Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pot Roast in the Dutch Oven - My Version

This One has been Brewing for Quite a While. . . 

Or should I say "roasting"?

I haven't posted any recipes in quite a while. I often use Pinterest as well as some other sources to try some new things but if I'm using someone else's recipe I want to make sure to give credit. I haven't stopped cooking obviously (although I do go through phases) but sometimes it's just going through the routine with a tried and true recipe.

I have been playing around with a Dutch oven for cooking for a little while now. We actually purchased it with the single minded purpose of creating French Onion Soup after the husband saw a recipe that required a Dutch oven. Honestly the end result was disappointing but after that stage of cooking those onions down for hours it was anticipated to be perfection. Something clicked and I realized this new cookware could probably be a good addition to our kitchen.

The first recipe I tried was The Pioneer Woman’s Braised Short Ribs. That is really tasty and if you haven’t made it I highly recommend it. I have made it several times and I learned from this recipe how much putting red wine in the recipe, in combination with the beef broth, will do to add to deepen the flavors into a more complex offering. Using the wine to scrape the sides of the pot, and then to boil it, just makes it taste so much better. 

I also began researching different pot roast recipes because short ribs are not cheap and while they are delicious I wanted to try something with a chuck roast which can be close to a third of the price. Pioneer Woman has one of these recipes too but it didn’t include roast potatoes, most likely because she serves it with mashed potatoes – and wasn’t in the Dutch oven. The best pot roast recipe that I have tried so far was as at Real House Moms and was made in a Dutch oven. It came out very tasty, with meat that was almost buttery in texture, and a nice combination of potatoes, carrots and parsnips. I wouldn’t have thought to put parsnips in my pot roast although I use them when I make chicken soup. 

So in doing this “research” which included sampling actual recipes, perusing others, and taking some of the experiences from other dishes, I came up with what I wanted to do. I have learned parsnips are a nice addition, that I really can’t stand peeling all those little mini potatoes, and that I think an addition of garlic and an abundance of red wine would be better than just a sampling and that adding some additional flavors with red pepper and brown sugar might be interesting. I also thought that thicker gravy might make this all around heartier. So without further ado, here is my version which I hope you will like.

I prep ahead of time. I can’t help it. I like all the vegetables peeled and cut and ready to go. It’s kind of silly since the meat had to cook in the Dutch over for a couple of hours but here you have it. I want to move on to other projects today including painting a chair that I have been working on over the course of a few months. I also have kids running around and am anticipating shuttling them before the Super Bowl starts. . .

I started with a handful of multi colored carrots and two large parsnips. You could use regular carrots. I just can’t resist this bag from Trader Joe’s that does not cost any more money than traditional orange carrots. They look so pretty, especially that purple one with the cream colored center. No, they won’t be as vibrant when they are cooked but gosh they look nice now. I peeled all of these vegetables and cut them into slices. I do try to get them somewhat consistent but it’s usually a losing battle.

I also peeled about 1.5 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes. I refrained from the Dutch Yellow Baby Potatoes out of sheer laziness. This way I only had to peel four potatoes instead of the thirteen last time. I cut these into bite sized pieces as well. 

I cut a Vidalia onion into thick slices. I imagine any onion would work but I like something a little sweeter than and not as sharp as a white onion. I also minced three cloves of garlic to put in with the onion. I have a wonderful little gadget that smashes the clove and minces it with one squeeze. I don’t even have to peel it completely. The wonders that you can find at Home Goods!

The star of this dish was a 3.25 lb. boneless Chuck Roast. I have seen the recommendation of getting one with a bone in it but it’s not an option at my local butcher. I sometimes do put in a strip of short ribs for the bone flavor but I skipped it this time. I know that with the size of this particular roast, along with my vegetables, there won’t be any room to spare. I rinsed the roast, patted it dry, and then sprinkled it with a generous helping of sea salt. 

I heated about a tablespoon of oil in the Dutch oven and added the roast to sear it on all sides. The Real House Moms website recommends that you put your stovetop vent on and it’s true. I take the added precaution of putting the Dutch oven lid on, slightly askew, to avoid oil spattering everywhere. With this cut of meat, you can really only sear the two larger sides but I held it with a pair of tongs to at least get a little browning on the other smaller edges. It will take 10-15 minutes per side to get it really seared. The browner the better. Once this was done, I removed the meat, and put it on a plate. The best part is as it rests, it collects some juices which are going to get put back in that Dutch oven along with the actual meat.

I placed the onions and garlic in the pot, and let it cook on medium for about fifteen minutes. A lot of recipes state that it will only take a few minutes to soften onions but I find it always takes longer than anticipated. After they were semi soft, I added a ¼ cup of flour to the pot and stirred it for a few minutes. There was a lot of flour that didn’t actually coat the onions but I am going for a thicker gravy rather than meat juice.

Once I had the onions coated, I added a cup of red wine. I used a Cabernet Savion from Trader Joe’s that I used for the last pot roast. It is what they refer to as “two buck Chuck” but costs three something in Michigan. Good wine for cooking. With the onions it made a bubbly roux to which I added three cups of beef broth. Once this was boiling I added a 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp each of dried rosemary and thyme, two bay leaves, and generous amount of salt and pepper, as well as some Aleppo pepper. I actually ran out of the Aleppo pepper and added some cayenne. I figured the heat with the sweetness of the brown sugar would add some more depth. I am not saying that you need to go out and buy Aleppo pepper, it’s just a staple in my pantry from some other recipes and I really like it.

I added the meat back into the pot, along with all those reserved juices. I put it in my oven at 300 degrees on Convection Roast although I believe that just backing it in the Dutch oven works. It smelled really nice, permeating the entire house in those two and a half hours. 
At that point, I turned the meat over, adding all those vegetables, and returned it to the oven for another two hours. I really don’t think you can overcook in the Dutch oven with all that liquid. It’s a low temperature and it’s a slow process to really break down that meat to its ultimate softness.

The meat will easily break down to chunks. I take it out of the oven and make it into bite size portions. With the vegetables and potatoes, it’s really a complete meal but adding a nice hearty slice of bread (with some butter of course) wouldn’t hurt my feelings! A bottle of beer would be nice too since its Super Bowl Sunday.

Hearty Pot Roast in the Dutch Oven

1 boneless chuck roast, approx 3-4 lbs.
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Vidalia onion, thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cup Beef Broth
1 cup Red Wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Alpeppo pepper, or Cayenne
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
5 - 6 medium sized carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size wedges

Rinse meat and pat dry. Sprikle with sea salt. Place into Dutch oven that has been preheated to high, with the oil. Sear meat on all sides, using your vent fan, and a lid on top, slightly askew to keep down spattering. Heat each side ten - fifteen minutes.

Remove meat and place on plate to collect juices. Add onions and garlic to pan and stir every so often to soften. Add flour and coat the onions, allowing to soften some more. Add wine to pot and scrape the sides of the pot to get all stuck morsels into the liquid. Let boil and thicken, making a roux. Add beef broth and bring to boil again, before adding all spices.

Add meat back to pot, along with meat juices, and place in the preheated over at 300 degrees. Let cook for 2 1/2 hours. At that time, turn the meat and add vegetables into pot. Return to over for another two hours to cook.

Remove bay leaves to discard. Take meat out of the pot and tear into chunks. Place back in the pot with the other items to serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment