I've been a fan of The Food Network for many, many years. It's because of them that I have gained confidence in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I could be on Chopped or anything like that! But there are some chefs that make wonderful meals that you will always keep the recipe for. Ina Garten has some great recipes, and I always enjoy watching her show...mainly because I think of my friend Kiyoshi in Hawaii and his impression of her. "Me and the guys are meeting at the beach for some hot dogs and cocktails...what could be more fun?!" If you've ever watched her show, you know she always has an opening line that she talks about what's happening on that show. Kiyoshi would bust these out and we'd all just laugh because he was spot on!
Okay, look at that I started talking about Ina and then jumped onto the rabbit trail that lead to Hawaii! ;-) Someone really needs to keep me in line here, lord knows I have the attention span of a two year old.
Okay...so back to the matter at hand. I asked Michael the other day what he wanted for dinner...and without even skipping a beat he answered, "Pot roast!" This surprises me because Michael is not a big beef eater, but there are certain beef recipes that I make that he loves. One of them being this pot roast, and the other being Anne Burrell's Braised Beef Brisket! So I always jump at the chance to make these because I know they are meals that we will feed off of for days.
It's hard to justify walking into a grocery store and paying $28 for a slab of meat, but when you factor in that for two people you will get 2 to 3 dinners and 2 lunches out of it...it's not that big of a cost. When purchasing things for meals, try not to get hung up on the initial cost, you need to factor in left overs and the number of meals you will get from it. For instance, factoring in the number of meals it worked out to $2.80 per meal each for that pot roast. Not bad, right?
And the great thing about these big meals is you can re purpose them as well. You don't have to have pot roast for five days, chop some up and make a pasta with the sauce and chunks of roast. I've also made ravioli with it as well. Or a big shepard's pie! The things you can do with it are endless! Be creative! :)
Well, the sun is starting to rise here, and the sky is turning wonderful shades of pink and orange over the top of Mt. Pilchuck. That means that I need to get my butt in gear so I can head to town and get the wire fencing to finish my chicken run. So without further delay...here is today's recipe!
~Ina Garten's Company Pot Roast~
- 1 Beef Chuck Roast, Tied - 4 to 5 lbs (You can have the butcher tie it if you want)
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- All Purpose Flour
- Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Carrots, Chopped
- 2 Cups Yellow Onions, Chopped
- 2 Cups Celery, Chopped
- 2 Cups Leeks, Chopped...White and Green Parts
- 5 Large Garlic Cloves, Peeled and Crushed
- 2 Cups Red Wine (I used a Cabernet)
- 2 Tablespoons of Cognac or Brandy
- 1 28 ounce Can Whole Plum Tomatoes in Puree
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
- 3 Branches Fresh Thyme
- 2 Branches Fresh Rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Frozen Corn, or other veggie as a side
For this recipe Ina gives you numbers of carrots, onions, celery, and leeks to use. I find that can be misleading because it all depends on the size of the vegetables your store has. But here are the numbers she gave. 4 Carrots, 2 Onions, 4 Stalks of Celery, 2 to 4 Leeks.
I used 5 Carrots, 6 Stalks of Celery, 1 1/2 medium Onions, 1 LARGE Leek. So just be aware that it can vary depending on your selection. :)
First things first...preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Then as always, get all of your veggies prepped. Chop the carrots, onions, celery and leeks. And peep and crush the garlic cloves. You don't need a fine dice, this is a pot roast and by nature is "rustic." Plus 1/2 of it will be put in the blender at the end! So chop, chop, chop!
After you have all of your veggies prepped...turn to this wonderful piece of beef! Mix some Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper in a small bowl. I do this so I'm not constantly having to clean my hands before I dig in the salt container or grind pepper.
Using kitchen twine, tie the roast and then season on all sides, liberally, with salt and pepper.
For the next step I used a 9 x 13 pan, but you can use whatever is easiest. Put some All Purpose Flour into a dish.
Dredge the roast in the flour. Get each side, even the edges. This is what is going to provide a little a thickening agent to the sauce.
Once the roast is dredged in flour, heat up 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven, over medium-high heat.
Sear the roast on all sides. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Don't forget all the edges.
For the edges you may have to use tongs to hold the roast upright.
Once the roast is nicely seared on each side, remove it to a plate.
Toss in the chopped veggies and garlic, season with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes...until they are soft but not browned. Stir often.
At this point your kitchen is going to smell AMAZING! I can smell it now if I stare hard enough at this picture ;-)
Once the veggies have softened, add the wine. This is where it gets good. Mainly because you only need to use 2 cups of wine...which leaves you a BIG glass of wine to enjoy while you continue cooking! ;-)
Now for the brandy or cognac. :) Then bring this yummy goodness to a boil.
After it's brought to a boil...continue on. I then broke the bouillon cube up into pieces and tossed it into the chicken stock...You don't have to do this...but a little help never hurts...right? So add the tomatoes, puree and all...as well as the chicken stock and bouillon cube to the mix.
Give it all a good stir, season with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper. Tie the Rosemary and Thyme together with kitchen twine and toss it into the pot.
Now it's time to add the roast back to the pot. Oh it looks good already!
Bring it all to a boil...
Then cover it and toss it into the preheated oven.
After an hour of cooking, turn the heat down to 250 degrees. Then cook for another hour and a half.
When it gets closer to the end of the cooking time...start on your potatoes. I love to chop them, put them in a pot with cold water and add several crushed cloves of garlic as well as plenty of Kosher Salt. Bring them to a boil, cook until fork tender, drain them and then mash them. Adding butter, milk and chicken stock to make them as creamy as I want. For this meal I leave them a little chunky to give it that rustic feel. :)
Once the roast has done it's time in the oven, remove the roast from the pot, cover it with tinfoil to rest.
Using a spoon, remove as much of the fat from the surface of the liquid. There will more than likely be quite a bit.
Once that is done, put half the liquid into a blender or food processor and puree. Now BE CAREFUL! Hot liquids in a blender or food processor can blow the lid right off it! ALWAYS hold the lid down with a dish towel.
After it's pureed, in a bowl combine the 1 tablespoon of room temperature butter and 1 tablespoons of All Purpose Flour. Use a fork to combine them well.
Pour the puree back into the pot, add the butter/flour mixture. Stir to combine and then cook over low heat for about 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.
Cut the twine from the roast. Then get ready to eat! (Oh I forgot to mention...make sure to cook whatever veggie you want. I just tossed some frozen corn into a small saucepan with some water and a little butter. Added Kosher Salt, Black Pepper...heated it up and voila! :)
Doesn't this look YUMMY! Well it is!!!
I'm telling you...Ina did a good job with this recipe. It's so easy and so delicious! I hope you all give it a try! And as always...let me know what you think!!! :)
Well I'd better get a move on...I'm burning daylight now!
Until next time...Keep Cookin'!