Febuary 23, 2010
Pot Roast revisited
I must admit, I am not a big fan of Pot Roast as typically made. It is usually tough and tasteless. It is typically a one pot meal, to include vegetables and the potatoes by their nature suck up all the flavor, you could literally eat the potatoes and throw the rest away. This is a totally different treatment of this old comfort food.
What makes it different is the meat is caramelized, like a steak and for the same reason to bring out the flavor. The vegetables used are for flavor and very small amounts, for instance 1 Parsnip, all of this is done to make the Pot Roast the star of the show not Potatoes, in fact there are no potatoes used. It will cook in the oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours and the meat will be tender and not stringy and tough.
Follow the instructions precisely, don't think that 2 parsnips is better than one and you will be in for a real treat. Use a 3 pound roast, no bigger or smaller.
There is nothing hard about making this dish but it does require a considerable amount of time in preparation. The good news is that all of that can be done ahead of time and even the previous day. Where Barbara works most times starting at 2:00 PM it puts our big meal at about noon time and this takes about 4 hours too cook, so having it already to go is a good idea. I put up two large storage bags, one for the Onions, Carrots, Celery and Parsnip, that are added at the same time and another with the Garlic, Mushrooms and Chile power. I also mix all the wet ingredients, the Broth, |Tomato Sauce, Wine, Thyme and Bay Leaves, so getting it going in the morning doesn't take much time and it can cook a good long time.
1. Pre heat oven to 300 degrees F. Trim any excess fat on parimeter of meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in large Dutch Oven, add beef and brown all sides, don't burn but make sure the meat is really brown. After browning remove meat from pot and set aside.
3. Add remaining tablespoon EVOO, Onions, Carrots, Celery and parsnip to pan. Saute' until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
4. Add garlic, mushrooms and chili powder and cook about 3 minutes.
5. Return meat to pot and add broth, tomato sauce, red wine, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil on the stove top, once boiling transfer to oven, liquid should cover meat or it will get hard(much care must be given so as not to dilute the sauce too much, I recommend cutting the meat if you have to rather than adding more than a 1/2 cup of additional liquid), check for this somewhat frequently and keep meat moist. If needed add water or beef stock to cover meat. Cook covered 3 /12 to 4 hours, meat will be fork tender and there will be lots of liquid.
6. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water. Pour cornstarch mixture into pot, stirring constantly. Return to oven for another 15 minute, this will thicken the sauce a bit.
Will serve 10 when served with a couple of veggies, or more like 6 if you have nothing with it. Over mashed potatoes is very good and I am sure you will come up with what you like.
As you can see, you can almost eat this as a Stew, there is a lot of juice, today, I am going to put it over potatoes, will try to get a picture.
All the prep work I did the night before, each storage bag and dish has components that go into the dish together, as explained in the write up.
Any somewhat plain sauce will work, this one has a little basil but not a strong taste, homemade would work great as well.