Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pot roast!

Feeling largely uninspired to do anything creative in the kitchen, last week I picked up a comfort-food magazine to get me thinking. Doing so reminded me of many of the goodies I've yet to try my hand at, like homemade biscuits, a non-dairy "cream" of mushroom soup, and pot roast. Yes, pot roast. In all of the years of living on my own and cooking for myself, I had yet to make a simple pot roast — or any roast of a non-poultry nature, actually.

Stopping at Loblaws on my way home from work yesterday, I shopped for items to throw into a pot roast (all quantities approximate, 'cause I never make note of these things):

Two big thumbs up for the vegetable broth, by the way. I usually end up avoiding using beef stock because of the preservatives that always get used in those, and the vegetable stock added flavour without concerning me about the artificial junk I was putting into my body (aside from the pesticides and hormones in the food I picked up, any way). I see I also consumed way less sodium by going this route too.

When I got in, I started preheating the oven on the broil setting, got my large stock pot — about half-full — of water boiling and started heating my cast-iron skillet on low. After settling in a little and sorting out what needed to be done, I started pan-searing the beef. I set the peppers on a roasting rack and pan in the oven to start roasting those, and began blanching the tomatoes to peel them. Once they were done, I did the same with the onions. Meanwhile, I minced the garlic.

By the time the beef was seared on all sides and set aside, the garlic was ready to be tossed into the skillet with some of the vegetable stock. While that was reducing, I added peeled tomatoes and onions. I emptied the stock pot of all water, poured the rest of the broth into it and began heating that as well. When I was satisfied that I'd incorporated most of the beef caramelization into the stock mixture in the skillet, I added that to the stock pot. I then added the beef.

The peppers were done roasting by this time, but I hadn't set them out to cool and loosen their skins yet, so I had to wait another hour to add them. I let the whole mess roast for about two hours on low-heat.

It was pretty late by the time everything was done cooking last night, so I didn't end up trying any of it until today, when I found the roast itself fall-apart awesome, and the stock marvelously flavoured. I served it with brown basmati rice and it was accompanied with "buttered" carrots.



At Thu Feb 01, 10:59:00 pm GMT-5, Anonymous Kevin said...

Today I made Pillsbury cinnemon buns out of a cardboard roll.

I burnt the bottoms a bit, but they were still delicious.

I'm part chef.

At Thu Feb 01, 11:43:00 pm GMT-5, Blogger ghanima said...

Oh, Kev, you're such an ass! :P

At Fri Feb 02, 11:14:00 am GMT-5, Anonymous Austin said...

Your pot roast is a little different than mine, but I find they're a simple, yet delicious meal. Big dinner party? Try 20 lbs. of roast. So tender, they fall apart when you look at them. I've been thinking of doing a roast, but I got side-tracked by Irish stew.

At Fri Feb 02, 12:32:00 pm GMT-5, Blogger ghanima said...

Yeah, I usually find that if I have that much beef, I make a stew. What do you do for your pot roast?

At Fri Feb 02, 02:04:00 pm GMT-5, Anonymous Kevin said...

The questions is not what do you do for your pot roast but, rather, what does your pot roast do for you?

At Fri Feb 02, 07:23:00 pm GMT-5, Anonymous Austin said...

I usually put everything - roast, veggies, stock and spices - into one pan, and bake it forever. Veggies include potatoes, celery, carrots, mushrooms, whatever is lying around. I like to use apple juice and water, with a packet of powder gravy and french onion soup (plus other spices) instead of a plain stock. Red wine can be used instead. It's incredibly easy, it's all one step, basically. I haven't gotten around to experimenting with the basic recipe yet.

At Sat Feb 03, 10:44:00 pm GMT-5, Blogger Michelle Hopp said...

My roast usually involves tossing the following into a crockpot and heading out the door:

1 pkt french onion soup
2 cans coke [diet or regular]
Whatever veggies are in the fridge
1 roast [obviously]

Not the healthiest way to do it... but it definitely smells good coming back through that very door in the evening. ;)


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