Wednesday, February 13, 2013

French Pot Roast

I'm always on the lookout for a good Sunday meal. I love dinners that fill us up and fortify my family for the week. When I spotted this recipe in my copy of The Joy of Cooking, I was confident it'd be perfect for our traditional Sunday dinners. While it was delicious, it was also incredibly time consuming. This is definitely more of a "special occasion" meal, not one that I'd make weekly, and definitely not on a weeknight.

French Pot Roast
(Adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

Red Wine Marinade:
2 c. dry red wine
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
6 whole black peppercorns, cracked
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
Salt to taste

Pot Roast:
1 3 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
1/4 c. vegetable oil + 1 T. vegetable oil (alternately, you could use 3 T. clarified butter)
1 lb. veal shanks
5 c. beef stock, divided
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 T. butter
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start with the marinade: In a medium saucepan, combine the first 8 ingredients. Heat on low and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt. Cool to room temperature.When marinade is cool, put roast into a large bowl or casserole. Pour marinade over the roast, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

After roast has marinated for however long you choose, remove from the fridge, drain off the marinade, and heat 1/4 c. oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Season roast lightly with salt and pepper. Brown the roast on all sides, 3 minutes per side, and remove to a platter. In the same pot, brown the veal shanks, 2 minutes per side. Remove to the platter with the roast.

Skim off some of the fat, then pour in 1 c. beef stock. Deglaze the pot with a wooden spoon, and when the brown bits on the bottom have been scraped up, add the remaining stock to the pot. Return the beef and veal to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 1/2 hours, add carrots and onion to the pot. Give the mixture a big stir, cover, and simmer for another hour.

In a large skillet, heat butter and oil together over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and stir well to coat the mushrooms with the oil and butter. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often, until fragrant. Do not let the garlic blister or burn. Cook uncovered until mushrooms are browned and release their juices. Remove garlic from the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add mushrooms to the pot with the roast and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove roast from the pot, slice, and strain fat from the pot. Serve with vegetables and pan juices drizzled over the top. Take a picture that is prettier than the one above.

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