it sits in the fridge for a few days. But honestly, it won’t last that long.