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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Favorite French Pot Roast

OK, so here is one of my staples. I make this recipe (or a variation) at least once a month.

French inspired Pot Roast. (pics coming soon)
Serves 7-8

Chuck Roast (biggest you can fit in your pan)
Potatoes (I use the variety bag of small potatoes, otherwise small red or fingerling) 1 lb
Onions 2 large Vidalia or yellow
Tomatoes (5 or 6 ripe and juicy)
Carrots 1 lb bag
Shrooms (button or baby bella) 2 small containers or 1 Large
Tomato Paste (2tbsp)
Fresh Thyme ½ bunch
Fresh Rosemary 2 6 inch sprigs
Red wine (cheap burgundy is fine)
1 Crusty Bagutte
Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

OK so this is a fairly time consuming recipe so I usually spend a Saturday afternoon fixing it. If you want to eat it for dinner at 7, you need to get started around 4:00.

So Heat a couple tablespoons vegetable oil in a pan on high heat till it gets super hot (just beginning to smoke) and drop your unseasoned meat in. Hissss. Make sure your hood vent on because we’re basically trying to lightly burn the meat. Leave it down for 3-4 minutes till you get a nice golden to dark brown crust. Try to avoid lifting the meat too often. Also it would be a good thing if you had a splatter guard to keep the oil from jumping all over your kitchen. Flip and repeat the process. If possible you can try and get the sides of the meat too.

At this point I like to add 1/2 of a chopped onion into the oil with the meat for about 30 seconds or until it begins to caramelize. It just adds to the flavor later on. After that, pour in a bottle of wine. Yup, a bottle. Drunk meat. When that comes back to a boil you can lower the temperature to medium low (#4) and slap a top on it. The Idea is to simmer for a while so if it’s going nuts turn it down and if it’s not bubbling turn it up, duh.

Tie up your rosemary and thyme in a little bundle with some string. No don’t use your shoe laces if you have nothing else find some white thread or just get some cooking string it comes in handy for all sorts of projects around the house. Now drop it in. This won’t come out till the very end and will make everything super delicious.

OK now you have 2 hours to peel, chop, munch on all of your veggies that are going into the pot later on. Big cuts on everything here 1-2 inches I go for the rustic (easier to cut) feel. For the shrooms you can quarter them or slice them thick like 4 per shroom for a big shroom. This allows them to stay together later on, otherwise you’ll end up disintegrating them and as cool as that sounds you won’t be able to find any later on L

So your 2 hours are up. See if you can fit all the veggies except the tomatoes into the pot on top of the meat. That’s it, go ahead and shove the stuff down into the liquid. Put the top back on and let it keep simmering for 40 minutes. Put your crusty baguette in the oven at 350 and put the tomatoes on top of everything else. In 10 minutes you have everything almost ready.

Now take the meat out of the pot and slice it into manageable pieces. Careful here the stuff may just decide to fall apart on you mmmmm. Also remove the flavor bundle that’s swimming around in there somewhere. Add your tomato paste to the liquid vegetable mix and stir it in. Taste it… needs salt, so add some! Anyway cut up the meat and put some chunks in a bowl, ladle the veggies and juice over the meat and serve. You likka the juice? The juice is good eh? Serve with hot crusty baguette for the bestest comfort food I know how to make.

You’re welcome.

Oh yeah I forgot to mention this recipe makes a ton but it freezes great and it comes out to about $3.50-4.50 a (generous) serving. Not bad eh?

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