Dinner Favorites

Our favorite Pot Roast

I did it! I finally made a pot roast that was not only edible, it was incredibly delicious. Don’t laugh, I’m serious…

When I served this the other night, J immediately said, “Wow, this is really good”!  And although I don’t have a picture of it (really, it’s such an unattractive shade of brown…), this is definitely one for the record books, and will be lovingly prepared again when my parents arrive in about two weeks 🙂

Speaking of record books, you might remember my dialogue the other day about continuing this blog versus just saving all of our favorite recipes to the Paprika app. After careful consideration (and several middle-of-the-night-dialogues with myself), I have decided to continue my blog. It is in need of makeover, however, and more than a few better pictures, but I really enjoy the creative outlet it provides for me. Now all I have to do is find technological help in making it better and more user-friendly.

And no, Dad, that last comment wasn’t directed to you.

Ok ok, actually it was…….

Company Pot Roast – adapted from Ina Garten

1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Olive oil
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 and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade ( I used about a cup of water, as we were out of stock)
3 branches fresh thyme
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 1 teaspoon 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 onions, celery, leeks, and garlic, 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, 1 teaspoon black 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.

Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle 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.

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