Friday, December 20, 2013

Good Ol' Pot Roast


Demi-Glace Pot Roast with Pot Roasted Vegetables and Blanched Beans
Photograph by A. Schloss
A few weeks ago Charlie Linnet wrote:"I have your books on Slow Cooker.. and Cooking Slow. I like everything you write. But in all that, how could you not have a recipe for pot roast?"At first glance I thought Charlie had uncovered a gap in the Schloss archive until I looked more closely. True, Art of the Slow Cooker has nothing called "pot roast," but it does have a brisket or two, which (being raised in the Jewish culinary empire) is the cut of pot roast I grew up on. 

And in Cooking Slow there's a recipe for Hanger Steak Slow Baked in its own Demi-Glace, page 65, which Bonnie S. Benwick calls a "succulent masterpiece" in her review in the Washington Post. It is a phenomenal way of getting true restaurant-chef results with hardly any work, and its magic is easily converted into a pot roast. All I did was switch from hanger steak to chuck roast and cut the vegetables in bigger chunks. Bigger pieces means more cooking time to extract the same amount of flavor so I upped the oven sojourn from 6 to 8 hours.


I also added potatoes to make it more of a one-pot meal. Unfortunately potatoes won't fully tenderize at the low temperatures that are optimum for beef, so I chose to give them a head start in a pot of boiling water. Not a big deal, but it is another brief step and takes another pot, so I thought I had better give you a heads up. 

In addition I found a recipe for Sweet-and-Sour Pot Roast  on page 102 of Cooking Slow that is cooked in a slow cooker, which I have reinvented for braising in a low oven. I think it is even better. I served it over farfalle pasta with a side of blanched broccoli rabe sauteed with bacon.  

My improvisations follow. Thanks, Charlie!

Demi-Glace Pot Roast Set-Up
Floured Chuck Roast in center
Counterclockwise, starting at 9 o'clock - oil, onions, carrots, celery, red wine, beef broth, tomato paste
Photograph by A. Schloss

Demi-Glace Pot Roast (Variation on Hanger Steak Slow Baked in its Own Demi-Glace, page 65, Cooking Slow)

Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup/30 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
Pinch of ground cloves
4 lb/1.8 kg beef chuck roast
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, cut in chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch/2.5 cm chunks
2 celery stalks, peeled, 1/2 inch/1.25 cm slice
1/2 cup/120 ml dry red wine
1 cup/240 ml beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound/340 g fingerling potatoes
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 190°F/90°C.

Stir the flour, salt, pepper, thyme, and cloves together on a sheet of aluminum foil. Dust the chuck roast with the flour mixture, and set aside any remaining flour mixture.

In a large Dutch oven over high heat, heat 1 tbsp of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beef and sear to brown nicely on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pot and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir to coat everything with the flour. Cook until the flour browns lightly, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the broth and tomato paste, and stir while the liquid comes to a boil. Return the meat to the pan along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Cover and bake until the meat is fork-tender, 8 to 10 hours.

About an hour (or more, if more convenient) before the pot roast is done bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil gently until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and add to the pot roast pot. 

When you are ready to eat, transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. If the liquid in the pan is thin put over a high burner and boil until lightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring as needed to keep the bottom from sticking. Stir in the parsley.  

Cut the meat in 1/2 inch/1.25 cm thick slices and arrange on a platter, surrounded by the vegetables and a hefty bath of sauce.


Sweet-&-Sour Pot Roast (Variation on Sweet-and-Sour Pot Roast, page 102, Cooking Slow)

Sweet-&-Sour Pot Roast in Process
Browned Chuck Roast, Combine Liquids (V-8, apple juice, cider vinegar), Browned Vegetables, Brown Sugar
Photograph by A. Schloss
Makes 6 to 8 servings

3 tbsp BBQ seasoning, like Chef Salt Bacon BBQ
or 2 tbsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
3 lb/1.4 kg boneless chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch/2.5 cm chunks
1 celery stalk, peeled, 1/2 inch/1.25 cm slice
1 cup/240 ml vegetable cocktail juice, such as V-8
1/2 cup/120 ml apple juice
1/3 cup/75 ml apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup/120 g brown sugar

Rub the seasoning all over the meat and set aside for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°F/95°C.

Heat 1 tablespoon/15 ml of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the roast on all sides, starting fatty-side down. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon/15 ml of oil to the frying pan. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable juice, apple juice, vinegar, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pot along with any juices that have collected on the plate. Cover and cook in the oven until fork tender, 6 to 10 hours, depending on your schedule.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Skim and discard the fat from the surface of the juices in the pot. Heat the juices on high until lightly thickened, about 5 minutes, while the meat rests. Slice the roast against its grain and arrange overlapping on a large platter. Ladle enough sauce over top to moisten; serve remaining sauce on the side.


Sweet-&-Sour Pot Roast, Farfalle with Gravy, Bacony Rabe
Photograph by A. Schloss



6 comments:

  1. I always thought that was I going to be very horror to do because it seems like a very tedious task because it takes around 6 to 8 hours but I guess I will try it this Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ou can also purchase the customized Weber Premium Cover to increase the life expectancy of your gas grill difference between Weber Genesis and Weber Spirit

    ReplyDelete