Friday, April 13, 2012

Pot Roast of Beef Braised in Red Wine

Pot Roast of Beef Braised in Red Wine

modified from p. 393 Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Anybody who knows me, knows I am a proud Native Texan.  Which means I love my beef products.  There's nothing that can make me happier than a pot roast for dinner, homemade bread with butter, and maybe some delicious ice cream for dessert.

It's been a long week, I pulled an all-nighter for a homework assignment last night that has been extended twice and everyone in my class is still unable to complete the assignment.  Also, my boyfriend received his job offer and is quite ecstatic about his starting salary.  So we had dinner with our best friends at his favorite eatery (Buffalo Wild Wings), steak for dinner last night, and my pot roast for dinner this evening.  Hey... I like to eat :-D

  • 2lbs chuck roast
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 3 Tbl minced onion (I use dry minced, that would be 1 Tbl)
  • 3 Tbl carrot chopped very fine (equates to 3 or 4 baby carrots)
  • 1 1/2 C red wine (they recommend a Barolo, you can use a Syrah, Shiraz... I just use wines I really love and adore)
  • 1/2 C beef broth combined with 1/2 C water
  • 1 roma tomato
  • Pinch of Thyme
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt (for the meat)
  • Ground Pepper (from your pepper grinder, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh marjoram (1/8 tsp dried)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
    1. Preheat oven to 350
    2. Heavily salt and pepper your roast.  Because quite a lot of it comes off when the meat is seared, go ahead and put a decent amount.

    3. I usually get a very thick cut of chuck, and the sides of it are VERY difficult to make salt and pepper stick.  So instead of having flavorless pieces, my boyfriend came up with the idea to smash a beef bouillon cube, and use enough olive oil to turn it into a paste.  Whatever you don't use, keep to use later.

    4. Heating the pan... make sure your pan is EXTREMELY hot.  As soon as you put your chuck in, it will immediately cool the pan.  For this step we use olive oil, so when it starts to smoke, you know you're ready to put in your meat.
    5. Put your meat in the pan and brown it well all over

    NOTE: You will most likely need to hold the meat with the tongs to brown the sides (like so):

    6. Transfer your seared meat to a plate and set aside.  Put the skillet on a burner you're not using, we'll need the contents later.

    Doesn't it look pretty?
    7. Choose a pot with a tight-fitting lid, probably going to be the largest pot in your set.  I think most "large" pots with handles on the side (instead of the long extended handle) are about 8qt.  

    Put in 2 Tbs vegetable oil, butter, and onion, then turn on the heat to medium and cook the onion until it becomes a pale gold.  
    Note: if you're using dried onion, this is about a minute, you'll have to move quickly.  Add the carrot, stir thoroughly and coat well; cook for 4 minutes then put in the meat.

    8. Turn the heat to medium-low for the burner you placed your skillet on.  Add in the rest of the bouillon paste and enough olive oil to pick up most of the debris left in the pan from searing the roast.  Once the pan has started to warm up, pour the wine in and allow the wine to bubble briskly for about a minute, while scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen cooking residues stuck to the bottom and sides.  

    Add the contents of the skillet to the pot with the meat.

    9. Add the broth to the pot.  If it doesn't the liquid doesn't reach halfway to 2/3 up the side of the meat, evenly increment the broth until it does (meaning add equal amounts of broth and water).  

    Add the diced tomato, thyme, marjoram, salt, and several grindings of pepper.  Turn the heat on to high, bring the contents of the pot to a boil, then cover the pot and put it on the middle rack of the preheated oven.

    9. Cook for 3 hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes and basting it with the liquid in the pot.  
    30 minutes: pre turn (left), post turn (right)
    NOTE: The more liquid you use to baste, the less you will have when all is said and done with.  I use a pretty cool baster, and I fill it up about one and a half times each half hour.

    60 minutes: pre turn (left), post turn (right)

    90 minutes: pre turn (left), post turn (right)

    120 minutes: pre turn (left), post turn (right)

    150 minutes: pre turn (left), post turn (right)

    After 3 hours when it comes out of the oven!

    In case the liquid in the pot has evaporated or has been absorbed before the meat is done, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water.  Cook until the meat feels very tender when prodded with the fork.

    10. I'm never able to cut the meat up, usually it pulls apart like cotton candy with tongs in the pot before I have a chance to remove it.  Use a baster to juice the meat once you have it on a plate.  

    Drink with the rest of the wine you used :-) and ENJOY!!

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