When you hear Moroccan what do you think of? I think of Casablanca and Rick’s Bar. Play it Again, Sam – As Time Goes By.
Growing up, I was a huge Humphrey Bogart fan. I really couldn’t tell you why since Mr. Bogart was before my time. I wasn’t even two when he died. Yet as a young girl, I adored his movies. Back then, TV movies were often black and white films made in the 1940s and 1950s. There was no such thing as HBO or Showtime. You could watch an old movie or nothing. We generally had three channels to pick from. On any given Saturday or Sunday afternoon, you had sports, cartoons or old movies. I adored James Cagney and John Wayne. My female role models were big-shoulder broads like Lauren Bacall and Maureen O’Hara. These strong women were the ones I admired. Oh, those were the days!
Moroccan Pot Roast
1 Cinnamon Stick (3 inches)
6 whole Peppercorns
4 whole Cloves
3 whole Allspice Berries
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
2 lbs Beef Chuck Roast, boneless
2 Celery Ribs, sliced
2 medium Carrots, sliced
1 large Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 cup Red Wine
1/2 cu Beef Broth
1 can (28 ounces) crushed Tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 cups Hot Egg Noodles
Parsley, snipped for garnish
Create a spice bundle by placing the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves and allspice berries on a double-thick cheesecloth. Gather the corners of the cloth and enclose the spices, securing with kitchen string. Make sure string is long enough to drape over the edge of the slow cooker to make fishing it out later easier.
Trim most of the excess fat from the roast. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
Sear roast on all sides until nicely browned. Place seared meat into a 4-quart slow cooker.
Slice celery, place into the slow cooker. Slice the carrots and place with the celery on top of the roast.
Tuck the spice bag alongside the roast, with the string hanging over the edge of the pot. Remember, you’ll need to fish it out later.
Peel and dice the onion. To the now empty skillet, add the dices onions. Cook onions until tender, about 3 minutes.
While the onion cooks, peel an mince the garlic. Once the onions are tender, add the garlic, and continue to cook 1 minute longer.
Stir in red wine, loosening any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add beef broth and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduce to 2/3 cup.
Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt. Pour over the roast with the vegetables.
Cover and cook on LOW for about 6 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Remove the roast from the cooker and break into large chunks. Return the chunks of roast to the pot and keep warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Cook the egg noodles until al dente, about 8 minutes.
Fish spice bag from the pot and discard. Skim fat from the juices. Place juices in a gravy boat for serving.
Drain the noodles and arrange on a large platter. Top with the meat and the vegetables.
Snip the parsley over the dish for a splash of color. Serve and enjoy.