And here he is with his friends:
That's thyme, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper, canola oil, Ruby Port and Madeira wine. Most classy chefs use a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir.. but not me... I am different. I love the way beef and Ruby Port play together the Port adds a sweetness and a depth of flavor that enhances the beef's natural flavor. And just FYI the only reason the Madeira is there is because I didn't have a full cup of Port in the bottle and Madeira shares many of the characteristics of Ruby Port. Use whatcha got! That's my motto.
First thing to do is dry the beef with paper towels; let it come to room temperature. Then generously season both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. I use sea salt for this. In a heavy pan bring canola or other oil up to high heat. I use canola because of it's high smoke point and I LOVE/HATE my smoke detector... Love it as a silent sentinel. Hate it when it's a banshee screaming...YOU"RE BURNING SOMETHING which usually means I am searing meat. Sear each side for at least 5 minutes.. don't touch it! Let it go the entire 5 minutes on each side
When it is good and browned on both sides, take the meat out of the pan and pour off excess fat. Then pour in 1.5 c liquid (mine was port, madeira and some water) and deglaze the pan scraping up the brown bits on the bottom. Next add your aromatics. A couple of bay leaves, a couple of thyme sprigs, 2-3 cloves of garlic smushed and peeled and I also had some shallots on hand so I sliced them up as well.
When the wine has stopped sizzling throw in the seasonings and then lay the meat on top
I have often expressed how important it is to plan and have all ingredients ready...mise en place!! However, ahem, today I was not entirely organized. Because I had roasted a chicken at 450 degrees the other day, I needed to set my oven to the Clean cycle. When you want to prepare a pot roast you do not want to see this
Give them all a shower and in the case of the potatoes, a scrub, and chop them into pieces roughly equal in size so that they will cook at the same rate. I like to roast the veggies separately to keep their unique flavor. A little caramelization also brings out the sweetness in the carrots and onions. Feel free to use your favorite winter veggies... turnips, parsnips.. etc Once they are cut up, toss them in canola oil (high smoke point) and some sea salt or kosher salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Spread them out on a baking sheet.. don't OCD on the single layer, but spread them out.
It isn't a pretty picture, but it's a ton of flavor! Once that's all done, strain the liquid into a fat separator and pour it back into the pot (minus fat). Reduce the liquid to sauce consistency (coats the back of a spoon) .
Slice up your roast removing the fatty parts and slice against the grain. throw the slices into the sauce/gravy mixture and toss to coat. When the veggies are tender pull them out and serve it up!
I'm hitting the books looking for the next Keller dish.
See you soon.