Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Italian Pot Roast

This is an easy pot roast to throw together, and it always comes out great. I've made this several times before, but now that it's so hot, I decided to do some of the prep steps outside on the Weber's side burner. That way, there's not smoke or odors left wafting through the house. Here's what I did.

I took a beautiful chuck roast (half price from Fresh & Easy!), seasoned it well with kosher salt and cracked pepper, a bit of granulated garlic; browned it
really well in a bit of olive oil. That goes into the crock. Not mentioned in the original recipe from Everyday Food is a quick deglazing and reduction using a dry red wine. I like to do this because it adds another layer of flavor to the sauce. Added to that is an onion, cut into eighth wedges; canned tomatoes and juice, baby potatoes, fresh rosemary from the garden and some halved garlic cloves. That's it. Eddie set up a table outside with a utility extension cord, and that's where it cooked, on HIGH setting, for six hours.

Ideally, in the past I've separated the meat and vegies from the sauce and then used a fat separator to remove the excess grease. Sauce, meat and veg can be stored separately in the fridge overnight. Then put it all back in the crock, heat it up in the oven on a low heat and it comes out meltingly tender and so savory. We may just have this tonight right away and hopefully there'll be leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Here's the recipe, with my as-made notes added.

Italian Pot Roast
Serves 8 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 6 hours 15 minute


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can whole tomatoes in purée (28 ounces)
1 ¼ pounds small white potatoes (scrubbed)
1 large onion (cut into 8 wedges)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled)
3 pounds beef chuck roast (trimmed and halved crosswise)
red wine
6 garlic cloves, halved
coarse salt, granulated garlic and ground pepper

1. With a sharp paring knife, cut 4 slits in beef roast; stuff slits with half the garlic.
(I used some granulated garlic with the salt and pepper and just threw the garlic on top and around the meat in the crock.) Generously season beef with 1 ½ teaspoons salt, some granulated garlic and 1 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat, swirling to coat bottom of pan. Cook beef until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. (This is where I deglazed with half a cup or so of red wine, scraped up the fond, and reduced it by 75% and then poured it over the meat.)

2. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine beef, onion, potatoes, tomatoes (with purée), rosemary, and remaining garlic. Cover; cook on
high setting until meat is fork-tender, about 6 houors (do not uncover while cooking).

3. Transfer meat to a cutting board; thinly slice, and discard any gristle. Skim fat from top of sauce. To serve, divide beef and vegetables among bowls; generously spoon sauce over.

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