08 March, 2013

Tastey Tuesday: Food to Write by

Ten more inches of snow fell last night which translates to comfort food and a great writing day. I love this pot roast because a) I can switch around the vegetables (try adding parsnips) and herbs (play around with fresh sage or bay leaves) for a mystery taste combination and b) after it's in the oven, I have 3 solid hours in which I can write without interruption!

  • One 3 to 5-pound chuck roast  
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, half cut into thin wedges, half chunked
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pushed through a garlic press
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 6 to 8 whole carrots, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch pieces 
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2-3 cups beef broth
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Using kitchen twine, tie together 2 bundles of herbs using half the herbs for each. (The string will make it easier to remove later)

Toss the chunked onion, 2 chopped carrots and the celery into a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the halved onions to the pot, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.

Throw the carrots into the same very hot pot and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. Reserve the carrots with the onions.

Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the very hot pot. Place the meat in the pot and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to plate with carrots and onions

Add finely chopped vegetables to pot and cook, stirring often until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and stir.  Push vegetables to one side of pot. Drizzle a couple of drops of olive oil on open area of pot and add tomato paste.  Stir until slightly browned, one to two minutes.  Stir paste into vegetables.  Sprinkle with flour and cook 1 minute.

With the burner still on high, use red wine to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a whisk or wooden spatula. Place the roast back into the pot and add enough beef stock to just cover the meat.

Add in the onions and the carrots, along with the fresh herbs, tucking them in around the meat.

Bring the pot to a simmer, put the lid on, then roast in the preheated oven for 3 hours for a 4-pound roast, 3 ½ to 4 hours for a larger roast. The roast is ready when it's fall-apart tender.

Serve with wide noodles or mashed potatoes.  Then go back and edit what your wrote while the roast cooked.
Serves 6

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