1 (2-pound to 2 1/2-pound) chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated rind of 1 lime, no white attached
3 tablespoons fresh or bottled lime juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 small (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup strong coffee
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
Halve the chuck roast. Place half of roast in bottom of a slow-cooker liner bag (available in grocery stores alongside sandwich bags and aluminum foil). Sprinkle liberally with the salt and pepper. Add the lime zest, lime juice, garlic, beef broth, Italian seasoning and tomatoes to bag on top of roast; set aside.
Place other half of chuck roast in bottom of a second slow-cooker liner bag. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Add the onion, coffee, balsamic vinegar and rosemary on top of roast; set aside.
Place both liner bags, side by side, into slow cooker. Drape each liner (closed) away from other, extending over sides of slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. (Roasts may be prepared separately without using slow-cooker liner bags)
When ready to serve, place 2 large serving dishes next to slow cooker. Remove cover and, using pot holders or oven mitts, carefully transfer each bag to its own serving bowl. Open liners and allow contents to cool slightly. Remove meat from liners using tongs and transfer to serving bowls. Pour juices over each dish, taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings (2 generous portions each).
NOTE: If saving 1 dinner for later, place in a resealable, plastic freezer bag, label and freeze. If planning to eat it within a day or 2, store in refrigerator in a closed container or resealable plastic bag.
— Recipe adapted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from "Slow Cooking for Two: Basics, Techniques, Recipes," by Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs-Smith, $19.99).