My mother says I have been overtaken by a “cooking frenzy.” This is, in large measure, true. I have not had a lot to photograph lately and cooking, for me anyway, is very therapeutic. So, even though I spent some time at work, answered lots of emails, sent several query letters about jobs and did other bits of this and that, I have still tried to fill me late afternoons with cooking.
There is something of a slump in the bar business and the photography business this time of year. Being idle makes me a little stir crazy and as I presently have nothing else to really devote my attention to once the day’s work is done, I have been in my kitchen.
What you will find below is a sort of Beef Bourguignon or Beef Burgundy recipe. It owes a lot to the basic pot roast concept and relies heavily on hearty winter vegetables. You might want to read the recipe all the way through before trying it yourself as there are a few options of how to follow through with the process. The grilling, for instance, adds a little smokiness to the dish but is not necessary if you don’t feel like firing up your grill. I can also see this dish being very successful with a reduction in some of the root vegetable and the addition of other winter staples like parsnips, whole garlic cloves or fennel bulbs. Anyway, have fun with it. These sorts of cuts of meat are very forgiving provided you give them long enough to break down a little over low heat and a long cooking time. If you try to rush it, you will end up with a tough roast, and no one appreciates that on a plate. Without further ado:
1 Beef Roast, about 2lbs (preferable Chuck or Round)
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Bunch of Carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
4 Medium Turnips, peeled, ½ inch chop
5 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled, ½ inch chop
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 tbsp Your favorite Dry Rub (you can mix up a batch of mine, recipe can be found here)
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Dried Thyme
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
2 tbsp Canola Oil
1 tsp Smoked, Sweet Paprika
1 tbsp Paprika
1 Bay Leaf
1 Can of Lager Style Beer
1 Bottle Red Wine, just whatever you have around. It doesn’t have to be a Burgundy
3c Vegetable Broth
There are two ways to do this. One really just adds an aesthetic flourish but both
accomplish the same in, which is to brown the Roast. First heat your grill to its maximum heat (about 500F). Clean the grill well and oil the grate with the Canola Oil using an oil soaked paper towel held with tongs. Cover the Roast with the Dry Rub and allow to the meat to stand for a while so that it approaches room temperature. Sear the two largest sides of the Roast for about 16 minutes total, turning 90° at 4-minute intervals to achieve nice grill marks and flip it half way through the grilling.
Add the Olive Oil to a large, heavy bottomed, pot and heat it over medium heat. Take your seared Roast (or raw and if you are skipping the grilling part) and sear each side that didn’t get grilled (or the whole thing), one side at a time or until a nice fond has developed on the bottom of the pot and there is a notable browning of the meat. Remove the Roast and set aside. Add the Onions to the pot and stir. Then add in the Beer and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze ( get up all the tasty bits). Add the Garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, still over medium heat. Add about 1 cup of the red wine and allow the mixture to reduce until most of the liquid is gone. Add your herbs and spices— Dry Mustard, Salt, Pepper, Thyme, Oregano, Smoked Paprika and regular Paprika. Stir the whole concoction together then place the Roast in the middle of this flavorful and fine smelling mixture.
Surround the roast with the chopped Potatoes, Turnips and Carrots. Then add the remaining Red Wine and the Vegetable Stock. Stir enough to bring some of the Onion and spice mixture up from the bottom. Slip the Bay Leaf into the pot and allow the liquid to come back to a boil (about 5 minutes). Then reduce the heat and cook, securely covered and on low, for about 3 and 1/2 hours or until the Roast is fork tender. Flip the roast from time to time to ensure even cooking. Once the roast is falling apart, pull it apart a bit and allow to cook a while longer so that the liquids can permeate the interior of the Roast.
If you prefer your vegetables to hold a bit more of their shape then wait to add the Potatoes, Turnips and Carrots until the Roast and liquid combination has cooked for about an hour.