Italian Pot Roast (Plus A Bonus Recipe!)

You know that show on Food Network called The Best Thing I Ever Made? Well, this is it for me, folks.

IPR

While this dish is in no way, shape, or form as photogenic as…oh, I don’t know…Brownie Bite Truffles (I could look at those little troublemakers all day long) it is just as delicious and soul-satisfying. I wish I could have you all over for dinner so you could see taste what I’m talking about. With the readership I have – the few, fabulous, but fiercely loyal – I could probably swing that, so let me know when you’re in the Boston area.

The first time I made this for Eric, he told me between audible “mmm’s” that it was just like the food he grew up on. There was no better compliment I could receive as the person responsible for making the majority of our meals for the rest of our lives. In case you’re wondering, Eric’s on dish duty. For life.

Beef

Up until now, you guys probably thought I don’t eat red meat. I realized when I went to write about this that I haven’t posted one recipe about beef since this blog’s been up. Truth is that I don’t eat a ton of it, but I do enjoy it every now and again.

Here we have a chuck roast – aim for one between 2-1/2 and 3 pounds – and throw it in a dutch oven. A good money saving tip on buying beef – besides the obvious of waiting until it goes on sale – is to pay attention to the cut. I always buy something that’s got bones still in it – it’s cheaper since it’s less work for the butcher.

Best part is the bones actually infuse more flavor! Added bone-us ;)

ArtichokeHeartsSundriedGarlicOnionsSay goodbye to that beef – we’re about to pile a boatload of delicious Italian-inspired veggies and herbs up on top! We’ve got two cans of artichoke hearts that have been drained, some sundried tomatoes, four of the biggest garlic cloves you’ve ever seen in your life (I swear my hands aren’t that little) and a couple onions that I quickly quartered.

BrothPeppersFireRoastedTomatoes

Then, in goes some red bell pepper slices, a little bit of beef broth and a can of fire roasted tomatoes.

Parsley

Last – but never least – you’re going to add some fresh chopped parsley. If you only have dried on hand, it’ll definitely do, but I just happened to hit it lucky that day.

Now that we’ve crammed in all this good stuff, we’ve got to put a lid on it and let the magic happen. It’s gonna smell so good in your house while this is cookin’, so be prepared for sensory overload…and unexpected visitors should nosy neighbors need to know what the heck that heavenly scent is.

After4

This pot roast requires a little planning. It’ll take four hours in the oven at 275 – it’s low and slow, but  oh-so-worth the wait. Speaking of which, we’ve got another wait ahead of us. Allow me to explain.
MeatVeggies

We’re going to have to let things cool a bit. Simply use a slotted spoon to scoop the veggies into one container and then put your meat in another, using a couple forks to chunk it up and remembering to discard any bones as you go. We’ll leave the juice right in the pan for now and put it – along with everything else – in the fridge. You can let everything chill for only a few hours or overnight – if you can summon the strength and patience. Then, you’ll see why we did what we did.

FatSkinnySee? There’s not a ton of fat, but there’s enough for us to skim off any excess. It does a body good.

Now that that’s taken care of, we can go ahead and warm everything up – it’s about time, huh!?

SlurryMashed2

In order to thicken the juice so we can get a good ‘n gooey gravy, create a slurry by stirring some flour into some of the cold cooking liquid. Then, as the broth and juices come up to a boil, whisk in some of your slurry – a little at a time – until you get your desired consistency. Then turn the heat down and add the beef so that the meat heats through. Meanwhile, zap your veggies in the microwave and make the ever important decision of what you’d like to serve this deliciousness over.

Pasta or mashed potatoes?

A moral dilemma for some, but an easy call for me. I could eat potatoes everyday and twice on Sundays. Those of you who are siding with me on this, make sure you check out my makeshift recipe below for Roasted Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes.

Italian Pot Roast

adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves: 6
Prep Time: 35 minutes, dived
Cook Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes, divided

Ingredients:
1 beef chuck roast (bone-in), 2-1/2 – 3 lbs.
2 jars artichoke hearts, drained
6 whole sundried tomatoes
2 vidalia Onions, peeled and quartered
1 red bell pepper, sliced
14.5 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
14 + 4 ounces, fluid beef stock or beef broth, divided
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 recipe Roasted Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes (see below) or cooked pasta
Fresh Parsley, Minced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Throw chuck roast into a large, heavy pot. Pour on the drained artichoke hearts, and the sun dried tomatoes. Add onions, peppers, fire roasted tomatoes, garlic cloves and beef broth, then place the lid on the pot and cook in the oven for four hours.

Remove the pot after four hours and use a fork to confirm that the meat is falling apart/fork tender. (If not, put back into the oven for 30 minute increments until totally tender.)

With a slotted spoon, remove the peppers, artichokes, onions, garlic, and tomatoes and place them in a container. Remove the meat and place it in another container. Cover the containers holding the veggies and meat and refrigerate them several hours or overnight. Place the lid on the pot containing the cooking liquid and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to serve the roast, remove the veggies from the fridge and nuke them just to heat them up. Set aside.

Cook pasta or potatoes – whatever you wish to serve your post roast over  – and set aside

Remove the pot from the fridge and carefully skim off the solidified fat from the top of the liquid. Discard the fat. Mix flour with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside.

Add extra 4 ounces of broth to the cooking liquid then bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil the liquid for several minutes, until it reduces by at least half. When bubbles appear all over the surface of the liquid, drizzle in a tablespoon or so of the flour paste. Check thickness: if it’s too liquidy, continue to boil for another minute or two. If it’s too thick, add some more broth or water. You want to wind up with a rich, thick liquid/gravy.

Arrange cooked noodles or plop your potatoes into a bowl and arrange chunks of the meat and the intact artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onions and peppers (and garlic cloves!) all around the meat. Spoon the thick gravy all over the top and sprinkle on minced fresh parsley.

Serve immediately! Very, very flavorful.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 35 minutes, dived
Cook Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes, divided

Ingredients:
6 small or 3 large red potatoes, cubed
1 bulb roasted garlic
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 – 1/3 cup 1% milk
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but firm. Drain and put back on burner, but turn heat off.

Place roasted garlic, milk, parmesan cheese, and butter into the pan with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Smash to desired consistency with a fork, a potato masher, or electric mixer.

Bowl1Bowl3

Use your pasta or potatoes to make yourself a bed within your bowl onto which you can lay your pot roast. Then, call it a day after you find your way to the bottom of this heap o’ heartiness :)

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2 thoughts on “Italian Pot Roast (Plus A Bonus Recipe!)

  1. Peggi August 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm Reply

    Oh my gosh that looks amazing! It’s still a lil’ too warm here in Central MA to think pot roast but when it does get a bit more chilly this is the first autumn meal I am going to make. And definitely going to be the smashed spuds since my veggie garden is overflowing with potato plants! I just found your blog & love your writing. Thanks for sharing, Peggi

    • Brie August 28, 2013 at 11:14 am Reply

      Thank you, Peggi – for the compliments and for stopping by the blog – happy to have ya!! We’re practically neighbors – I live in MA as well and while I’m enjoying the last bit of summer, I am definitely looking forward to some good fall cookin’. I’m jealous of your garden – that’s on next year’s to do list for me!

      I’ve been on a bit of ahem, a blogging hiatus…turns out buying a house and planning a wedding takes some time. We’re all moved in now and the wedding is this Saturday so I’m hoping to get back to writing very soon :)

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