02 February 2012

Red Wine Pot Roast

As the bitter cold struck Florida earlier this January (I know, I know--bitter cold is a relative term here compared to more northern locales - but this is north Florida, not Miami), I began to crave warm comfort foods, so I decided to attempt my first-ever pot roast. I got the recipe from Bon Appetit, intrigued by the mention of red wine in the recipe's title. The only alteration I made was to add carrots. 

The pot roast tasted great, but there are a few adjustments I'll make next time I prepare it. First, I would cut back on the amount of tomatoes - the flavor became a bit overpowering. Second, I would add more of the other veggies (including mushrooms) closer to the end of the cooking process, for some added texture. The long cook-time of the pot roast rendered it tender and flavorful, but it also cooked the veggies down so much that they turned into an indistinguishable, albeit wonderfully flavorful, mush. Third, the instructions say to cut the roast into 1/2 inch slices. I found that the roast was so tender that it fell apart every time I attempted to cut it - not a bad problem to have, but be aware that you won't wind up with perfect slices. Finally, it never hurts to add a little bit extra red wine!

1 cup low sodium beef broth
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1. 4 lb. boneless beef roast, trimmed
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
3 celery stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram
28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 cup dry red wine

Preheat oven to 300°F. Bring broth to simmer in saucepan. Remove from heat; add mushrooms, cover, and let stand until soft, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to cutting board. Chop coarsely. Reserve mushrooms and broth separately.
Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer beef to large plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from pot. Place pot over medium heat.
Add onion and celery. - - Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, chopped marjoram, and reserved porcini mushrooms; sauté 1 minute. Using hands, crush tomatoes, 1 at a time, into pot. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Add wine; boil 5 minutes. Add reserved mushroom broth, leaving any sediment behind. Boil 5 minutes.
Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover; transfer to oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours. Turn beef and continue cooking until tender, about 1 1/2 hours longer.  

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cool. Cover and keep refrigerated.
Transfer beef to cutting board; tent with foil. Spoon fat from surface of juices in pot. Bring juices to boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 4 cups, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut beef into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer to platter. Spoon juices over, garnish with marjoram sprigs, and serve.

6 servings

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