Friday, December 31, 2010

A Roast in Every Pot

Tomorrow we're serving beef stew to about 20 of our friends. I chose beef stew for the menu for a reason; I had a couple of pot roasts in the freezer that I'm sacrificing for the cause. Sometimes when I make stew for just the two of us I start from scratch, but usually I use leftover pot roast. This time I used my regular pot roast recipe and chopped the meat into bite-sized pieces after it was cooked. Tomorrow I'll do the vegetables and put everything together for the stew.

Here's how I fix pot roast. The red wine tenderizes the meat, adds flavor, and cuts some of the grease.

Pot Roast with Red Wine and Mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds pot roast
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock or bouillon
1/2 pound chopped fresh mushrooms
3 crushed garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a stockpot until smoking. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the wine and simmer until it's reduced by half. Add the beef stock and cover the pot; simmer for an hour. Then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cover and simmer until the meat is very tender (this will usually take 30-60 minutes). Taste the stock after 15-20 minutes and add salt and pepper as desired.

Remove the pot roast and carve it. Either reduce the cooking liquid and serve on the side or use it as the base for gravy.

“Smell brings to mind... a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.” ~Diane Ackerman

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