The Hungry Chef – Pot-roast beef
My Recipe of the week is Pot-Roast Beef with rice, gravy, roasted pumpkin and cauliflower and cheese. I like this recipe purely for the fact that I love what is now classed as unusual cuts of meat, meats that are difficult to cook and are always so tough, to me that sounds like a really good challenge, so this is a perfect recipe for slow braising a piece of meat so that it is tender, juicy and more importantly tasty.
I am not going to go into extreme detail about the sides of this recipe because really that should be up to you what you want to serve with it.
2kg Whole Chuck Roast (it is best to use chuck as it is too tough to with stand normal oven roasting and it has enough fat to keep it “juicy”)
3 large onions chopped
4 carrots chopped
1 bunch of celery chopped
4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 star anise
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lts good quality beef stock
1 lt dry white wine (now I know the old myths of you should cook red meat with red wines, but that is old myths you can mix and match your meats and wines)
1 small turnip
2 cups flour
½ cup water
Another very important step to this recipe is that you brown the meat thoroughly, this creates a lot of flavour for the overall dish, so take a big pot and get it as hot as possible, because of the size of the joint of meat you will lose a lot of heat in the pot very quickly, rub the joint of meat with olive oil, then season it with salt and pepper and place it into the pot. You want to create a really nice dark brown colour all over the meat, then take the meat out of the pot and add in a little more oil and toss in the vegetables and brown them. Add in tomato paste, herbs, garlic and deglaze the pot with the white wine, add back the joint of meat and top it up with stock, you want the liquid in the pot to cover the joint of meat. Then make a “luting” paste by mixing about 2 cups of flour with ½ a cup of water, it must be a stiff dough, roll this out like a very long cigar and place it around the rim of the pot, then place the lid on the pot and pinch the paste closed around the lid, this will create a nice seal for when it is cooking, important to remember however is that you need to make a very small hole in the seal otherwise it will create to much pressure and blow the lid off.
Reduce the heat to a very low heat a let simmer for 4 hours, remove the lid and the luting paste and check that the meat is tender if it is not the replace the lid only and leave it to cook for another hour or so. Take the roast out of pot and and place on a cutting board and leave to rest for 10 minutes, this allows the juices to settle in the meat again.
Now fry the 100g flour in the 120g butter on a medium to high heat until the flour starts to turn light brown and smells like freshly baked cookies (we call this a brown roux) when it gets to this point remove it from the heat for about 5 minutes to cool slightly, then strain the left over juices from cooking the roast into the roux and return to the heat whilst stirring constantly until there are no lumps, add a good slug of port and let this simmer for 10 minutes, this is the perfect gravy, just check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
I served this with roasted pumpkin, rice and cauliflower and cheese the good old fashioned way.
Featured image: Chef Bradley’s personal cooking lessons for his daughters!