"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pot Roast in Red Wine: aka Boeuf a la Mode #French Fridays with Dorie

Pot Roast in Red Wine: Boeuf a la Mode: Simple Living and Eating


"I never made a pot roast before in my life."

"Seriously?", said my guest.

"I've probably eaten pot roast a handful of times in my life."

"What kinda of American are you?" "You didn't have pot roast after church for Sunday dinner."

"No, I had lasagna."

"I forgot, you said before, Italian's don't do beef."

Here I was, thanks to Dorie, cooking what looked to me like a massive slab of meat. As I read the recipe my head began to spin. It was one of those complicated French recipes. Simplifications were in order. 

First off I have read enough Cook's Illustrated magazines to know that it is not necessary to marinade meat overnight. After the first few hours their is really no difference in flavor. 

Secondly, I don't do bouquet garni I chop up herbs, put them in the dish to stay, unless it is a smooth soup, I really don't see the point of making a bundle of herbs in cheese cloth and then throwing them away.

Thirdly, it didn't sound sanitary or really flavor enhancing to marinate the vegetables for the pot roast with the meat.

Lastly, I really didn't think you needed to use a skillet and a dutch oven.

What follows is my simpler and very tasty adaption, that was ready when we came home from apple picking with over very good friends from Brooklyn.

apple tree: Simple Living and Eating

girl in front apple picking sign: simple living and eating

people apple picking: simple living and eating

3 teenagers


Pot Roast in Red Wine: aka Boeuf a la Mode

adapted from Dorie Greenspan's  boeuf a la mode in Around My French Table

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com

Preparation: 20 minutes, Marinade: 3-4 hours, Cook time: 4 hours

Serves: 8 - 10

Ingredients:

1 chuck roast 5 1/2 to 6 pounds
2 large onions chopped
6 or more carrots (a bunch) chopped
3 celery stalks chopped

marinade:

1 teaspoon of dried Thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 bottle of red wine
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

For baking:

3 tablespoons of canola oil or other neutral oil.
4 tablespoons of Cognac or other brandy
5 tablespoons of anchovy paste
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons of corn starch


Directions:

1) Whisk thyme, parsley, rosemary, bay leaf, pinch salt and pepper with the olive oil and red wine. 

2) Rub all sides of the roast with salt and pepper. Put it into a large freezer bag or plastic container. Pour red wine mixture over it and let it marinade for 3 to 4 hours. You can leave it longer or overnight. Turn the roast in the liquid every few hours if you can.

3) At the end of your marinade time pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.

4) Pour the canola oil into your dutch oven and heat it on medium high heat.

5) Remove the roast from the bag and dry it with paper towels. Keep the marinade.

6) Sear the roast on all sides in the dutch oven. (about 3 to 4 minutes per side)

7) Remove roast from the dutch oven and pour in marinade. Bring it to a boil and whisk in cognac, anchovy paste and tomato paste. Let thicken a little about 2 minutes.

8) Add beef broth to marinade and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil remove it from the heat.

9) Put roast into the broth and arrange vegetables around the roast. Cook for about 4 hours or until roast meat easily comes off with a fork.

10) Remove roast from dutch oven and ladle vegetables around the roast.

11) Bring the broth to a boil and whisk in 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Lower heat to medium and whisk the sauce until it thickens. Serve this gravy along side the pot roast. It is great on mashed potatoes too. Lemony spinach or other dark greens goes well with this dish. 

You are invited to join my new linky party. Cook a recipe of your choice from the chosen country and explore the world with us.  Nov 5th we will be sharing dishes from Maylasia



Add your email to our list and I will remind you a week before the party and on the day of the party so you won't forget to link up.





Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


Click here to see how the other Dorista's did.





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32 comments:

  1. I love Pot Roast, but I didn't grow up eating it either! My parents are British, so I grew up eating the foods that they grew up eating. I will never understand the need for useless steps in cooking, so no bouquet garni for me either. ;) It looks fabulous!!

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    1. I thought Americans got their pot roast tradition from England? How funny maybe it is truly American. The French can make things complicated... especially for a home cook. It did turn out delicious.

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  2. Good go Diane it looks like a 17th century dinner fit for a King.Nice work love the low and slow cook method on this baby.Thank you for sharing.

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    1. It was quite a feast, but with 4 teenagers, 1 NYCityFire Man, and 3 other adults to feed. There really were not any leftovers.

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  3. My first pot roast too! But not my last. I will make some modifications next time - this recipe was a little fussy!

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    1. Fussy and pot roast just don't go together. It is suppose to be an easy meal for a crowd. I will definitely make it again when I am having company that we will be doing things during the day. Great to come home to.

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  4. You had me LOL with the conversation with your guest... Next time, I shall use a slow-cooker! or in a big pot slowly simmering away on the stove top!

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    1. Well, my guest is from the Midwest. I guess pot roast is the only acceptable Sunday meal. PS: I didn't make it in a slow cooker, I did use a Dutch Oven, but I think it would come out great in a slow cooker, especially if you didn't marinade it.

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  5. Funny post, Diane! I am not Italian…I’m Hungarian and Lebanese! My mother used to make Pot Roast for Sunday dinner all the time. This one was a bit fussy…but it did come out delicious! I didn’t marinate mine over night…I put it in the fridge in the morning and pulled it out about four or five hours later. And it must be a mediterranean thing…but I usually just chop the herbs or in the case of rosemary just take it out when I serve the dish! I have done bouquet garni many times, but I too, find it a waste of time. Don’t tell the other Doristas! It’s a French thing!

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    1. I knew it was Mediterranean. Yeah, Mediterraneans like simplicity in their cooking. Provencal cooking definitely simpler than other French cooking for sure.

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  6. Yes, this recipe definitely needed some simplification...but I did all the dang steps and it was delicious! Yours looks picture perfect, too :)

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    1. We would have to do a side by side comparison to determine if the fussiness really made a different. Come on over Liz lets do a cook off!

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  7. Look at all your veggies! Wonderful! Next time I'm doing it your way.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy and for a side I made 5 pounds of mashed potatoes. Really no leftovers on anything.

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    2. Five pounds of potatoes! Oh my, you are a trooper. I'm glad everyone enjoyed every little bit of your meal. And a big yes to skipping/consolidating steps on this one.

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    3. They could have eaten more potatoes. 4 teens, 1 Fireman, 3 other adults = lots of eating.

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  8. It's my first time cooking pot roast too, and I've only eaten it once before. I have to try it again, because mine was TOUGH. What are you making with your apples? I just picked 20 pounds last weekend, and am in need of inspiration. I'll bet you have some good ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More Marie Helene's Apple Cake, we made crisp, and definitely the Normandy Chicken. and these recipes:
      http://www.simplelivingeating.com/2013/10/slow-cooker-kielbasa-sauerkraut-apples.html
      http://www.simplelivingeating.com/2013/04/slow-cooker-pork-la-normande-foodie.html
      http://www.simplelivingeating.com/2012/11/foodie-friday-apple-sage-chicken.html

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  9. Your adaptation sounds good, and I know what you mean about the slab of meat.

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    1. The slow cooker is definitely a way to go with this... thought I did read that the dutch oven gives more even heat, but you have to be comfortable with leaving your stove on for hours.

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  10. Growing up, our pot roast was always done (overdone) in the crock pot, topped with canned cream of mushroom soup and dried onion soup mix. It was tasty and fall-apart tender, but way too salty. This recipe is a great improvement of an old favorite. I simplified the recipe a bit, too, although I stuck with the fresh herbs and marinating the vegetables.

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    1. Wow that sounds like a serious "classic American pot roast". Glad you liked this update. I still prefer lasagna.

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  11. Your pot roast looks absolutely amazing, what a delicious looking dinner! I can just smell it cooking away in the oven......... yum!!!

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    1. Thanks Maria, it did smell incredible cooking. A perfect end to a great day of apple picking with good friends.

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  12. I thought I was going to be the only one who did not recall making a pot roast but thankfully, we were not alone. I will say that yours is that same reason that I did not have Sunday pot roast, however- we had Sunday pasta. Oh my would I love one of those dinner tables right about now - with the sauce that cooked all day, the salad, the sausage and meatballs that had parmesan in them. Granted, the pot roast was pretty good too :)

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    1. Ah Tricia, I remember going by the sauce all day and tasting it with a piece of bread... yeah, I miss those Sunday dinners too.

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  13. Diane, I dont often actually wrap the boquet garni in the cheese cloth unless it is going to be too difficult to get the bits out, but I leave my herbs in whole and just pull out the stems at the end, which works great for me ... sometimes fussy is worth the depth of flavor... isn't marinating the veggies with the roast the night before in the fridge sanitary? the temperature keeps everything safe for eating, otherwise Dorie wouldn't ask you to do that... I have had plenty of recipes in the past that require marinating, often with meat... Indian recipes do that a lot with yogurt and meat, you might have to try it to see if there is more flavor or not. It certainly keeps the meat moist! :) Glad you liked it though with your modifications, pot roast is certainly a comfort food!

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    1. I still put in the herbs and I definitely get depth of flavor because I never take them out. Eating a lot of these herbs have real health benefits. I really don't see on a carrot or celery is really going to infuse the meat anymore being marinated over night. I really think people do a lot of these things because 'that is just how someone did it." If you ever get a chance to check out the magazine "Cook's Illustrated." or their TV show "American's Test Kitchen" they are kinda of the Mythbusters of cooking. They really tests ideas scientifically to determine if a technique really does alter taste or texture.

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  14. It's funny, I'm not sure I remember anything in particular for Sunday. I think we usually went out for lunch, and my mom didn't cook much. Lasagna is a perfect Sunday meal - it allows leftovers for Monday!

    Love your adaptations, I thought this was too fussy.

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    1. Hi Christy good to hear from you. Lucky you got to go out to lunch. I think any were open in Blue Law CT when I was little?

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  15. Awh, the flavor of the wine will make this roast very special, I can almost taste it. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome Miz Helen... it smelled amazing while it was cooking.

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