Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Best He's Ever Had: Pot Roast

You can't ask for a better compliment when friends come over for dinner. Not once, not twice but three times during the evening our friend, who was here with his lovely wife, said that my pot roast was the best he's ever had.

Now, you could say that he was just being polite. Or that we had plied them with enough of Dave's most excellent cocktails and some mighty fine wine (a '99 Mas de Chimeres from the Languedoc region of France) that it was the alcohol doing the talking. But, since he wasn't weaving around the room and his diction was (as usual) flawless, I chose to believe that his compliment was sincere and that his request for the recipe was genuine.

So, without further ado, except to note that the polenta made from Roy's Calais Flint corn grits was freaking awesome, here's the recipe:

GoodStuffNW Pot Roast Bourguignon

This is extremely easy to make, but you'll need to get it in the oven four hours before dinner or make it the day before. Cutting back on the time in the oven makes for a less than stellar texture. 'Nuff said.
4 slices bacon, cut in 1/4" pieces
1 3-5 lb. piece of fine-grain roast like sirloin tip or similar cut, not chuck
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
4 carrots, sliced in rounds
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 c. beef stock
2 c. red wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put bacon in a large braising pot that can go in the oven and fry till fat is rendered. Remove bacon, then add meat to pot and brown on all sides, sprinkling generously with salt and pepper. Remove to platter. Add onions and garlic and saute 2-3 min., then add carrots and celery and saute 2-3 min. Add sliced mushrooms and saute till soft. Stir in tomato paste and herbs, then add stock and wine. Bring to a boil, then take off heat and place meat and bacon in pot. Cover and place pot in oven, baking for 2 hrs. Remove meat from pot and slice in 1/4" slices, then return the sliced meat to the pot, covering with sauce and vegetables. Cover and bake for another 1 1/2 hrs.

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