Sunday, June 8, 2008

Italian Pot Roast

***Pot roast is one of those comforting, yummy meals that you look forward to on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Growing up, my Mom always made a traditional pot roast. You know...roast, potatoes, carrots, onions...slowly cooked in a Crock Pot all afternoon long. So good! I've never even thought to cook a pot roast any other way until opening the recent "The Best of America's Test Kitchens - Best Recipes and Reviews 2008." There it was...Italian Pot Roast a.k.a. stracotto. I never would have thought to put this twist on a roast, but let me just tell was probably the best pot roast I've ever had. It's absolutely PACKED with flavor, and the meat is so tender that it just melts in your mouth. It was such a nice change from what I'm used to. Don't get me wrong, I still love our traditional roast, but this one has earned a spot on my favorites list. I will no doubt be making this recipe for years to come!***

Italian Pot Roast
Serves 4 to 6
1 boneless chuck-eye roast (3.5 - 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 pound cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5- ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup red wine
1 large garlic heat, outer papery skins removed, then halved
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and season with salt & pepper.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the roast on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the roast to a large plate. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions, celery, mushrooms, and tomato paste until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, water, 1/2 of the wine, garlic and thyme. Return the roast and the accumulated juices to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place a piece of foil over the pot, cover with the lid and transfer the pot to the oven.

Cook until the roast is just fork-tender, 2.5 to 3.5 hours, flipping the roast after 1 hour. Uncover the pot and let the roast rest in its juices for 30 minutes, skimming the surface fat after 20 minutes. Transfer the roast to a carving board and tent with foil. Remove and reserve the garlic head and skim the remaining fat from the pot. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine to the pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until the sauced begins to thicken, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, carefully squeeze the garlic from the halves and mash into a paste. Add the rosemary to the pot and simmer until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Remove the rosemary and thyme springs, stir in the mashed garlic, and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the meat against the grain into 1/2 inch thick slices, or pull it apart into large pieces.

Source: The Best of America's Test Kitchens - Best Recipes and Reviews 2008

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Mmmm, this looks delicious! I've been trying to figure out how to jazz up our pot roast for the summer. Thanks!