Slow Cooker Bordelaise Beef

After two weeks of activities after work and traveling, Merideth and I were not in the mood to get complicated with our dinners this week. Based off a classic French sauce recipe, this roast felt fancy (even though it takes only about 10 minutes of prep!)


  • 2-3lbs chuck roast
  • 3tbs butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, rinsed and stemmed
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2tbs chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat butter over medium high heat and sear and sear chuck roast, approximately 2 minutes on each side. Put roast into slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper as desired
  2. Simmer shallots in butter until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add shallots, mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and thyme to slow cooker. Pour over wine and beef broth.
  4. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours and serve with mushrooms.

Wine Pairing: My favorite thing about cooking with wine is that, after preparing the recipe, you’re left with an open bottle! Don’t be wasteful – enjoy the roast with the red wine from your recipe; in my case, I used a cabernet sauvignon from France.

Roast Whole Chicken and Homemade Chicken Stock

Happy Holidays!! I hope you, like Merideth and I, are having a relaxing last week of the year after filling up on good food with friends and family!

Though I made this chicken as part of our quest for easy, special recipes for holidays, it’s something I’ll make for a hands-off weekend meal. That is, nights that I have the time, but not necessarily the energy or self-motivation, to make an involved recipe. The chicken came out juicy and with a deliciously crispy skin, looking much more difficult than a few minutes of prep before the oven!

If you have additional cooking time, I really loved this recipe because the leftover chicken carcass makes a seriously good chicken broth…three hours later. The time spent in these two recipes is well worth it though, and not just if you’re like me and think baking is a great way to keep warm in the winter! I used the chicken stock the next day for my lunch soup and really tasted the difference from store-bought stock. It made me feel good to use the “waste” from the roasted chicken, too!

For the photos below, I used Bavarian seasoning from The Spice House, a German blend good for roasting including rosemary, thyme, and mustard seeds. However, since this is more of a technique than a specific recipe, feel free to adjust to your taste! I also threw in some diced squash to roast with the chicken (a favorite kitchen shortcut of mine), but zucchini, potatoes, carrots, and onions can also work too- cut into bite-sized pieces, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread around the chicken.
Some seasoning suggestions:

Salt, pepper, garlic (either powder or minced and rubbed on skin)

Rosemary, salt, pepper, and/or oregano rubbed on skin, lemon slices inside cavity

Herbs De Provence

Italian seasoning mix

Make it your own, and enjoy!

Roasted Whole Chicken


Whole chicken  (2-4 lbs)

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Optional seasonings, including (but not limited to) garlic cloves, garlic powder, onion wedges, lemon wedges, rosemary, sage, or thyme



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare roasting pan for chicken.
  2. Remove giblets from the chicken’s internal cavity (they should be in a bag). Discard or save for the chicken stock.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, including inside the cavity, and rub the outer skin with olive oil. This will help crisp the skin while roasting.
  4. Season skin and/or fill cavity with desired seasonings.
  5. Place chicken, breast side down in the roasting pan or baking dish. If adding chopped potatoes or vegetables, add around the chicken now.
  6. Check the chicken after 50 minutes, using a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Chicken is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees and juices run clear. Total roasting time should be between 50 minutes and and hour and a half, depending on chicken size.
  7. Carve the chicken, removing wings, legs, and breast meat. If making chicken stock, save carcass for use within up to 3 days.