Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cabernet Beef Pot Roast, Candied Carrots

As it turns out I seem to ALWAYS have a roast in my freezer in case we decide to have company last minute. I usually stop by Trader Joe's every few weeks, they have the best Cabernet Beef Pot Roast, already marinated. When I gave myself the challenge on Thursday I had no idea I was going to have my parents for dinner Saturday night, why not cook the roast. One of the very nice things about a roast is you can cook it in your crock pot.

The crock pot leads me to my next topic, 110 volts versus 220 volts. Other than the numbers in themselves tell you it is better to use 110 than 220 when you can for cooking. The toaster over, the counter top convection oven, the electric tea kettle, the microwave, and the crock pot (there may be more but I cannot remember right now) all use less power than you electric range when cooking. This as a result lowers your carbon foot print and this makes us feel good about our meal we are cooking too.

So out came the crock pot ... the next decision is what am I going to make for side dishes ...

Let's start with the roast ...

Cabernet Beef Pot Roast

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Brown the roast on all four sides in a skillet with the olive oil.
Put the roast in the crock pot. cook on high for 4 hours/low 8 hours.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the wine and the stock. Bring to a boil and all the while scrape the bottom of the pan, to get all the yummy goodness left behind from the browning roast. Pour that mix over the roast in the crock pot and cover.

When the roast is done put on a dish to rest. While to roast is resting remove the "juice" from the crock pot and put in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and whisk till butter is melted.
Slice roast and serve, ladle gravy over meat.
As you can see we decided on mashed potatoes and candied carrots. The only thing I am going to say about mashed potatoes is use Yukon golds only. Tyler Florence said "they are the Cadillac of potatoes" but they have so much flavor and stay together ... I will not use any other potato ever again.
The carrots are another story. I have been on a quest to find a recipe for good candied carrots. Carrots are already a sweet vegetable to begin with, it is only fitting that I try to candy them.
Candied Carrots
1 lb carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Place carrots in a pot of salted water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. (do not cook carrots to a mushy stage)
Drain carrots, reduce heat to lowest setting, stir in butter, sugar, and seasoning. Cook 3 minutes till thick and bubbly.

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