Monday, February 1, 2010

Beef Braised in Red Wine with Truffle Oil

Okay, so it’s pot roast…but it’s really special pot roast with truffle oil and cocoa marinated overnight in red wine and brandy nestled between layers of chopped carrots, celery and onions and gently infused with thyme and garlic and bay and cooked all day. 

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But worth the effort, oh so worth the effort.  Falling apart tender, juicy and packed with flavor.  Redolent of home and hearth.  Smack your lips yummy.  My house smells like childhood and hugs and that special place where food is love.

It’s taken me two years and many attempts to get it right  but this is it…the worlds most perfect pot roast.

It all started with Julia…The main recipe comes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I’ve added a few bits like a teaspoon of cocoa, white truffle oil and some extra garlic.  I flame the broth to burn off the alcohol which can taste bitter and use a slow cooker for super tender meat. 

When it’s all done I reduce the broth and puree the vegetables then recombine the the two for a savory, intensely flavored gravy. 

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There is always leftover broth and I used it to flavor everything from Udon noodles to Beef Bourguignon to French onion soup.  The leftover vegetable puree gets frozen in cubes and added to anything that needs  a flavor boost or body.

Beef Braised in Red Wine

Adapted From: Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Start With:

3 pound pot roast

To Season the Meat:

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon white truffle oil (optional but so delicious)

For the Marinade:

1 cup each celery, onion and carrot, chopped.

2 halved cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

¼ cup minced parsley

¼ teaspoon dried cloves (Julia uses 2 whole cloves)

1 bottle red wine (Pinot Noir or Cabernet)

1/3 cup good brandy

¼ cup olive oil (Julia uses ½ cup)

Later:

1 teaspoon baking cocoa

Beef stock to cover

1 tablespoon butter; one tablespoon flour for beurre manie

Spread salt and pepper on roast then drizzle with truffle oil pressing the salt/pepper/oil mixture into the meat. Combine chopped veggies , thyme, bay leaf, ground cloves and garlic then place half this mixture in the bottom of a bowl, layer in the roast, cover with remaining veggies. Pour brandy, oil and wine to cover. Wrap and place in fridge overnight to marinate.

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Next day remove roast from marinade (save marinade) and place on wire rack to drain.  Pour two tablespoons olive oil or bacon grease in large pan (I use my Le Creuset), get it smoking hot then drop in the roast that you’ve patted dry with paper towel. Sear all six sides and remove. Drain veggies (save wine marinade) and place in hot pan. Add more oil if needed. Add three cloves chopped garlic. Sauté 3-4 minutes, or until tender.

Remove veggies from pan and pour in marinade. Bring to a boil and deglaze pan. Add cocoa. Burn off any remaining alcohol.

Place all in crock pot add beef stock to cover. Cook until tender when pierced with a fork (6 hour low setting on my crock pot).

Remove and cover with foil. Puree veggies and reduce marinade by half. Thicken with beurre manie (equal parts soft butter and flour combined) if needed. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Hi Carla. Nice recipe. I'll look forward to trying it. I'm the fellow you stood in line with for the Masterchef audition. I'd like to connect with you, but didn't find an e-mail address on your website. Mine is t.armitage@comcast.net. Drop me a line if you are so inclined.

Tom