RECIPE #449, DAY #620
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Pot Roast with Green Sauce,” from Bert Greene’s (posthumous) Bert Greene’s Kitchen
TIMING: 2 ½-3 hours
DIFFICULTY: Not very hard, but a lot of time
TOOLS: Dutch oven, as well as every other pan in the kitchen
COOK TYPE: Stovetop and Oven
HEALTH: If you have not had a ton of red meat lately, this is a nice way to serve up some protein and vegetables with just a touch of lively, healthful sauce. Take more veggies than meat. That’s advice for life.
EXPERIENCE: I have never quite nailed down a great roast. Honest to goodness, when I was growing up, my mother never tired of throwing meat, onions, carrots, and potatoes in the oven and serving them up for dinner, hours later. I never tired of eating them, either. She didn’t fuss too much about it either. She would add some beef broth and maybe a packet of French onion soup or cream of mushroom soup with plenty of black pepper, and then use the juices to whip up a quick Wondra gravy.
And I just can’t get it perfect. (Although my meat tends to be tenderer than those childhood viands, the flavors always seem too foreign and complicated). After last week’s Russian Pot Boil, though, I was feeling like it might be time.
And I give this three stars for this reason: it’s not quite there. While pretty tender and the veggies are so tasty, it’s missing gravy (instead of this yummy but pretentious sauce) and also ease. Because while it produces a great roast, the process for this one is much more convoluted than my mother’s figuratively half-baked recipe. (I also always hold a grudge against roasts that don’t feature the onions.) And four pans!
Still, it is good. And anything’s better than a beef roast with tomatoes.
NOTES: This could be up to 4 pounds for the meat, but that would be a ridiculous amount compared to the veggies. Unless you plan to make it into sandwiches for the next several days, but it’s not really meant for that.
- Rub a 2 pound chuck roast with salt and then ½ tablespoons crushed black peppercorns. Set aside.
- In a heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and 2 minced shallots and cook until golden. Stir in 1 pressed clove garlic. Turn off the heat and set the meat on the onions. Set aside.
- In the used skillet over medium heat, add 1 cup beef broth, 1 spring thyme, and the zest of a lemon. Scrape up the bottom of the pan and pour the broth over the meat.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer lightly for 1 ½ hours.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add 2 pounds quartered, small yellow potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add 8 carrots cut into 1-inch chunks and boil for 5 minutes. Remove to the plate.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Remove heat from the Dutch oven and strain what’s left into a degreaser. Discard the onions and return just the broth to the Dutch oven with the meat. Cover and continue to cook for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, pour the reserved fat over the potatoes in a 9×12 inch baking dish. Turn to coat them, salt and pepper, and bake for 40 minutes. Add the carrots, toss again, and bake another 20 minutes.
- Remove the heat and allow to rest, tented with foil. In a small sauce pan, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 minced shallot and cook until softened. Add meat juice and 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish. Simmer until it thickens just a little.
- Stir ¾ cup minced parsley into the sauce and serve spooned over the meat, with the potatoes and carrots.
Serve with nothing else. A green salad is always a welcome prelude, but otherwise you are all covered.
LEFTOVER IDEAS: Use the meat for sandwiches, and use the veggies in a soup.
*Recipe changed from the original.