Let me begin with an apology for being MIA for nearly a month. My friends and followers know that I hosted a big Halloween party which was part of a contest for Sterling Vineyards for the “Ultimate Host”. I was one of four semi-finalists who was selected to compete in the final competition in New York. Unfortunately, I was not named as the winner, but it was a great learning experience and I met some great people. So, to drown my sorrows – I am going to focus on comfort foods. As a side-note, our winter break is in ten days and I’m looking forward to posting as much as possible.
I am new to the English roast, but I must say, I’m a fan. It’s a sturdy cut of chuck with a good balance of fat which makes it the perfect candidate for braising. It can be purchased with bones or boneless (often referred to as an English roll), but I always prefer to have a bone-in cut because I think the flavor is better. After the roast was braised, I skimmed the fat from the braising liquid, strained it and made a simple gravy. I served it with traditional pot roast root vegetables including carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. I also added mushrooms, simply because I love them and look for any excuse to add them to a dish, particularly when it involves red meat. You could certainly use many other vegetables including peas, sweet potatoes or squash, rhutabega, or turnip. I served this over mashed potatoes – because can you ever have too many potatoes? This would be great with wide egg noodles as well. Serves 6-8.
- 3-5 lb. English Roast (or other chuck pot roast cut)
- 1 Medium Sweet Onion – finely chopped
- 6 Carrots – 2 finely chopped, 4 reserved
- 3 Celery Stalks – finely chopped
- 7-10 Small Yukon Gold potatoes (could substitute small white or redskins, or fingerlings)
- 16 Oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms
- 3-5 Cloves Garlic – finely chopped
- 4-6 Cups Beef Broth
- 2 Cups Dry Red Wine
- 1 Bundle of Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley) 0r 1 tsp. each dried
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 2 TBS. Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
Remove roast from refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season roast generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy duty stock pot; add roast and sear until well browned on all sides. Remove meat from pot and add diced onion, garlic, chopped carrots and celery to the pot; saute until vegetables are tender. Add wine to pot and reduce by 50%. Return meat to pot, add beef broth and herbs. Cover stock pot and place in preheated oven. Cook for 2-3 hours (depending on size of roast) until meat is fork tender. Peel carrots and chop into desired sized pieces. Cut potatoes into desired size pieces if too large to serve whole. Clean mushrooms. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Strain the braising liquid and return strained liquid to pot. Return roast to the pot, add the remaining vegetables, and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter and cover to keep warm. Skim the fat from the braising liquid and reserve about 2 TBS. of fat, set aside 2-3 cups of the braising liquid. For the gravy: In a saucepan, combine 3-4 TBS. flour with the fat. Cook into a roux (flour should become golden brown). Add remaining braising liquid and whisk until well combined. Serve hot gravy alongside the roast and vegetables. Sometimes if I’m in a cheating mood, I will make my gravy by adding corn starch to water or milk and mixing it in to the braising liquid; however, I think the flavor is superior when made with a roux. Season gravy with salt and pepper.