Sunday, January 31, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Pot Roast and Pot Roast Bolognese

In an attempt to stay more on top of my blogging, I want to start a weekly post that will run every Sunday and feature my favorite recipes.

This first week, I am going to be a little crazy and post TWO! For those of you busy bees out there who don't have much time at night to cook, these are easy and feature one of my favorite kitchen fixtures, the crock pot. The beauty of crock pots/slow cookers is that they can make the simplest and cheapest ingredients taste succulent and expensive. Everyone has their own Pot Roast recipe, so this one is really no better or worse then your average pot roast; but Emeril Legasse's Pot Roast Bolognese is a must-try and a fabulous use of left overs.

One of the most expensive pot roasts I ever had was the one my mom made when I was in 8th grade. She was cooking pot roast for my dog who was 16 and unable to eat normal dog food as she was suffering from a growing tumor and old age. My mom cooked the pot roast on the stove (that is why I love slow cookers, they are practically fool proof!); she accidentally left the pot roast on the stove and came home to a smokey mess. The massive protein fire left our whole house with an absolutely terrible, nose hair curling, smell that permeated every surface of our house. Luckily, our home insurance covered the clean-up which included hand wiping down every surface, dry-cleaning all of our clothes, and replacing over $1000 worth of spices from my dad's well-stocked pantry. This is a total side story, but I thought it was pretty amusing. Moral is don't leave meat cooking unattended unless in a slow cooker!

Here are recipes. If you try them, let me know what you think!


1 (3 to 4-pound) boneless bottom round roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil and sear the roast on all sides. Add the onions, garlic and tomato paste and cook until slightly colored. Add the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven.
Roast for 1 1/2 hours and then add the carrots. Continue to cook for 1 more hour. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice and place on a serving platter. Skim the fat off the braising liquid and serve with the roast. Garnish with parsley.


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 sprig fresh thyme
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 pounds leftover cooked pot roast, shredded
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and their juices
1 cup leftover pot roast gravy or reduced beef stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fettuccine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, nutmeg and thyme, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, stir to deglaze the pan, and cook until the liquid is nearly all evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the shredded meat, tomatoes and gravy and simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium high heat until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and parsley, and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the pot with the sauce, tossing to coat the pasta. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to blend.
Divide among pasta bowls and serve with the remaining cheese passed tableside.

Happy Eating,


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