December 7, 2007

The Best Pot Roast You'll Ever Taste

Our friend Tom, armed with a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, recently made us beef stew. Cook's Illustrated is an extremely valuable tool for a cook. The website contains recipes tested hundreds of times- it's like a Consumer Reports for food. In addition to recipes, they have a Tasting Lab link where different brands of the same food are discussed and recommendations are made. Back to the beef stew.

1 chuck-eye roast (3 1/2 pounds), boneless
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (not EV)
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped medium
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 small rib celery, chopped medium
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
1 can low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry red wine

For veggies:

2 pounds carrots, sliced 1/2 diagonally (minus one to use for the roast, above)
3 1/2 pounds small potatoes, halved or quartered

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat roast dry with paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (not non-stick if possible) over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking Brown roast on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to large plate, set aside.

Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add chicken and beef broths and thyme, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast.

Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place foil over pot and over tightly with lid and transfer to oven.

Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and meat fork or sharp knife slides easily in and out of meat, 3 1/2 - 4 hours.

Transfer roast to carving board and tent with foil to keep warm.

Allow liquid to settle about 5 minutes. Then use spoon to skim fat off surface. Put sliced carrots and potatoes in liquid and boil until tender (30 mins or so). Remove vegetables.

Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups (stirring occasionally- about 8 minutes). Add red wine and reduce again to 1 1/2 cups, about 2 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter. Remove from heat.

Using a chef's or carving knife, cut meat against the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices, or pull apart into large pieces; transfer meat to warmed platter. We put the pan sauce into a gravy boat instead of spooning it over the meat.

I wish that all of you could have smelled this as it cooked. It wasn't easy to wait for 4 hours with that wonderful smell filling the house! When done, the meat was unbelievably tender and flavorful. The pan gravy was hearty and rich and was also good over the perfectly cooked vegetables. Although I know I repeatedly thanked Tom for his time and effort, this meal was so delectable that I still feel like I underexpressed my gratitude. All I can do is hope he knows how much we enjoyed this meal, and how much I appreciate the cooking lessons that went along with the day...and the eggs.

Happy third night of Chanukah to you know who you are!


JB said...

I think you need to put Tom on staff there at the miami compound. :)
Shmappy Smannukah

rechal said...

I made this for lunch on Saturday, and Mommy and Tom made latkes. Boy, is it ever good! Love your blog. Love, Rachel

Arties32 said...

Hi Rachel! I am sorry i missed lunch on Saturday :)
Thank you for commenting- Happy Chanukah. We had a great visit with Tom and your mom. You have an open invitation to visit. I don't know if Tom had fun because I made him cook for one entire Saturday. But we loooved it. Come visit so I can make you cook, too! Hee hee. Love- J

rechal said...

I would LOVE to come visit you, and eat pork to my heart's content -- Alan won't let me bring it in the house. How the hell am I supposed to season my fabulous black bean soup without a ham hock, I ask you? Don't even say the words "turkey sausage." SO not the same thing.

Of course, he has no problem with shrimp or crab. Where is the logic?

I don't know when, but I will come visit, and make you black bean soup, and a marvelous carbonara with prosciutto and pine nuts, and pork roast with apples and brandy and shallots in a cream sauce and -- oh dear, I need a cold shower.

Don't worry about Tom -- I can assure you that he had a marvelous time with both of you, and loves to cook for people he loves.

Kisses to Beth and a few for you...and the eggs.

PS: Love "People + Food" -- I'll write something for you soon.

Arties32 said...

Oh please please come visit. Alan can just stay home. hee hee. No really he's very welcome too, as are his daughters. But we get to cook with pork!!! That's the only condition. I was dying as I was reading what you would cook. So much so that I wish I had the means to Fed Ex you a ticket and demand your presence ASAP. I can dream, can't I? Well, when you do make it down here, the food will be worth the wait :)
Love- and please do write something for People+Food!!! Thank you!!!