Servings: 2, with leftovers
Slow cooker: 3 quart
Setting and cook time: LOW for 8 to 9 hours
1½ pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible and blotted dry
¼ 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
1½ tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1½ tablespoons water
Rub all sides of the roast with the salt and pepper. Place the onion on the bottom of the slow cooker and toss with the olive oil. Place the meat on top of the onion. Add the coffee and vinegar. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours, until tender.
Transfer the beef to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, skim the fat from the braising liquid in the crock. Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking until the gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Carve the beef and serve hot with the gravy.