Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pot Roast with Vegetable Gravy

I used my Dutch oven to make pot roast tonight...shhh - don't tell my crockpot. Sundays are typically crockpot days, but Ina Garten has a wonderful pot roast recipe that is done in a Dutch oven so the decision had to be made.
  • 1 (2-3 pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • 1 chopped leek
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup good red wine, I used a Cab
  • 14 ounces whole plum tomatoes in puree (canned)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 branches fresh thyme
  • 2 branches fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature

Directions (adapted from Ina's recipe)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. I used kitchen twine to bind up the little sucker. This was like beef bondage - very hot. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons 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 bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. 
At this point your kitchen smells amazing and you will be sad because you are still a few hours
away from dinner.
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 an hour, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 300 degrees F for another 40 minutes to keep the sauce at a simmer. Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and twine and discard. 
Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. 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. 
Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.
Yum! This is a delicious meal on a chilly fall evening. I had a fair amount of leftover gravy so I am freezing and will buy a small cut of leaner meat and roast in the sauce for a quick weeknight meal. Pot roast meat (usually chuck roast) is quite fatty; next time I am trying a leaner cut. Serve with potatoes!

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