Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Pot Roast

While perusing the grocery store for meal ideas the other day, I happened to notice that top-round roasts were on sale. "Too bad it isn't the middle of winter," I thought. Truly, there is nothing better than a soupy, chock-full-of spuds, pot roast on a cold, dreary day. But... pot roast in the summer?

Well, despite being June, these days have certainly been dreary. With a Betty Crocker/Stepford Wives image in my head for an upcoming photo competition in Gender Roles, I thought I'd indulge my crummy weather instincts and go full steam ahead with the roast. My excuse? It's a prop!

After seeing some fresh herbs and great looking carrots, I had a great idea for a prettier, more warm-weather version of my favorite pot roast. Good for the picture, better for my belly.

Summer (Pot) Roast
1 Beef Roast
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Burgandy (or other heavy red wine)
Remember: Quality ingredients go a long way!
5 Medium Carrots, cut diagonally in half
5 Red Potatoes, diced in to 1.5" pieces
2 Medium Red Onions, Quartered
5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
3 tblsp Salt
2 tblsp Black Pepper
1 tblsp Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 275*f

1) In a dutch oven, heat olive oil and minced garlic over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle.

2) Generously season the beef with salt and pepper, add to the dutch oven and sear on all sides to seal in the juices and crisp the outside (if there is a side that has more fat on it, let it cook a little longer).

3) After all sides of the beef are browned, deglaze the pot with Burgandy. The wine will bubble up and then begin to reduce rather quickly. Add the thyme sprigs and let the wine cook down for a minute or two.

You can add the thyme sprigs whole because all of the leaves will fall off the stems as it cooks.

4) Make sure that the beef is not stuck to the pan, scrape up any bits with a wooden spoon. Add potatoes, carrots, and onion to the pot (in that order). Cover with lid and put the whole pot in to the oven. You want to add the potatoes first because they'll soak up some of those good juices as they cook.

5) Cook in the oven for 1 to 2 hours until roast is cooked to taste. This timing all depends on the cut of meat you are using. You can use a meat thermometer. I set my timer for 30 minute intervals. As soon as it is tender I take it out to prevent over-cooking and drying it out.

The great thing about this roast is that the juice from the meat, the wine, and any liquid that came out of the veggies is all contained in the dutch oven. The meat stays nicely seasoned on the outside, and is tender and moist. The vegetables are so flavorful, and the thyme is fresh tasting but warms you from the inside out. It's great for this "between-the-seasons" weather we've been having.

Regardless of the season, it's easy on the eyes and tastes even better!

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