Serves 2, with leftovers

Cooker: 3-quart

Setting and cook time: Low for 8 to 9 hours

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible and blotted dry
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • Rub all sides of roast with salt and pepper. Place onion in bottom of slow cooker and toss with olive oil. Place meat on top of onion. Add coffee and vinegar. Cover and cook on “low” for 8 to 9 hours, until tender.

    Transfer beef to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, skim fat from braising liquid in crock. Transfer liquid to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, until gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Carve beef and serve hot with gravy.

    From “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two” by Beth Hensperger (Harvard Common Press)