March 11, 2011


This is not your everyday Pot Roast.   It is made with an amazing Sauce of Italian Wine and Spices blended with the mellow flavor of braised Garlic, Onions and Fennel.  This Pot Roast is a simple braise using a Beef Roast to build the rich flavors from the beginning that is then long roasted in the rich Sauce.   Serve this on a cold Sunday evening with crusty Italian Bread and a simple Green Salad with a sharp Vinegary Dressing to cut the richness of the Pot Roast for an amazing dinner and you will be Cooking The Amazing. 

Here is the recipe.

4 lb  Beef Roast (Butt or Chuck is best) 
2  Large Yellow Onions, chopped
2  Stalks Celery, diced
2  Medium Carrots, peeled and chopped
1  Fennel Bulb, chopped
6 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 T  Olive Oil
1 t  Sea Salt, fine grain
1 t  Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 T  Olive Oil
1 t  Sea Salt, fine grain
1 t  Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 T  Tomato Paste
1 T  Worcestershire Sauce
1 c  Italian Red Wine (like Chianti)
5 c  Tomato Sauce (good quality)
1 T  Red Wine Vinegar
2 T  Beef Base
2-3  Bay Leaves
1 1/2 t  Dried Thyme
2 t  Dried Oregano
1/4 t  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 T  Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped for garnish

1.  Prep all of your Vegetables by rough chopping them.  Peel the Carrots first before chopping.  Place the Onions, Celery, Carrots , Fennel and Garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Set the Veg aside.
TIP:  To prep the Fennel, cut the green parts off the top of Fennel and split the bulb in half, removing the hard core found in the bottom center.

2.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  This roasts for 2 1/2 hours total and rests for 15 minutes before serving. 

3.  Use paper towels to pat dry your Beef Roast.  Trim any excessive fat off but leave some fat for flavor.  Marbled fat Meat is good!  Pick a Roast with fat in it.  A lean Roast will be dry and not taste as good once cooked.  Add 2 T of Olive Oil to a large heavy pot or Dutch oven (like Le Creuset) over medium high heat.  Once hot, add the Beef Roast and sprinkle with 1 t Sea Salt and 1 t fresh ground Black Pepper after placing in the pot.  Brown well on all sides, about 2-3 mins per side.  You are not cooking the roast all the way through, but browning the outside giving it best flavor when it is done.  When all sides are browned, remove from the pot and set aside on a platter while you cook the Veg.

4.  Pour out any Olive Oil left in the pot, leaving any cooked on brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat down to medium and add 3 T of fresh Olive Oil.  Once hot, add all the processed Veg and 1 t Sea Salt and 1 t fresh ground Black Pepper, stir well and frequently, watching for burning.  Saute for 8-10 minutes until all the Veg are browned.  You want it to be very well cooked.  It will start out very orange then look a dull brownish color as it cooks.

5.  Once the Veg are cooked, add 3 T of Tomato Paste and stir in well and cook for 2 minutes.

6.  Next, add 1 T of Worcestershire Sauce, 1 c Red Wine, 5 cups of  good quality Tomato Sauce, 1 T Red Wine Vinegar and 2 T Beef Base and increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Stir constantly, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.  Allow to boil for 1 minute then add Bay Leaves, Thyme, Oregano and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.  Be careful, it will splatter!  Taste the Sauce and add Sea Salt or Black Pepper as needed.

TIP:  Beef Base is a paste that comes in a jar found near the Bouillon Cubes.  There are powdered Beef Bases and paste Beef Bases.  Never get the powdered.  Penzey's Spices has a great one or use Better Than Bouillon Organic Beef Base which is found at Whole Foods Market and most other markets.

7.  While the Sauce is still boiling add the Beef Roast back to the pot and any juices that collected while it rested from the platter.  Baste the Roast with the Sauce a covering it with the thick Sauce and place the lid on.  Place the pot on a cookie sheet and place in the center of your oven and roast for 1 hr 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

8.  After 1 1/2 hours in the oven, check the Sauce.  It should be liquidy and moist but reduced and thickened.   The top of the Beef Roast will look dryer than the surrounding Sauce.  Turn the Roast upside down and baste the top with the Sauce.  Put the lid back on and return to the oven to continue cooking 30 more minutes still at 325 degrees.

9.  After 2 hours of roasting remove the lid.   Taste the Sauce and add Sea Salt or Black Pepper as needed.  This time return to the oven (still at 325 degrees) without the lid and roast for the last 30 minutes so the Sauce can concentrate.

10.  After 2 1/2 hours remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pot for 15 minutes undisturbed with the lid off.  Remove the Bay Leaves so no one chokes on them.  Remove any fat that has settled to the top by spooning it off.   Serve by carving large pieces from the Roast placed on top of Cooked Pasta, Mashed Potatoes or Polenta with the Sauce spooned over.  Garnish with fresh chopped Italian Parsley.

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