We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I was in school, we called it Mystery Meat. It came out grey, dry, and tough. They served it with brown gravy. It was terrible. If done right, Pot Roast is fit for a king. Here's how I am making it this weekend:
A big hunk of beef 1 bottle of $15 cabernet Half a little can of tomato paste. Or some canned tomatoes. Whatever, but not so much that you make a tomatoey sauce: it's meant to be a wine sauce. Some lightly sauteed garlic A slice or two of lightly-cooked bacon, chopped 5 roughly chopped big onions A bag of roughly chopped carrots. I never bother peeling carrots for cooking but, if you have OCD, you can. A bunch of mushrooms, of any form. I always prefer porcinis, fresh or dried, in everything, but sauteed mushrooms, canned button mushrooms, etc are just fine. A couple of bay leaves A teaspoon or two of sugar is necessary for any sauce with tomato in it Salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper the beef, then brown in butter, then throw into a pot with the above ingredients. You can throw in some beef bouillon if you want, and a few good shots of hot sauce. Low simmer, covered, for 5-6 hours, or put in the oven, covered, at 350 for 5-6 hours. Crock pot probably works well too. Turn the meat when you remember. When almost done, throw in a couple of jars of button mushrooms, or lightly sauteed mushrooms of any variety, if you prefer. The beef, when sliced in 1/2" slices, should easily crumble with a fork - no knife needed.
Serve with mashed potatoes or wide noodles, and salad. The sauce from the pot, with the root vegetables, is the key. Once evenings begin to get warm, it will be too late to make this variety of rib-stickin', soul-satisfyin', sleep-inducin' Dad's home cookin'.
I make similar one except that I sear the beef in bacon fat not butter. A few whole peppercorns are a nice surprise for tholse like me who like heat. Sometimes dredge it in a little flour to thinken the gravy. But my family hate it so I never make it any more, alas! Portabellos are nice in it.
Where does the Cabernet go? I make it pretty much the same but I toss in a can of golden mushroom soup and some cornstarch and water to thicken. The bacon's a nice touch. I generally use a crock pot and it comes out fine.
Wine sauce is best. Of course. But if you don't have any, it's great made with homemade beef stock [oxtails or marrow bones roasted brown then simmered hours. If it is good enough to serve as consomme, it is good enough for your pot roast] and a couple TBS of good sherry. And some shallots
Lord Help Us! Northeasterners publishing "Recipes?"
Who'll it be next, the Brits?
First and most important rules since the invention of grunting over a campfire. Absolutely no communication device (not scrolls, not parchment, not books, magazines, radio, television; not even that lowest of all communication devices, the lowly Blog) will be given over to Yankees publishing Recipes.
Rufus, I had nice brown lab named Rufus once...anyway, I guess you won't be wanting my recipe for Yorkshire Pudding, then! Pity, as it is scrumptious. In our family, it was the first thing girls were taught to cook as, so the story went, no boy had ever been able to eat our Yorkshire pudding without proposing...
But I gather you don't want them to bring back pot roast! You have to have been raised by a frugal Yankee mom, I think, to appreciate pot roast. I associate Pot Roast actually with an enthusiastic Yankee grandmother, who was freely sampling the wine, sometimes having to open another bottle, and occasionally making it in the pressure cooker when she had told me too many anecdotes abour famous ancestors and she realized that dinnertime had gotten too close....Tho cooking it that way can be the devil to clean up as the flour and fat burn at the high temperature...that's what granddaughters are for, scrubbing the pan...
My family say the crockpot makes it the most like dog food (steams it). They are likeliest to eat it if I bake it about 2-3 hours in a Le Creuset cast iron enamelled pan in the regular oven, with enticing smells to make people hungry. But they still prefer steak or hamburger or stir fry or curry.
But what about dessert? Kid and I have just been planting all the plants we got this weekend (quick, quick, when these are in the ground, WE CAN GET MORE!) and all that dark brown dirt has made us think of BROWNIES.! Family is on a health kick and several days without sugar, butter or diet soda (they cancel each other out!) has everyone twitchy. Lost my best brownie recipe so told her to find the most decadent sounding recipe she could find online. Any good ones?
Today's handiwork: put in pots or in the ground, white WAVE petunias, yellow snapdragons, Lemon Zest Petunias, assorted New Guinea Impatiens, sweet potato vines (Oh, Mom, sweet potato plants are so passe!") dill, cilantro, basil, white ichiban eggplant, yellow pear, celebrity and early girl tomatoes, parsley, Martha Washington pink geraniums, pink million bells, bachelor's button, thyme, lavender, etc. Two weeks ago it was all the cabbage family ones.
Had to rescue the kitten today from a marauding tom cat twice her size who was attacking her (she is fixed, so it was just about territory). I used my mama grizzly bear roar to scare him off. The children now have supersoakers stashed at strategic spots around the yard to get the ginger tom if he ever dares return.
Few pleasures so great as sitting on the deck ("Yes, I am scanning the horizon for the Evil Tom Cat, kiddies!") surrounded by flowers and animals snuffling up to one, and NO BUGS YET!
Enjoy your pot roast. Simple supper for us: Mega Costco Sirloin Burgers on garlic Ciabatta with grilled peppers and onions and sugar snap peas...