Monday, February 11, 2008

Meat and Potatoes

These two recipes appeared in January in the Washington Post food section. This is not your mother's pot roast recipe, this one actually sounds really good. The recipe comes from the executive chef at the National Press Club.

Slow-Roasted Beef
For the meat
  • 4 to 6 -pound beef roast, such as a boneless shoulder roast, top round roast or eye of round roast
For the meat and sauce
  • Kosher salt or celery salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, top 1/2 inch trimmed off to expose the cloves
For the sauce
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup store-bought or homemade low-sodium beef broth
For the meat: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Have ready a large roasting pan and a skillet large enough to hold the roast.

Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high or high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste, then sear on all sides until well-browned.

Spread the peeled and cut vegetables in a single layer on the bottom of the roasting pan or on a flat rack inside the pan, then place the roast on top, fat side up. Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 170 degrees. Cook for 2 1/2 hours per pound (for medium-rare).

Transfer the roast to a platter or cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving. (At this point, the cooled roast can be covered and refrigerated to carve later.) When ready to carve, discard the fat layer and cut the meat against the grain into thin slices.

For the sauce: Discard the garlic's papery skin and peels; combine the carrots, celery, onion and garlic cloves to taste in the bowl of a food processor; pulse just until finely chopped. (This also can be done by hand.)

Combine the wine and broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just bubbling at the edges. Add the chopped vegetables and stir to mix well; let the mixture return to bubbling at the edges and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids; return the sauce to the saucepan. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; for a slightly richer flavor, cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve the sauce on the side with the warmed slices of roast beef.

And what good is roast beef without roasted potatoes? This recipe comes from the chef at Central Michel Richard.

Roasted Potatoes for Roast Beef
  • 2 pounds red or white new potatoes (about 25 to 30) about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, scrubbed and dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic or shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch chopped thyme leaves
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in a baking dish or ovenproof skillet that is just large enough to hold them. Sprinkle the potatoes with the kosher salt. Roast for 30 minutes; use a spatula to turn them or shake the pan every 10 minutes to promote even roasting.

Meanwhile, combine the butter or olive oil, garlic or shallots, pepper and thyme in a small bowl. After 30 minutes, brush the butter or oil on the potatoes, coating them evenly, and distribute the garlic or shallots over them. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the potatoes again about halfway through, until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Serve hot.

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