As some of you may have seen on my Instagram, fictionalkitchen, last week I pulled a Barefoot Contessa. Clearly, every person who is every stuck working late should be surprised with a delicious pot roast and garlic mashed potatoes. But I can’t make that happen. However, I was able to surprise two very nice people who were in need of some comfort food.
You can always trust Ina Garten to have the best, most decadent, delicious recipe possible and this seemed the perfect time excuse to try it out!
I would love to live in her world. I want a gang of cheery friends who are in need of a meal while producing a hit film. But this is as close as I think I will get.
I had purchased a nice chunk of chuck roast (say that three times fast!) earlier in the month. After a quick defrost, I was ready to go. I was surprised by how many of the ingredients I already had on hand. Yet another reason to keep your pantry well stocked!
As with any other braising, it is about cooking slow and low. It is even easier when the oven does all the work for you. In a little under 2 hours, my delicious meal was complete. Transporting it in a cast iron pot helped keep the food warm, even though I served it 20 minutes later. I was able to snag my Le Creuset beauties at Marshalls during the holiday season so keep your eyes open! I certainly think they are worth the investment.
It was really nice being able to surprise people with warm food. I tore the beef up with forks rather than slicing because I didn’t read Ina’s directions. I’m sure it would be even prettier sliced. Ladled over garlic mashed potatoes, it was a perfect winter meal. It is certainly beautiful enough for company. “How easy is that!”
Company Pot Roast
Adapted, barely, from the wonderful Barefoot Contessa
2 1/2 lb beef chuck roast
salt and pepper
4 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 c red wine
2 tbsp whiskey, Cognac, or brandy (optional)
28 oz whole tomatoes in puree
1/2 c beef broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1 branch fresh rosemary
Pat beef dry with a paper towel and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large Dutch oven, heat a swirl of olive oil. Sear beef approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Add carrots, onions, and garlic to Dutch oven. Saute until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add wine and whiskey, bringing to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and add beef back to pot.
Bring pot to a boil and cover. Place in oven for 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Check after 1 1/2 hrs. Lower heat after first hour to 250°F to reduce heat to a simmer.
Remove rosemary stem and skim fat. Either remove beef and slice or shred into chunks with forks. If you would like a thicker sauce, use a potato masher to smash some of the vegetables. Season to taste and serve. Goes very well with mashed potatoes, egg noodle pasta, or crusty bread.