Sunday December 5, 2010
Cloudy and Drizzly
While checking out the inventory in my freezer, I found a 3lb chuck roast from Bristol Farms hidden way back in the freezer. Since it's been there for about 6 months, figure I better use it. So decided to make pot roast this weekend. And to try out my new gadget - a DouFeu.
When I was in Japan, I met some fascinating people and one of them is the CEO of Le Creuset Japan. She invited me to a private sale on Le Creuset items while in Tokyo and that is where I found the DouFeu. Basically, it's a dutch oven with a concave lid. Ice cubes are placed on the lid while braising. The idea is that a cool lid will condense the steam so the liquid drops back on the meat. So theoretically, you should get more tender meat. And since it's self basting, you just leave the meat alone to cook slowly.
My gorgeous DouFeu
The recipe I used was my own adaptation of the recipe in Julia Child's "Way to Cook" cookbook. I have to say it turned out fabulous! The meat was tender and the sauce was well seasoned. Now, did the DouFeu make a difference? I'm not sure. But it is a pain to keep on adding ice cubes to the lid. Will I do it again? Yes!
Here's the recipe. Pot roast is SO easy but takes a long time to make. My recipe requires 2 days! The key is the herb bouquet and wine which I got from Julia Child.
3-5 pound chunk of beef, olive oil, 2-3 cups cheap red wine, 1 cup each chopped onions, celery and carrots, 3-5 peeled and chopped parsnips (or potatoes), 1 or 2 beef bouillon cubes, 3-4 chopped tomatoes, Herb bouquet- parsley sprigs, thyme, 4 allspice berries, 3 cloves, 1-2 bayleaf and 2-3 smashed garlic wrapped in a cheese cloth, cornstarch for thickening the gravy, salt and pepper for taste.
How to Make:
In a Dutch oven or DouFeu, brown the beef on med-high heat on all sides. Take meat out and in same pot, brown the onions, celery and carrots. Remove pot from heat, put beef back into the pot, add enough wine so that it is 1/3 of the way up the meat. If not enough wine, you can add water or beef stock. Add tomatoes, bouillon cube and herb bouquet. Marinate overnite and turn meat occasionally.
Ready to go into the fridge and get marinated
Next day, bring meat and sauce to boil, lower heat to simmer, cover pot and if using doufeu, place ice cubes on lid. If using doufeu, leave meat alone but frequently add ice cubes to lid to keep the lid cool. Braise for 2-3 hours or until meat is tender that a fork can go through it easily. During the last 30 minutes or so, add the parsnips. When done, remove meat, discard herb bouquet, degrease the sauce saving the veggies. Then put sauce back in the pot, place on med-high heat and reduce, until you get 2-3 cups of sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pot from heat and thicken the sauce with 2T of cornstarch dissolved in water or wine. Put veggies and meat back in the pot, and warm the sauce and meat over med-low heat for about 10 minutes.
The roast is cooking
Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Yum!
Pot Roast made in a DouFeu