Thursday, February 26, 2015

Company Pot Roast


When cold weather arrives, there’s nothing better than a comforting pot roast simmering in the oven to warm you up. I know many of you have had to endure a very brutal winter and bone chilling temperatures. Believe me, you have all of my sympathy. So much so that I made my husband promise I would never have to be cold again and we follow the sun to Florida for the winter. But occasionally it even gets cold down in southern Florida. A couple of evenings our temperatures dropped down into the thirties, which is cold for this area. Those temperatures may sound warm to you if you’re in New England, Boston or Canada. However, I think that you might be surprised to learn that there are many families here, such as the ones who pick our Florida crops, such winter tomatoes, oranges and strawberries, that have no heat in their homes, much less insulation, which we all take for granted.


As you can see, this pot roast has a thick rich tomato sauce, which is perfect over creamy mashed potatoes. Some people might call it tomato gravy. However, it’s different from our normal recipe which contains chunks of simmered carrots, onions, and tomatoes. I suggest that you strain the sauce if it ends up a bit runny as ours did. While we did enjoy this version of pot roast and it really took the chill off of, personally I like my old pot roast recipe, Boeuf a la Mode from Louie Diat’s French Country Cooking for Americans, better. Louis Diat was the French Chef at the Ritz Hotels in Paris and London for years. When Cesar Ritz opened the new Ritz-Carlton in New York, he sent Diat to the US to be the Chef and it was there that he created the potato leek soup we now know as French vichyssoise. Louie Diat’s beef a la mode recipe is strictly country French cooking and a bit old fashioned. While his recipe is certainly not as fancy as this new one, I found the tomato sauce in this recipe a bit too rich and “tomato-e” for me. It might be because I’ve come down with a cold and my taste buds are off. That being said, the thing I did learn from this recipe was Ina’s suggestion of adding a splash of red wine before serving to give it an edge really worked. I’ve definitely taken note of that and will try that in the future with other red wine sauces. One more great tip from Ina.

We used a bottom round roast as opposed to the prime boneless beef chuck called for. I think it’s a shame to use prime beef when it’s going to be simmered for a long time. As with any long simmering dish such as this, resting in the refrigerator overnight is highly recommended. And don’t forget that splash of red wine just before serving.



Company Pot Roast
Adapted from Back to Basics by Ina Garten – serves 8
Printable Recipe

1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied (we used a bottom round roast)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Good olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled, crushed & finely chopped
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy, plus a splash before serving
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with salt and pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.

At this point, if you have time, let the pot roast come to room temperature and allow it to sit in the refrigerator, covered, overnight. Meals such as these benefit from sitting overnight. When ready to proceed, skim off as much fat as possible and reheat gently at 325 degrees F until it is heated through.

Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Add a splash of red wine before serving to give the sauce a nice edge, then taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast and slice the meat. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme and serve warm with the sauce spooned over. Excellent with mashed potatoes to fully take advance of the sauce.



For better viewing, click photos to enlarge.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm and Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday.
Have a great weekend everyone.

32 comments:

  1. Delicious looking! Indeed, perfect with mashed potatoes.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. I never have luck with big cuts of meat becoming tender so it's been a long time since I've had roast beef or pot roast... This sounds great Sam:@)

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  3. This looks just the thing to "thicken the blood" for winter! I haven't done a pot roast in ages and have been thinking of one.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  4. My kind of winter supper...thanks for sharing.

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  5. As soon as I saw it I saw it on mashed potatoes..That tomato gravy..Like a great Osso Bucco..Mashed potatoes are so nice:)

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  6. Ina's recipes always turn out well. I have never tried a bottom round roast, always use chuck. Will have to compare prices, because chuck has gotten so expensive. It looks delicious Sam. I've heard there is lots of snow in NC.

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  7. My goodness that looks wonderful! I could absolutely serve this to company :) Have a great weekend!

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  8. It looks delicious and I'm sure Bev would love it but I'm more of a brown sauce with beef kind of guy.

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  9. I am like Penny I usually use Chuck when making pot roast, but I will check out the bottom round! I have made this recipe before and it is yummy!

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  10. Wow, Sam! Your photos are amazing. The color! Love it. I usually use chuck too...will try bottom round the next time. And, like Larry, prefer brown sauce to red, but this looks fabulous and yes, over mashed potatoes. (Gosh, I haven't made mashed potatoes in ages.)

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  11. Sam, We love a nice pot roast! It is true comfort food... We cook our slow with carrots, onions and sometimes potatoes with appropriate spices. We don't add any sauce or gravy...just use the natural au jus. We strain off the fat and make a little gravy. Your version is prettier! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  12. Can you believe that I have never made a pot roast? Now I am craving for a few slices with some mashed cauliflowers! It looks super, Sam.

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  13. This looks like the perfect dish for today with all the snow on the ground here. But it would make too much for one person, so I'll wait until I have guests to try this one. Beautiful.

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  14. I love those little techniques like a splash of wine to bring my food to a new level. I must check it out. I have Ina's Back to Basic book.

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  15. My mother always used the bottom round (called the rump roast sometime here). I haven't had a good pot roast in years and your photos are making me crave one soon. I'll have to see if I can find your old favorite recipe somewhere but this one just delicious too. I'm certainly ready for warmer days!

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  16. We had snow this morning, and I sure would love to have one of these roasts cooking right now! I can just imagine the good smells that would be coming from the kitchen. This looks amazing! :)

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  17. Wow! It looks amazing - my husband would go crazy for this!!! I so agree about using chuck - perfect for a long simmering dish!
    Mary

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  18. Mmmm...Sam I made a very similar recipe at Christmas--it was so good! the meat melted in our mouths--so juicy and tender and flavorful! This is definitely "a keeper" recipes!

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  19. Oh boy that looks good. I love the "gravy" of vegetables.

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  20. Dear Sam, First, I hope that you are feeling better with your cold. It is difficult to taste food properly with a cold; nothing really tastes the same. However, I think this roast looks beautiful! I like the bottom round for the recipe as well. The splash of wine sounds good too.
    Hope your feeling better. xoxo Catherine

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  21. Hi Sam, you can never go wrong with Ina's recipes, glad you are feeling better, we were sick for almost 6 weeks with it. Lov the veggie gravy.

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  22. Mmm -- the tomato gravy looks terrific! Lots of mashed potatoes needed!

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  23. Great looking Sunday dinner if you ask me. A pot roast was in our oven every Sunday when I was growing up, and the house smelled so good. I don't think 30 sounds all that warm, especially with your humidity. When we're in the 30's here, and the sun is shining, with our desert dry air, we're not wearing coats. I'm sure I'd be bundled up in Florida. I agree about that prime rib ... and so expensive.

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  24. Wow does this Pot Roast look delicious and perfect for our "chilly" weather here in South Florida! I love the idea of using red wine vinegar to brighten and balance the sauce and this dish would be so yummy paired with an Italian red wine like a Barbera d'Asti or Chianti Classico Riserva - thanks for sharing!

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  25. Hello Sam,
    How I wish this dish was sitting overnight in my refrigerator and I merely had to head, add a splash of red wine and voila.
    I am in Florida too and what you say about a lack of insulation in homes is so true and the single glaze in windows makes for a cold home when temperatures are in the 30's accompanied by a north wind. But we must be grateful to be able to walk the beach regardless of the weather in all seasons.
    I love pot roasts and thank you for another fine recipe
    Helen xx

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  26. My pot roasts always suck. That's just the simple truth. Maybe I'll give your recipe a try. Surely I can get it right at some point. *sigh

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  27. My son always asks for pot roast for his birthday dinner. It's one of our favorite meals. I made my last one with a chuck roast and will try your suggestion to use a bottom round next time. I always add a bit of red wine too. It makes me hungry just thinking about it.

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  28. Sam, I love pot roast and yours looks excellent! It's just what is needed for this bitter cold snowy weather! And I know Ina's recipes are winners! Thanks for this one and have a wonderful week!

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  29. pot roast was that one dish we had time and time again with any and every get together I had while growing up. It was for church, easter, christmas, or any type of celebration. I love your version with more of the tomato based. It looks amazing

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  30. Hi Sam,
    I can almost taste that gravy over a mound of mashed potatoes, yum! It is very rainy here today so this would be a perfect roast to have. I love trying new recipes, but like you I still have my old favorites. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Hope you have a fantastic weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  31. This dish is perfect for the family dinner!

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  32. I'm with you on the prime beef, it's a shame to cook it to oblivion or cover it up in sauces. Great call.

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