J - The Geriatric Gourmet

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J - The Geriatric Gourmet

Juan’s Pot Roast

The most polite way to begin is to introduce all the

participants to each other. The idea is to be able to

use a cheap cut of meat (tough) and make it good.

Then you have root Vegetables to go with it. Most

commonly they are Potatoes and Carrots but I like to

experiment.


Hello Parsnips, I would like you to meet Potatoes and

so on.

Ingredients:

1. A tough (or maybe not so tough) cut of Beef

Examples:

Bottom round

Brisket,

Chuck,

Eye of the Round

Round

Rump Roast

Flank

Shank


Skirt Steak

Mexican fajitas……..flank

Stew Meat

Top Round

2. Root Vegetables

Examples:

Beet

Burdock

Carrot

Celeriac

Daikon Radish

Galangal

Ginger

Ginseng

Gobo

Horseradish

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jicama

Kohlrabi

Lobok Radish

Lotus Root

Malanga

Naga-Imo

Parsley Root

Parsnip


Potatoes

Radish

Rutabaga

Salsify………... poor man’s oyster

Scorzonera

Taro

Turmeric

Turnip

Wasabi

Water Chestnut

Yam

Yucca

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Root_vegetabl

es

3. Olive Oil

4. Course Ground Black Pepper

5. Onions & or Garlic

6. Mushrooms (sliced)………a nice little pile of

your favorite………….Optional

7. Leeks………….Optional

8. Green Beans………Optional

9. Herbs

Examples:

Thyme

Oregano


Bay Leaf

Parsley

Or whatever kind you like

10. Beef Broth

11. Red Wine………….Optional

12. Tomatoes or a can thereof….Optional

Pot roast is most often made with Chuck but the idea

is to render tough (any) cuts tender. When I find a

good deal on a tough cut (even a piece of round steak


or some stew meat), I often make some kind of Pot

Roast with it.

Usually I smoke Brisket to make Texas Bar-B-Q but

that takes a long time so sometimes I make Pot Roast.


Sometimes I even use cuts that are not too tough and

just cook them less.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_roast_(beef)

The first thing is to brown the meat on all sides.


Dump some Olive Oil into a pot that’s big enough for

The meat………….Crock Pots are nice for this (but I

Don’t have one right now).

When I remember (sometimes I don’t even remember why I

came in the kitchen) I like to put lots of Black (course ground)

Pepper on the meat before browning. You can do it later.


Brown the meat on all sides and especially on the sides with fat.


Right along now you could go out to your garden, gather some

herbs and put them in the pot. I had some garlic already sautéed

(in Olive Oil) for something else I was doing so I just dumped

about half of it in but you don’t have to sauté it if you don’t want

to. If you do, don’t let it cook much past just barely brown (or it

will be bitter) and dump the nicely flavored Oil in too. If I use

Onions, I like to use the little ones and leave them whole.


Now add enough Beef (sometimes I use chicken or vegetable

depending on what I have in the pantry) Broth to cover the meat

by at least an inch above it. Now would be a good time to add a

little wine. If you use tomatoes, you coud dump them in now.

Sometimes I use Madera (not much….about half a wine glass);

sometimes just whatever red I happen to have already opened.

Sometimes I don’t use any

wine………………………………it’s up to you. If I’m standing

around talking with friends in the kitchen, I might dump in

whatever I’m drinking……….Beer, Cognac, whatever.


Put the fire on medium high and cook while you’re messing with

other stuff. Turn it down a little when starts boiling.


I like for things to look like what they are.


So I cut Carrots long ways.


An easy way to do potatoes is to cut them in half and then lay

the flat side down.


This keeps them from rolling around and trying to escape out the

back door while you cut them into big chunks.


Dump all the Roots (maybe also Rutabaga, Turnip, Salsify or

who knows what). You could also add Mushrooms or whatever

else you might like at this point.

But if you use Leeks don’t add them now or they will get too

mushy. Olives?


Add enough water (or more stock if you like) to cover all.


Cook all until its still firm but can be pierced with (but resist) a

fork. You are going to take them out of the pot and put them in a

roasting pan and you don’t want them to break up. I don’t have a

picture of it but the easiest way to move them is to take the meat

out with a big fork and set it aside temporarily. Then you can tilt

the pot and scoop out the Roots……..or use tongs. Put the meat

back in the pot after you move the roots and lower the heat to

medium. Depending on the cut, it could take from an hour and a

half to three or four hours to get tender……….you just half to

keep trying a little piece until you like it.


This is the part that I do differently from most folks who just

cook it all in the same pot…………………. and it’s very

important. You could actually have skipped the transfer and just

put the roots in the baking pan and added the broth later and I’ve

done it this way but I think there is a subtle difference in flavor

and texture if they cook with the meat first………….I don’t

know why.


Ladle or pour enough of the broth onto the Roots to cover them.


Put the Roots in the oven and turn the heat to °350.


Bake them for a while and peek in and fuss and putts

around about every 20 minuets or so.

The Roots soak up the broth and then they begin to

develop a firm outer “skin”. This way they are not


mushy and have a nice firm texture as well as the

Beef flavor. Take them out when they just start to

brown a little. If they cook too long they will get

rubbery………….poke them with a fork occasionally.

Serve the Pot Roast with some Green stuff of some

kind for nutritional balance.


The most important thing is to serve it with plenty

pills for all us decrepit Old Poots.


Here it’s served (not on the plate yet) with some

Caramelized Onions and Parsnips, White Asparagus

with Aioli……………. different recipes on this site.

I like to include some fruit in the desert for more

balance.

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