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Friday, December 10, 2004

Pot Roast

Long before I attempted the latkes from the late lamented Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, I was a fan of her way with pot roast. (sorry, no photo, spaced)

It's not like my mother made it, and probably not like the way yours made it unless she was Italian, but it is good. I have it a lot more that I was gifted with a 7 quart Le Crueset oval French oven a couple of years back, which makes the browning and baking a snap. Here goes, with my tweaks:

Laurie Colwin's Pot Roast

Heat your oven to 300 F. Get a chuck steak or other cut suitable for pot roasting, as big as you can find or will comfortably fit in your pot. Roll it on all sides in paprika. Colwin says to tie string around the middle.

Heat some olive oil in a skillet and sear the meat on both sides. Transfer the meat to the Dutch oven.

Cut three red bell peppers in strips and saute them in the skillet. Add them to the meat with 1-2 large yellow onions cut in quarters, 1-2 carrots cut in chunks, and garlic to taste. Hot pepper if you like.

Pour one glass red wine in the skillet, and add a small can tomato sauce, or whatever canned tomato product you have handy. I have used cans of crushed tomatoes (mmm, gravy) or pizza sauce to good effect. Cook to thicken a bit (stir up the bits from the bottom) and pour it over the meat.

Pepper the meat, cover the pot and stick in the oven for 3-5 hours, or till tender.

Please note: pot roast tastes better the next day, so I usually don't eat it the day I made it.

To make the gravy: Remove the meat and set asides. Either carefully pick the skins off the bell peppers (they should peel off) and use your stick blender, or put the whole thing through a food mill and back in the pot. Cook down until thickened.

While potato pancakes or mashed potatoes are traditional accompaniments in some circles, I tend to favor bow-tie or spiral pasta.

The gravy is excellent on Soybean Stuff mixed with pasta.

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