In keeping with the tradition of Sunday dinners with our host students, the neighbors and I have enjoyed quite a few roasts together.
It can be challenging to cook family style dinners for 12-15 people, but roasts are the way to go. It helps as well that they’ve been on special for BOGO – a savings of between $15-$17. The standard roast with root vegetables is always great, but I needed to change it up a bit. I decided to make the roast similarly to how I braise larger cuts of lamb (shoulder) in a hearty red wine tomato based sauce with lots of garlic, some mushrooms, olives, and artichoke hearts. Because the root vegetables are such a naturally complimentary flavor to the braised roast, I used them in the braising process but “disguised” (my Brazilian exchange student won’t eat them) by pureeing them into the sauce in the end. Well, I am happy to report that the results were even better than expected. I served it with a creamy blue cheese polenta, but knowing that the kids would be suspect of that, I also made egg noodles. This is a great meal for a crowd, but you could use a small roast and make it for a group of 4-6. This recipe falls under the “easy, prep it and leave it” category.
- 1-2 “Pot Roasts” (English Roast, Chuck Roast, Round Roast, Rump Roast) – about 4-5 Lbs. each – cut into large serving size pieces (about 4-5 pieces for each roast)
- 1 Large Onion- thinly sliced
- 6 Cloves Garlic
- 3 Carrots- cut into 2″ pieces
- 2 Stalks of Celery- cut into 2″ pieces
- 1 28 Oz.Cans Crushed or Chopped Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Red Wine
- 32 Oz. Beef Broth
- 8 Oz. Mushrooms (White, Cremini, or Baby Bellas) – cut into large slices
- 1 Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts – drained
- 1 Cup Kalmata Olives – pitted
- 2 TBS. Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Approx. 1/4 Cup Flour
- Small bunch of Fresh Parsley
- 2 Bay leaves
- Corn Starch or Gravy Flour
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel; season beef generously with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Add olive oil to a large oven proof stock pot and heat over medium. Working in batches, add beef and brown on all sides (set browned beef aside on a plate). Add onion to pot (add more olive oil if necessary) and saute, scraping up browned bits from the pan as you brown the onions. Add red wine to the hot pot and use a spoon to scrape all bits from the pan; cook over medium until wine is reduced by about 1/2. In the meantime, place parsley,garlic cloves, carrots and celery on a piece of cheese cloth, form into a pouch and tie up. Add the beef broth, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, cheese cloth pouch and the browned meat to the stock pot. The liquid should cover the meat. Cover the pot with a lid and place the pot in the preheated oven. Cook for 2.5- 3 hours – until meat is tender. Remove pot from oven and remove the cheese cloth bag and set aside. Add mushrooms, olives and drained artichoke hearts. In the meantime, remove the carrots, celery and garlic cloves and a bit of the parsley from the cheese cloth pouch and add to a blender or food processor. Add about 1 Cup of the cooking liquid to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth and pureed. Add puree to pot and return to oven and cook for another 45 minutes- 1 hour until mushrooms are tender. Arrange meat and vegetables (olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts) on a serving platter or bowl. If desired, combine 3-5 TBS. of corn starch with water to make a slurry and add to the cooking liquid to thicken. Pour gravy/cooking liquid over meat, garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with mashed potatoes, polenta, or noodles.