January 25, 2010

Pot Roast


OK - so I have never made Pot Roast before, and always wanted to.  When I got a new enamel cast iron dutch oven (cuisinart - on sale TJMaxx), I decided to give it a try.  Any covered pot will work - metal, cast iron, or glass.  I bought my roast at my local butcher, and it was already trimmed of fat, and tied.   If you buy it at supermarket, trim off excess fat with a sharp knife, and tie the roast together with twine - 2 pieces of twine, in order to keep the cooking more even. This is yet another easy one-pot dish...although I did make mashed potatoes and string beans separately.   

- 1 boneless rump roast or chuck roast - approx 3 ~ 3 1/2 lbs

- olive oil

- salt/pepper

- 1 large yellow onion (sliced), 1 package baby bell mushrooms (sliced), 2 large carrots (cut up), 4 cloves of garlic (whole)

- water

Take the roast out of fridge 1 hour beforehand.  Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.  Heat up 3 tbsp olive oil in dutch oven on the stove top.  Get this HOT!   Sprinkle the roast with (kosher) salt and pepper.   Sear the roast in the pot, getting all sides a nice brown color - approx 4 to 5 minutes per side....including the ends, if it is shaped like a log.   Remove roast from pot and set aside.   Add all the vegetables to the pot, and let them caramelize - approx 10 ~ 15 minutes.   Then, add the roast back to the pot, on top of the veggies. Fill pot with water, about halfway up the roast.  Cover and put in oven for 3 hours.   

Once done, carefully (meat is very tender and will fall apart) remove the roast and let rest on plate, tent a piece of alum foil over it.   With slotted spoon, remove veggies and set aside.  The makings for gravy are left - heat over burner....add a little bit (1 tbsp) of flour and whisk together, to thicken it up....and add more stock (or even a little bit of red wine) if there is not enough gravy for everyone.  Feel free to add any other spices/herbs that you like - for example - more cracked pepper and thyme.   Put everything together on a big plate for the table - the roast, veggies, gravy, and serve.  


May 04, 2008

Chili Recipe


There are certain dishes I obsess over for a period of time, experimenting with recipe variations until I hit upon something I like. Chili was one of those obsessions for me, and it lasted longer than most. Seventeen years, to be exact.

In the end, the winning concoction came down to omitting what I've been assuming to be the foundation of the recipe. To achieve Chili-Nirvana, I've removed all tomatoes from my recipe.

NO TOMATOES. That's right, you heard me. None. I'm pretty sure this qualifies it, to some extent, as a texas-style chili, which relies on pepper pulp for the base. Either way, I'm quite happy with the results.

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