Yeah! The Pot Roast turned out wonderful! I've never made a pot roast before (yes, I know...very pathetic...I have always been afraid it would turn out dry...that goes for a lot of red meat dishes because they usually intimidate me), so I was so grateful that it worked. I also left out a big ingredient that Chef Joy used last night, so I was nervous that it would effect the taste of the roast (BTW, it did not!) Another thing that made me a bit anxious was the fact that we invited over some friends to eat dinner with us, so that heightened my previous nervousness! Anyway, enough talk about my pathetic behavior, let's talk about dinner :)
Sous Chef: partly done alone, and partly assisted by my friend :)
Recipe: Yankee Pot Roast Revisited (by Chef Joy at Whole Foods)
1 Chuck Roast 3 to 4 pounds
2-3 T. olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 small can tomato paste
2-4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T. dried Thyme
4 cups Beef Broth (I used 1/2 canned beef broth, and 1/2 Better Than Bouillon, Vegetable Base) (However, the original recipe calls for 2 cups beef broth and 2 cups red wine...I don't drink or buy red wine, so I asked Chef Joy what she recommended for a substitution and she suggested a richer beef broth and perhaps a few mushrooms...I didn't add the mushrooms, but I did use a nice, rich beef broth...turned out great!)
2 T. potato starch or flour
salt & pepper
Saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add tomato paste and cook for a couple minutes more. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes more. (There is a slight preparation difference that I used because I don't have the Le Creuset pot that she used. Instead I sauted the onion tomato mixture in my saute pan then transferred it to my crock pot stoneware base that is very similar and continued as she did.)
Toss meat with flour/or potato starch and add to pot. Add broth, salt, pepper and thyme.
Cover tightly by placing a layer of parchment directly on top of the meat, so it is touching (this protects the food from the foil which could melt according to chef joy). Then add a layer of foil just as this picture shows to create a nice tight seal...
Braise in the 325 degree oven for 3 hours, until meat falls apart (I actually did 4 hours and I could have even added an extra hour...Chef Joy actually cooked hers for almost 5 hours, even though her recipe calls for 3 hours.) Or cook in a Crock Pot for 8 hours on low.
Note from Chef Joy: I used to brown meat before braising. I think it adds more color than taste. This recipe has strong flavors and rich color, I do not sear or brown the meat first.
Recipe: Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Vegetables (by Chef Joy)
Note: Chef Joy calls this dish Yankee Pot Roast Revisited because she doesn't cook the vegetables with the pot roast, she roasts them separately.
Rough chop carrots, parsnips and onions. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until brown and caramelized, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Cut Yukon Gold Potatoes into quarters...you do not half to peel these because the skin is so thin. Put into pot and cover with water. Add a good pinch of salt. Boil until potatoes are fork soft, about 30 minutes. Drain into colander quickly and put back into hot pot. Try to save a little of the potato water. Add butter, milk, salt and pepper. Smash.
Notes from Chef Joy: I've tried using buttermilk instead of milk, and it adds a nice tang. I've tried adding cream cheese too...it makes it rich and delicious. But I always come back to just milk and butter. I like that best.
Critiques: It seemed that everyone loved the pot roast and vegetables (and no one, including my family, had tried parsnips before, so that was a new adventure...we called them "white carrots", and the children seemed to be more interested in trying them ;)
** The cherry on top of the entire meal was the delicious, heavenly APPLE PIE that my friend brought over for dessert!!! I will have to try making it one of these days, and post it with her permission, of course! ;)