Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tonight's menu

Tonight we had pot roast with potatoes and carrots, homemade bread, and dutch apple pie for dessert. The pot roast recipe is from one of my back issues of Martha Stewart Everyday Food and it's my favorite way to make pot roast.

By the way, the table wasn't completely set when I took the picture. We DO have drinks and napkins with our dinner. ;)

Pot Roast
Inexpensive chuck is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef. Simmering it slowly and gently in the oven makes the beef wonderfully tender.

Note: Browning the meat makes the whole dish tastier and gives the pan juices an appetizing deep brown color.

Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 4 hours 25 minutes
Serves 8
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 5-pound beef chuck roast
Salt and pepper
2 cups beef stock or reduced sodium canned beef broth
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
3 onions, cut into large wedges
4 cloves garlic , chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place in pan, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
Turn meat fat side up. Add stock, wine, if using, onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir in tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, cover; put in the oven, and roast for 3 hours. Add carrots and potatoes, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 1 hour more.
Transfer the roast, carrots, and potatoes to a platter. With a spoon, skim the fat off the surface of the cooking liquid. Cut the roast into thick slices, and serve with the vegetables. Pass the pan juices separately.

When I have enough leftovers (I think I'll just have enough this time), I make Pot Roast Ragu from the February 2002 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Pot Roast Ragu

serves 4

This recipe can be doubled depending on how much pot roast and vegetable are left over. Cooled completely, it can be frozen for up to one month.

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped (I sometimes just use an onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine (or substitute an extra 1/2 cup of beef stock)
2 cups finely chopped leftover roast and vegetables
1/2 cup leftover gravy or homemade or low-sodium canned beef stock
1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, roughly chopped, with juice
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (I usually use dried)
1 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Cooked pappardelle or other pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Crushed red pepper flakes for garnish (you can leave this out, but it really makes this dish for us)

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until softenend, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add chopped pot roast, vegetables, gravy or beef stock, tomatoes, and thyme.

2. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook 30 minutes for flavors to blend and for sauce to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Serve hot over cooked pasta, garnished with grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

And here's the pie. Wal-Mart had them on sale for $2.50. I don't think I could make one homemade any cheaper. Plus it was nice to have a special dessert even though I've been out nearly all day helping Peter get his Christmas shopping done. We even braved the mall!

No comments: