Saturday, March 10, 2007

Italian Pot Roast

Pot Roast is right near the top of the list when it comes to comfort food, and it is really pretty easy to make. Pot Roast is a braised beef dish. Pot Roast is typically made by browning a roast-sized piece of beef (taken from the tougher chuck cut) to induce a Maillard reaction, then slow-cooking in an acidulated liquid in a covered dish. What you get is a very succulent, and tender cut of meat.

I have found that Gallo Hearty Burgundy does a great job as a cooking wine in braising dishes requiring a full bodied red wine. You can use whatever you like, but at around 6 bucks a bottle you don't mind dumping it in a stew, or roast. I don't mind sipping it either while cooking. A little bit for the stew, and a little bit for me, a little bit for the stew.... .

Italian Pot Roast

4 pound Beef Chuck Roast
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 cup red wine
1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes,
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Italian Spice Blend
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large Dutch oven, with a lid, over medium-high heat. Season the meat generously with salt, pepper, Italian Spice and flour. Add the oil to the pot, lay the meat in the pan and sear on both sides until brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Pour off most of the fat but leave a little for the vegetables.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pan, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining flour, and with a wooden spoon scrape up any browned bits that cling to the bottom of the pot Add wine and tomatoes and cook until liquid has thickened, about 5 minutes more. Add broth, thyme, and bay leaves, bring to a boil. Return the roast to the pot, cover, place in the oven and cook about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the lid and continue to cook, uncovered until tender about 1 hour more. You can also add any vegetables you want to roast and serve with it at this time.

Low Carb Variation

Very simple, just leave out the flour, increase the seasoning while browning the meat so it crusts up well. Add ThickenThin not/Starch thickener which works like cornstarch instead of the flour before you put it in the oven. Roast up some squash, or cauliflower and avoid the starch.

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