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A Sunday Spectacular with New England Pot Roast

Sunday dinners can be a fantastic time to try out new meals that you have wanted to experiment with but don’t have the time during the week, but they can also be the ideal occasion to roll out family favorites and comfort food meals that everyone loves. That’s what I decided on recently when I made some pot roast for dinner. I haven’t made a pot roast in a while since it makes way too much food for just the three of us and frankly the roasts have not been a good buy at the supermarket. However, Sean asked if he could have pot roast as his birthday dinner when we were having family over so I went on a hunt for a roast and found a perfect one that was a great size for a large group of people and had just the right amount of fat to it. I then decided I was going to try out a recipe Geoffrey Zakarian from his new cookbook My Perfect Pantry. It was for a New England pot roast very similar to what I always make with a slight difference in the gravy he makes in the end. It promised to be quite tasty.

New England Pot Roast

One 3-pound beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 medium onions, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry red wine
6 cups beef stock
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Season the roast with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the roast and sear it on all sides until the roast is well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the roast to a plate.

Add the celery, carrots and onions and saute until they are caramelized on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and rosemary. Stir the mixture to incorporate the flour into the oil and cook until the flour smells toasty, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the roast back to the pot, along with the beef stock and the potatoes. Bring everything to a rapid simmer and cover the pot tightly. Place the pot in the oven and cook, covered, until the meat is just tender (a knife will slide out easily with no resistance), about 2 hours 30 minutes. Remove the meat to a cutting board and tent it with follow and allow it to rest while you prepare the sauce.

Let the sauce sit for a few minutes, and then spoon off any fat that has risen to the surface (or pour the sauce into a fat-separating measuring cup, pour off the fat and add the sauce back to the pot). Return the sauce to a simmer. Whisk in the mustard and horseradish and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Discard the bay leaves and stir in the parsley, if using.

Carve the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices against the grain, and serve with the sauce and vegetables.

I di use a much bigger roast than the recipe so I increased the time to 3 1/2 hours instead of 2 1/2 since I had almost a 6 pound roast. I also did not use the red potatoes as Sean wanted mashed potatoes with the meal instead. The meat was cooked perfectly and was very tender, just the way you want it. The sauce had great flavor thanks to the horseradish and I really enjoyed it as a change of pace from the regular gravy we make with a pot roast. I think it was perfect with the rest of the meal and would certainly try it that way again for the flavor.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

NE pot roast

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2014 in Beef, Cookbooks, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Sauce

 

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Keeping Up with the Classics – America’s Test Kitchen Classic Pot Roast

Making a pot roast dinner is always a family favorite for us. I can remember the days of having a pot roast when I was a child and just the smell of it cooking was enough to make you feel good and you could not wait for dinnertime. Pot roast takes a long time, but with this recipe most of the work is done before the cooking and then you have four hours or so to do other things, relax and wait for the wonderful meal to come. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a really simple one and is a little bit different from the pot roast recipe I have posted in the past. With this recipe you let the meat cook for several hours without having to turn it every 30 minutes like I have in the past.

Classic Pot Roast

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled into two pieces at natural seam and trimmed of large knobs of fat
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
1 celery rib, chopped medium (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 cup beef broth, plus 1 to 2 cups for sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine, plus 1/4 cup for sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig plus 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Sprinkle the pieces of meat with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (1½ teaspoons if using table salt), place the meat on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, and let the meat stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the carrot and celery; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup of beef broth, ½ cup of red wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme sprig; bring the mixture to simmer.
 Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season it generously with pepper. Using 3 pieces of kitchen twine, tie each piece of meat into a loaf shape for even cooking.
 Nestle the meat on top of the vegetables. Cover the pot tightly with a large piece of aluminum foil and cover the pot with a lid; transfer the pot to the oven. Cook the beef until it is fully tender and a sharp knife easily slips in and out of the meat, about 3½ to 4 hours, turning the meat halfway through the cooking process.
Transfer the roasts to a cutting board and tent the meat loosely with foil. Strain the liquid through a mesh strainer into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Discard the bay leaf and the thyme sprig. Transfer the vegetables to a blender jar. Allow the liquid to settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat off the surface. Add more beef broth as necessary to bring the liquid amount to 3 cups. Place the liquid in the blender with the vegetables and blend everything until it is smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
 While the sauce heats, remove the twine from the roast and slice it against the grain into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer the meat to a large serving platter. Stir the chopped thyme, the remaining ¼ cup of red wine, and the balsamic vinegar into the sauce and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the sauce over the meat; pass the remaining sauce separately.
This meal is wonderful and the sauce just tops everything off. Splitting the roast into 2 smaller roasts makes a big difference in the cooking time and really helps to soften and break down the meat, making it just melt and fall apart when you go to slice it. This recipe also only puts half of the broth in up front so instead of the meat braising in all of the liquid through the cooking time, it sits above a lot of the liquid, letting the roasts brown while cooking so you can skip searing the meat beforehand. The sauce tastes wonderful as well and makes great gravy for the meat, the vegetables and of course the mashed potatoes that you need to serve with any pot roast. I’ll certainly be using this recipe again when I make pot roast.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all that have been following along and visited the blog last week to help make it the busiest week I have ever had on the blog. Thanks for all of your interest in the recipes and I plan to keep on sharing all kinds of good things. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Sauce

 

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