3. Season all sides of the roast with salt and pepper and set aside
4. Heat a large skillet on high heat until hot, then add the grapeseed oil. When oil just begins to smoke, place your seasoned roast into the skillet. Braze until a brown crust forms and the meat self-releases from the pan. This is approximately 2 – 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside
5. Reduce heat to medium and in the same skillet, add the baby carrots and saute for one minute. Push the carrots to the perimeter of the pot
6. Add the celery into the center of the skillet. Saute for one minute. Push the celery to the perimeter of the pot. Sprinkle the grated garlic on top of the onion and saute for one minute
7. Add the beef stock and dry red wine (or substitute the red wine vinegar)
8. Add the two whole bay leaves and the dry thyme, stir to combine. Raise heat to high and bring to light boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat
9. To the bottom of the slow cooker liner pot, add most of the vegetables and liquid from the soffritto/mirepoix step above. Arrange the carrots to be on the perimeter in the bottom of the slow cooker
10. Place the brazed roast beef into the center. Pour any accumulated juices from the bowl on top of the roast.
11. Pour the rest of the liquid over the roast making sure a few pieces of carrot and celery are on top for added flavor
12. Cover with the lid and set heat on a low setting and timer to either 6 to 8 hours, as needed
13. When roast is done, remove from slow cooker and let rest
14. You can make the gravy in the slow cooker by setting the heat to high or pour all the liquid into a medium pot (over moderately low heat) and make the gravy on the stove top. The same techniques apply to both methods
15. Ladle out one to two cups of the liquid from the slow cooker, add the water, stir
16. While stirring (so that there is motion in the liquid) sprinkle in the glucomannan. Continue stirring until all the glucomannan is well incorporated and then immediately pour back into the rest of the liquid. Stir as you pour the glucomannan into the pot. This will prevent clumping
17. Cook the gravy for about 5 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The time needed will be determined by the heat setting and desired consistency of the gravy.
19. If too much liquid has evaporated, add a bit of water at the beginning of the cooking time for the gravy
Sear the meat until it has a crisp brown surface. You should not try to turn the meat until it is well seared on that side. You will know when to turn the roast because the surface of the meat will release easily – and not stick. If it is sticking, let it sear a bit longer on that side. It depends on how hot your heat is but it will take approximately 2- 3 minutes per side. Browning the outside then slow cooking is also called braising.
Even though you will be using the slow cooker, searing helps to enhance the flavor of the meat and if you do not pre-sear the roast, the end meat will look gray and more like a bland boiled piece of meat. And this bit of extra effort will give a far superior slow cooker roast, that will taste better and also looks much better so please do not skip this step.
With regards to the carrots, if you do not want the carbs, just do not take any and leave them for someone else, or remove them all together. They were primarily added for the flavor, which they released already.
ABOUT SLOW COOKERS, my opinion and two cents-worth
Just a quick word on slow cookers: you do not need an expensive, brand name machine. I have found that I only use my slow cooker on its basic settings of Low or High. And adjust the time I want. What you look for in a slow cooker is overall reliability, and even heating through the bottom and sides of the liner. We bought one for our son that cost in the mid-$30 range, and it is a good basic model that does everything you will need to make your meals.