Sunday, November 28, 2010

spiced pot roast and roasted root veggies





My husband had been lodging official complaints about the lack of meat in the last few meals, so I decided I'd make a nice Sunday roast for him.

I didn't really want to do the traditional "stick the meat in the crockpot and let it cook until it falls apart" thing with the roast. I started flipping through Epicurious recipes and ended up finding something called Boeuf à la Mode, which is apparently some old French-Canadian specialty. Anyway, it's braised beef and onions, but you use a mixture of salt, pepper and allspice for a rub on it. I didn't have any allspice, but I found several references that said I could substitute a mixture of equal parts ground cloves, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground black pepper. I did that, and I backed off on the salt by almost a tablespoon because I'm very salt-sensitive. I split the roast into two pieces so it would fit in the pan better, and rubbed the meat with the spice / salt / pepper mixture. I thinly sliced my last four onions (recipe called for 1 1/2 lbs of onions and I was probably somewhat short of that) and finely chopped 6 cloves of garlic. I spread half the onions and garlic in the bottom of the pan, laid the two pieces of meat on top of them, then covered the meat with the rest of the onion and garlic. I covered the pan tightly with foil and put it into a 400 degree oven. After an hour I pulled it out, opened the foil and flipped the meat, then re-covered it and put it back into the oven. It ended up cooking for just about 2 hours 15 minutes, total. The smell was amazing pretty early on, and 2 hours was kind of torturous...;)

The root veggies were Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic cloves, carrots and parsnips all chunked up and tossed with olive oil and thyme. I roasted them on a cookie sheet at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

The meat came out succulent. The onions cook down in the fat that renders from the roast, and they are absolutely divine. I could eat a huge plate just of those with some good bread! I was surprised that the combination of what I usually consider "sweet" spices melded so well with the beef, onions and garlic. I'll definitely make this again.