Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fancy Pot Roast with Caramelized Shallots

Fancy Schmancy Pot Roast with Caramelized Shallots
I'm going to go right out here and say it... I hate the idea of a slow cooker and braising a tough piece of meat for hours upon hours for it to get tender and any notion of making meat into a "loaf". I know that's odd because I believe that most of these types of dishes are classic Americana cooking. Besides me, everyone I know loves Pot Roast, Meat Loaf, & Casseroles. In fact, my Mountain man would prefer these types of dishes over some of my favorite (and sometimes very complicated) recipes. That being said, I am really trying to make a conscious effort to make these dishes, but on my terms and high-end ingredients. First, you gotta find a big 'ole boneless chuck roast and heavily salt + pepper all sides of the meat. After seasoning it, I like to lightly coat the roast with some flour, which will aide in the browning process of the meat. So it looks like this...
perfectly browned chuck roast
Next, prep all your precious veggies... we like to use vidalia onions, peeled carrots, leeks, and celery. Sautee them in some butter + olive oil until they become softened, translucent, & caramelized. Pour in the red wine, beef stock, beef consomme, and 1 packet of onion soup mix. Whisk to combine the soup mix with variety of liquids. And like most food I eat + create, I always add a little bit of sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave because it balances so perfectly against the richness of the pot roast. My secret ingredient comes from a good family friend who claimed that putting some prepared horseradish took a simple pot roast over the top... AND BOY SHE WAS RIGHT. So instead of just spooning it on top of your plate, I decided to whisk it into the braising liquid and it enhanced the flavor instantly. I recommend that you go by your own taste preference. Another key component is the use of fresh herbs; we liked the combination of dried bay leaves, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and garnished the finished product with minced chives.
veggies + aromatic herbs
Finally, add in cloves of roasted garlic, mushrooms, baby new potatoes, & wedges of cabbage (core removed). Now that your pot roast is ready, place the large dutch oven on a large baking sheet pan, and put the top to cover the pot (this will help to keep your oven clean; no drippings down the sides). Pot Roast is all about braising and baking for long periods of time, so it is a great meal to start early afternoon and pull out of the oven by dinner time. While it's gettin' all tender n' such for 4 hours, it's time to make my favorite part of the "fancy pot roast", which are the sweet + sticky caramelized shallots. I swear I could eat the whole pan of these onions. They are that good. Once all of 'em are baked, they just melt in your mouth, so much so that it seems like they have this fatty texture from boston butt or a ribeye steak (without being gross, I promise). And although I may be biased because my obsession with shallots has no boundaries, you're going to have to take this advice on blind faith. They are the BEST caramelized onions I have ever had, and they are as easy as pie, too.
heavenly caramelized shallots.
nuggets of shallot candy, garnished with fresh herbs
Literally the most difficult part of this recipe is peeling the shallots so that they remain whole. But I've found a way around that by hittin' up a Whole Foods and buying 2 pounds of their peeled shallots (already in small containers, so you have to buy a few of them). The caramelization all happens because of creamy butter, sweet sugar, tangy red wine vinegar, hearty red wine, salt, pepper, and a garnish of fresh herbs. After all of it is said and done, these plain/raw shallots turn into shallot candy. Once you start poppin' them into your mouth, there isn't any way of stoppin'. However, you're going to have to resist the temptation because the shallot candy gets placed into the pot roast as a garnishing component (yes, I realize that they are the biggest garnish in the culinary world, but who cares when it's that delicious). Now like I said before, I used to hate Pot Roast, and I think it's because it was all to salty for me. And these shallot candy nuggets, well, they made me a true believer and an advocate for Pot Roast. In other words, you gotta make this pot roast with these caramelized shallots, and you'll never go back to your grandmother's basic pot roast recipe. Sorry granny, I still got mad respect for you though. So, here it is... the recipe for my Fancy Pot Roast with Caramelized Shallots. Oh and did I mention that we make it on a weekly basis now? Especially when Autumn has arrived and you need a hearty dish to keep you warm from the chilly weather outside (you'll be significantly stuffed after) !! ENJOY :)
see the shallot candy bulbs? yesssss. 
the anatomy of the perfect, fancy pot roast with caramelized shallots

For the Pot Roast:
5lbs Boneless Chuck Roast (sprinkled heavily with salt & pepper)
2T EVOO + 2T Unsalted Butter
2 Vidalia Onions, Peeled & Cut into Wedges
8 carrots, Peeled & Cut into Sticks
2 Leeks, Sliced & Sautéed
2 Stalks of Celery, Finely Chopped & Sautéed
1C red wine
2-3C beef stock
1 can of Beef Consommé 
1 Packet of Onion Soup Mix
1-2T Sugar (or to your desired sweetness, to balance out the flavors)
1-2T Prepared Horseradish
2 Dried Bay Leaves
3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
8 Cloves of Roasted Garlic
1 Package of Portabella Mushrooms
½lb Baby New Potatoes
1 Small Head of Cabbage, Core Removed + Cut into Wedges

For the Caramelized Shallots:
6T Unsalted Butter
2lb Shallots, Peeled & Left Whole
3T Sugar + 2T Red Wine Vinegar
Splash of Good Red Wine
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Minced Parsley or Chives, For Garnishing


1. Prepping the Meat: Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast. Lightly coat all sides of the meat with flour (this will help the meat brown better). 
2.Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add in the olive oil and butter.
3. Prepping the Veggies: Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices. When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the wedges onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate. Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. And then, you should sauté the celery and leeks until caramelized. Remove all of these sautéed veggies to the plate of carrots.
4. For the Pot Roast: Add a bit more olive oil & butter to the very Dutch oven pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate. With the burner still on high, use the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get the entire wonderful flavor up. Add in the beef stock, When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
5. Put the lid on, and then roast in a 300-degree oven for 4 hours.
6. For the Caramelized Shallots: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a 12-inch oven-safe sauté pan, add the shallots and sugar, and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the shallots start to brown. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well to coat. Place the sauté pan in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots, until they are tender. Season, to taste, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot. If your sauté pan is like mine and not oven-safe, it works to start this dish in your frying pan then scrape the shallots and sauce into a baking dish (sprayed with Pam) when it’s ready to go in the oven. Bake them in the preheated oven for 15-30 minutes (depending on the size of the shallots. They will become soft, tender, and golden-brown in color. Season to taste with salt & pepper to taste and sprinkle the top of fresh herbs.
7. Finishing the Pot Roast: Once the meat + veggies have been braised for 4 hours, remove the dish from the oven, let it slightly cool down, and then strategically place the shallot candy bulbs over the top of the pot roast (so you can get a shallot in each serving).
8. Serving the Pot Roast: Put either some cooked pasta or mashed potatoes into the bottom of your bowl and top it with a generous scoop of pot roast and caramelized shallots. Finally, drizzle some of the braising liquid (or sauce) over the meat + pasta/mashed potatoes and garnish with minced fresh herbs.
my big 'ole plate of pasta, fancy pot roast, + caramelized shallots

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life As Of Lately... The Wedding Day Edition

I have been the world's worst blogger. I accept it. 
But, I have literally put all my time + energy into planning our wedding...
It was this past Sunday, and it was FAB :)
Here are some pictures from the big day
AND tomorrow, y'all will get a brand spankin' new recipe
Thanks for continuing to follow Haute + Heirloom
I love you all so much. And I love my Mountain Man too :)

XOXO, Juliana