A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.

This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Pot Roast and Roasted Vegetables

A Wicked Scoff is finally up and running again after a little hiatus. Sorry for break in the action, however is merely been a reflection of my lack of being online than not being in the kitchen. With that being said it is winter and it's my favorite time of year for being outside working up a good sweat and an even better appetite. While I have yet to get the cross country skies out this year there has been an ample amount of hiking, snowshoeing and a tonne of pond hockey. A few hours skating around the pond chasing pucks and I'm ready to wolf down the biggest kind of feed. Here is one of my favorites from my youth, which I have changed just a bit from the way my mother used to cook it for us. I think when I was a teenager playing hockey I was good for a whole roast myself. Some good boy!
While I am a fan of most kinds of roasted beef, my favorite cut is probably the cheapest....a chuck roast. While I also love the expensive prime rib (medium rare) and thinly sliced top round for sandwiches, I don't think you can beat the tenderness and flavor of a seared and slow roasted chuck roast. It literally melts in your mouth and it makes the best gravy. I'm sure it's so tasty because of all the fat, but it's worth it every now and then. I like to serve my roast with roasted potatoes and carrots and a side of something green. I also add chopped onions to the top of the roast so they get nice a caramelized and enrich the gravy. My mom always severed mashed potatoes and boiled carrots with this, which is also delicious.

Chuck Roast - a 4-5 lb boneless roast will serve 6 hearty appetites

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.
Heat 1-2 Tbsp of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat
Season each side of the roast liberally with Kosher salt a cracked black pepper
Sear each side of the roast for 3-4 minutes, until each side is nicely browned.
Carefully add a good splash of water, stock, red wine or beer to deglaze the pot, cover and place in the low oven and let the roast do it's thing, undisturbed for about an hour.
Add 1 medium onion (medium dice), and a little more stock if all the liquid is gone.
Return to the oven and continue to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour.

After you add the onions, it generally a good time to get your vegetables into the oven. I love the taste of roasted carrots and I can have potatoes with every meal. For this one I cut some new red potatoes into large chucks and cut the carrots into three pieces (halved, and then half the thick end again). Toss the spuds and carrots in 2 Tbsp of olive oil with salt and pepper (a whole garlic clove or two is also great tossed in here, as are some herbs such as thyme, rosemary or savory). Cook on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes, tossing after 25 minutes.

When the roast is done (falling apart fork tender), I remove it to a platter and keep it and the veggies warm in a low oven. The next step is to make some rich gravy. There should be a fair amount of fat in the bottom of the dutch oven. Place the dutch oven on a medium heat on the stove top and toss in 2 heaping tablespoons of flour. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the drippings and cook for a couple of minutes. Now add some stock, about 6 cups, or until you get the desired consistency. You can use water if you have none, or even oxo cubes, but I usually use 4 cups of beef stock and 2 cups of chicken stock. Use whatever you have on hand. Another splash of beer or wine wouldn't do any harm either. If you have them, add a few of the herbs you seasoned the veggies with.

Carve the roast and plate up this delicious, inexpensive satisfying meal.

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