PORK WITH PRUNES, OLIVES AND CAPERS

Time for comfort food. This is great on the day it is prepared, but even better a couple of days later, so it is one of those perfect dishes for entertaining. I went the extra mile and cut the pieces of meat myself, from a large bone-in pork shoulder. I suspect if you buy pork stew meat it will work nicely too, and save you quite a bit of work. Zen work, but… sometimes even that seems a bit much. There is a ton of flavor, so you don’t need to brown the meat, just marinate it overnight and it will be perfect.

PORK WITH PRUNES, OLIVES AND CAPERS
(adapted from Nigella Lawson)

1.5kg pork shoulder – diced into pieces
375 ml dry white wine
200g pitted prunes
75g pitted black olives
2 Tbsp capers
2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
2½ tsp sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
250ml water
lemon juice to taste
fresh parsley leaves to serve (optional)

In a large freezer bag add the diced pork, wine, prunes, olives, capers, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and marinade overnight in the fridge.

Before cooking it, take out of the fridge a couple of hours before it goes in the oven to bring it to room temperature.

Heat the oven to 300 F.

Put the marinated pork into a large casserole dish, then add water.  Stir together, put the lid on cook in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours. The pork will be soft and tender. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if so desired, and a nice squeeze of lemon juice.  

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Perfect meal to prepare during the weekend, although it could also be marinated early in the morning, stay full day in the fridge, and cook in the evening. Then it can go back to the fridge for a fantastic dinner next evening, absolutely effortless.  If you don’t care for capers or briny flavors, this might not be for you, it’s really the most prominent flavor. I happen to love it.

We enjoyed it with cauliflower puree, but obviously it would be a nice match for other side dishes, from mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even a hearty pasta too.

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SLOW-COOKER POT ROAST WITH POTATOES, CARROTS AND FENNEL

The Instant Pot is the most recent obsession of cooks everywhere. As a lover of all gadget things, I’ve been seriously tempted to get one, but decided against it. My rationale for swimming against this current is that a regular pressure cooker does the exact same job, with the advantage of heating up faster and achieving higher final pressure (at least my model does).  I always use a skillet if I need to brown meat before cooking under pressure, so the saute feature of the Instant Pot doesn’t appeal to me. Its surface is smaller, I much rather stick with my 12 inch skillet for that. Then there is the slow-cooking capability. From what I heard, it does not compare to a regular slow-cooker and more often than not your tried and true recipe for the trusty old crock pot needs to be tweaked. I also think the size and shape of the classic slow-cooker are more appropriate for the type of stuff I cook in it. Think large pieces of pork shoulder, baby back ribs, or several little pots of custard things for crème brûlée. The only feature of the instant pot that cannot quite be matched by other gadgets is the yogurt making. But, do I ever make yogurt at home? Not really. So there you have it, the Bewitching Kitchen will go on Instant Pot-less. And today I share with you a pot roast made in our crock pot, melt-in-your-mouth tender, with the delicious addition of fennel, that absolutely makes this dish. Don’t omit it. By all means, if you own the Instant Pot, put it to use. My feelings won’t be hurt…

SLOW-COOKER POT ROAST WITH POTATOES, CARROTS AND FENNEL
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by many sources)

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or oil of your choice)
1 bone-in chuck roast, 4 to 5 pounds
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 yellow potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), halved
2 fennel bulbs, cut in large pieces
6 carrots, peeled, and cut in large pieces
1 shallot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup water
fresh parsley, to serve (optional)

Mix the spices in a small bowl, crushing the fennel seeds lightly. Rub the dry rub all around the beef.  In a large skillet, heat the oil and brow the meat on all sides. As the meat browns, place the potatoes, carrots, fennel, shallots and celery inside your slow-cooker. Season them lightly with salt.

When the meat is golden brown, transfer it to the slow cooker, placing it on top of the veggies. Deglaze the skillet with a little water, and transfer the juices to the slow-cooker. Add the beef broth and water. Set it on low for 10 hours, you can also cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, but I really prefer the texture of the meat when cooked low and slow.

Shred or cut the beef in serving pieces, and enjoy with all the veggies. It is even better when prepared one day in advance.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

This was very good served over mashed cauliflower, my to-go veggie of choice for a low-carb side dish. I made the pot roast the day before our dinner, and re-warmed it gently on the stove top, adding fresh parsley right before indulging in it. The exact same recipe could be made in the pressure cooker, probably taking around 30 minutes in high pressure. Still, there’s something to be said about coming home to a house that smells like dinner is waiting for you with open arms. Even if you will place it in the fridge for a day…  Leftovers are as amazing as one would expect!

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MISSISSIPPI ROAST AND THE OPEN MIND

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a huge fan of FoodTV’s The Kitchen. The crowd brings a mixture of different types of talent and cooking styles, they are funny, witty, it’s a great way to spend an hour on Saturday mornings. Often they will have guests, but for the most part I don’t care that much for them. Usually they are hosts from other cooking shows in need to advertise their cookbook, some are so in love with themselves that they get me into that state of non-stop eye-roll.  A particular OMG-We-ARE-So-Cool American-Italian couple comes to mind. I had to fast-forward that one, I have my limits. A few months ago they featured Robin Chapman, a nice older woman to share her recipe for a slow-cooker concoction called Mississippi Roast. I know, roast in the slow-cooker seems like a contradiction in terms, but that’s how the recipe goes. Anyway, apparently Mississippi Roast got stellar reviews all over the internet, went fully viral on Pinterest, to the point of calling the attention of Sam Sifton from The New York Times. He went searching for the original author. And that’s how she ended up at FoodTV. As I watched her preparing it, my shock and horror kept growing. I could not picture myself making it for us. A real dump and forget approach to the slow-cooker, involving a bag of powdered ranch dressing to make things more “interesting.”  The fun part was watching Geoffrey Zakarian trying to keep his cool. I would love to know his real thoughts as the cooking went on. Of course, I promptly removed the recipe from my mind. Then, one day I got notification of a new post by Mike, the blogger behind The Iron You. My chin dropped. He made it. He raved about it. He tweaked it with a few modifications (taking it on the same path Sam Sifton suggested), which definitely improved the recipe. No more powdered ranch (wink, wink). I caved. I made it. I absolutely loved it. Have already made it three more times. If you are a meat lover, grab your slow-cooker, and try this one.

MISSISSIPPI ROAST
(slightly modified from The Iron You)

3 lbs boneless chuck roast or top or bottom round roast
2 teaspoons fine grain salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons butter
8 pepperoncini peppers (I used jarred)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika

Rub salt and pepper all over the roast.

Heat oil in a large pan over high heat until it is shimmering and almost starts smoking. Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, to create a crust. Remove roast from the pan and place it in the insert of the crock pot.

Make the ranch dressing by mixing mayonnaise, vinegar, dill and paprika. Whisk well to emulsify.  To the meat in the crock pot add butter, pepperoncini, and the ranch dressing. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Using two forks, shred the meat and mix it with the gravy surrounding it.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: This was scrumptious. As usual, brown food is pure ordeal to get a nice picture, so you better trust my words. I had never tried pepperoncini and was not sure what kind of flavor they would contribute. It is a very nice pepper, mild, almost lemony. One of the changes I made from Mike’s version was to omit the cornstarch coating of the meat. My sauce turned out a bit thin, but we don’t mind that. I served this “roast” with mashed cauliflower (shown in the picture). with spaghetti squash the second time around, and with rice and beans on the third. Leftovers were always consumed with corn tortillas for a Tex-Mex version. Some Cotija cheese crumbled on top, a little guacamole and we were all set. The original version from Robin Chapman uses a full stick of butter on top of the meat. To me, that is overkill, but if you’d like to try it as initially conceived, jump to the FoodTV link and check it out.

I am very fond of any type of meat that you can shred with a fork, to me it says comfort food right away, and holds the promise of many tasty meals ahead.

So there you have it. I learned a lesson with this one. Don’t twist your nose at something just because it’s not exactly your style of cooking. A few tweaks here and there, and you might end up with a recipe that will win a spot in your regular rotation.  Of course, now I’m wondering if there’s really anything to be said for ham braised in Coca-Cola. Hey, I’m not making that up. It is a real thing!

😉

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SLOW COOKER PORK RAGU WITH FENNEL

Another one for the OMG files. My vegetarian friends will have to avert their eyes, because this one is the omnivore’s dream come true. Pork shoulder, another example of a cut of meat that performs very well when prepared in the slow cooker, without any compromise in texture. Fennel is the magical ingredient that takes the dish from simple to spectacular. The recipe comes from Serious Eats, a site that never disappointed me. Kenji’s recipes are trustworthy by default.

pork-shoulder-fennel
SLOW COOKER PORK RAGÚ WITH FENNEL
(slightly modified from Serious Eats)

1 (6-pound) bone-in pork shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut on the bias
2 large shallots, sliced
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 Parmesan rind

Season pork all over with salt and pepper and place in the bowl of a large slow cooker. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add fennel and carrot and cook, stirring often, until vegetables start to brown, 6 to 10 minutes. Add shallots and continue cooking until softened, about 4 minutes longer.  Add wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano, rosemary, sage, and Parmesan rind. Stir to combine and transfer to the slow cooker, pouring tomato mixture on top of the pork shoulder.

Cover and cook on low setting for 10 to 12 hours, basting with tomato sauce occasionally. When pork is fall-apart tender, transfer meat to a bowl and discard thyme, bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Skim fat from the top of the sauce and adjust seasonings, if needed.   When meat is cool enough to handle, shred using two forks, and discard the bone and any undesirable fat. Mound meat on top of your favorite side dish, spoon sauce on top and garnish with shredded Parmigiano.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

compositepoekragu
If we have to say goodbye to summer, let’s at least indulge into a bit of comfort food, shall we? Pork shoulder has that melt in your mouth quality that makes it perfect to create a ragú such as this one. Plus, using the slow cooker makes life so easy, you arrive home to the delicious smell of a dinner basically ready and waiting. If you don’t have a crock pot, use your regular oven low and slow or a pressure cooker fast and furious. How about that for flexibility?

oskypork

The classic side dish for this ragú would be pappardelle, but for the sake of our waistline I normally opt for a root veggie pure, in this case a cauliflower and  rutabaga mix. A bit of Parmigiano shaved on top just for good measure. Leftovers get better and better, and if you don’t mind stretching the boundaries of fusion cuisine, they work surprisingly well as a filling for tacos. Remember… flexibility rules, at least in the Bewitching Kitchen it does!

slow-cooker-pork-ragu-with-fennel-from-bewitching-kitchen

 

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TORTA DE LIQUIDIFICADOR

Come again? 

🙂


The best translation for this Brazilian recipe would be “Blender Pie.” First, let’s learn how to say it like a native. Repeat after me, three times:
.

Easy, right? I knew you could do it.

baked2
I have a sister in Brazil who is 16 years older than me. By the time I got into my teens she was already married, throwing parties, and pretty involved into cooking. One of the things she used to make was this blender pie, but her favorite filling was tuna with green peas, black olives and tomatoes. Being the mega picky girl I was, I never touched that kind, preferring instead more friendly (and austere) versions with ham and cheese, at most a touch of oregano. The basic process is always the same, a thick batter is made in the blender, half of it gets poured into a baking dish, the filling of choice scattered on top, and the rest of the batter spread all over. It is comfort food by default, or as we say in Portuguese, por definição. I won’t sugar coat the pill, it is a bit heavy. Accept it and move on. As an appetizer a couple of small squares will be enough for each guest. If you’d like to serve it as dinner with a salad on the side this full recipe feeds six hungry people.

Blender Pie

TORTA DE LIQUIDIFICADOR
(BLENDER PIE)
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the “dough”
1 cup oil (I used canola)
2 cups milk (full-fat)
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the filling
caramelized onions
sautéed mushrooms
shredded mozzarella cheese
diced tomatoes
(or any other filling you like to use)

Heat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease or spray with oil a baking dish (9 x 13 or slightly smaller is fine).

Make the dough: add to a powerful blender all the ingredients, and blend for 5 minutes until completely smooth. Stop the blender and clean its sides a couple of times during the process.

Pour half of the batter in the prepared dish, add all ingredients for the filling on top, pour the rest of the batter, spreading gently with an offset spatula to enclose all the filling.

Bake for 45 minutes or until all puffed up and golden on top. Let it cool until just warm before cutting in slices. It can be prepared a couple of days in advance, to re-heat use a low oven, microwave is not recommended.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

compositeblender

The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. You can pretty much use any filling you imagine: shredded barbecued chicken, ground beef with taco seasonings, roasted veggies, maybe some grilled shrimp, all doable. One popular version in Brazil uses corn and peas, green and yellow like the colors of the country. I do think cheese is pretty much mandatory in any kind of blender pie. If using shrimp or roasted veggies I suppose a bit of crumbled feta would be a nice option. No need to measure anything, just cover the extension of the baking dish with a hearty amount of filling.

I made this particular version for a reception we hosted. Keep in mind that in the span of two weeks we hosted three receptions for faculty and one pizza-party for our whole lab. After the pizza party we had some toppings leftover, so this Brazilian concoction of my past was a perfect choice to use it all up. But to make it more special, I prepared a batch of  caramelized onions, following this recipe from my friend Elaine. She used a clever method that allows caramelization to be an almost hands-free process, by making them in a low oven. I added a smidgen of balsamic vinegar to the onions, together with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Here they are, in a before and after shot…
caramelizedonions1caramelizedonions
I intended to add black olives to the filling too, but found the bowl with pitted Kalamata staring at me right after shutting down the oven door. Not the first time I pull this type of trick on myself, I believe it won’t be the last. Black olives would have been wonderful… (sigh)

The little pie squares are irresistibly gooey due to all the cheese…

closeup1

So there you have it, a Brazilian concoction from my teenage years finally featured in the Bewitching Kitchen. I hope I made my sister proud!  

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ASIAN STYLE SHORT RIBS

Vegetarians & vegans, avert your eyes!

This is a post for those who appreciate indulging in beef in all its glory, and we are part of this team. We need to have our beef-fix at least once a week, and do so with gusto… I was a bit surprised when I realized that this recipe from Fine Cooking was not in the blog, because I’ve been making it for years, ever since it was published in the magazine back in 2003.  It is so simple to make, the only work involved is browning the ribs, but once you are done with that, it is cake. Actually it is braise. Three hours of the oven working for you, as the house smells better and better.  Star anise is probably the only ingredient you might not have in your pantry.  However, you should really get it because it turns this dish (and many others) into a complete winner. We enjoyed it on Valentine’s Day, which this year fell conveniently on a Sunday. Perfect day for this kind of cooking. I got started early in the morning, put the pan in the fridge so that the fat congealed to the surface, and skimmed most of it off before serving.  Comfort food by definition. If you are a beef lover, you must make this before winter is over (and typing these words made me get up and do a happy dance).

Asian Style Short Ribs2Steaming beauty…

ASIAN STYLE SHORT RIBS
(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine)

1 + 1/3 cups drained canned whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup dry vermouth
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 whole star anise
6 to 6-1/2 pounds beef short ribs on the bone
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil; more as needed
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 8 slices
6 large scallions (white and green parts), cut into 2-inch lengths

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Put the tomatoes, 2/3 cup water, the soy sauce, vermouth, and brown sugar in a bowl and stir. Add the star anise.

Pat the short ribs dry with paper towels and season them with pepper. In a pot that’s large enough to hold all the ribs in no more than two layers, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Put as many ribs in the pot as will fit without crowding and brown them on all sides. Transfer to a platter. Brown the rest of the ribs, adding more oil if needed, and transfer to the platter.

Pour off the fat from the pan, reduce the heat to low, and add the ginger and scallions, stirring and pressing them against the pot, for 1 to 2 minutes to bring out their flavor. Return the ribs to the pot and pour the tomato and soy sauce mixture over them. Bring to a simmer and cover. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise the ribs, lifting and turning them about every half hour, until the meat is very tender and starts to fall off the bone when pulled with a fork, about 3 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a serving platter (or if you’re working ahead, transfer them to a baking dish; refrigerate, covered, when cool). Pick out and discard the ginger and star anise from the pot and pour the remaining sauce into a large, clear measuring cup. When the fat rises to the surface, after about 5 minutes, spoon it off and discard. If you’re working ahead, cool the sauce in the pot, refrigerate it, and skim the solid fat off the top. When it’s time to reheat the ribs, return them to the pot and heat gently in the oven.

Adjust seasoning, and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Asian Style Short Ribs

Comments: The picture above shows you what to look for at the end of braising. Bones almost completely exposed, and the meat begging to be pulled off, literally melting away from it. Fine Cooking says from 2.5 to 3 hours, I went for 3 full hours, then turned off the oven and left the pot inside for a little while, maybe 15 minutes more.  I did have to add a bit more water 2 hours into the braise, make sure you pay attention to that.

served2

The star anise gives this sauce a very unique and wonderful flavor. We thought this dish would feel comfy in a restaurant run by Thomas Keller. It was that great! Meat super tender, luscious sauce, perfect match for mashed potatoes (or any other root veggie puree). Of course, cauliflower mash or polenta would be amazing too.  A great option for entertaining, as you can make the whole thing a couple of days in advance, it will only get better as it sits in the fridge.  A rustic loaf of bread to soak up the fantastic sauce is recommended.

tenderHappiness on a fork!


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ALL-AMERICAN POT ROAST FROM THE FOOD LAB

If you like a scientific approach to cooking, this new cookbook is a must-have:  The Food Lab, by J. Kenji López-Alt. I am quite fond of his blog Serious Eats, so of course I had the book pre-ordered and was anxiously waiting for its electronic delivery. Since I have no space in any bookshelf at home to store cookbooks, Kindle became my helpful friend.  The book is delightful to read, as the amount of “dry” information associated with perfecting a recipe is well-balanced by jokes and short stories.  In one of my favorite chapters (Soups, Stews and the Science of Stock) he shares a great recipe for Creamy Mushroom Soup.  In that recipe, Kenji tackles the persistent WRONG statement that they should not be washed under running water because “mushrooms are like sponges.”  I swear, every time I hear a reputable chef spitting this non-sense I scream at the screen. Who on Earth came up with that idea, and why, oh why it gets repeated over and over?  Kenji patiently goes over his experiments washing mushrooms and weighing them. Actually, you can soak them and after draining they will retain between 1 and 2% water, all on the surface. If you are paranoid about watering down your mushroom saute (keep in mind you don’t water down anything with 2% water), dry them slightly with a paper towel, or cook them 10 seconds longer…. Wash your mushrooms, folks! Toss that silly mushroom brush, it’s one big gadget scam. Ok, I feel better now.  So  much better that I will step off my soap box and share with you a great recipe for All-American Pot Roast, perfected in The Food Lab.

All American Pot Roast

ALL-AMERICAN POT ROAST WITH GRAVY
(from The Food Lab, published with permission from J. Kenji López-Alt)

1 boneless chuck roast (about 5 pounds), pulled apart at the seam into 2 large chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 anchovy fillets
2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a Microplane (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon Marmite
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large onions, finely sliced (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 bottle (750-ml) dry red wine
4 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
¼-ounce (1 packet) unflavored gelatin
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pound russet baking potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 275 ° F. Pat the chuck roast dry and season it with salt and pepper. Tie kitchen twine tightly around each piece at 1-inch intervals to help it retain its shape. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until lightly smoking. Add the chuck and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the anchovy fillets, garlic, Marmite, soy sauce, and tomato paste in a small bowl and mash with the back of a fork until a smooth, homogeneous paste is formed. Return the pot to medium-high heat, add the carrots and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the anchovy mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to high and, whisking constantly, slowly add the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 15 minutes.

Pour the chicken stock into a large liquid measuring cup or a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow it to hydrate for 10 minutes. Add the gelatin and chicken stock, bay leaves, and thyme to the Dutch oven, return the beef to the pot, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover, place in the oven, and cook until the beef is completely tender (it should offer little to no resistance when you poke it with a cake tester or thin knife), about 3 hours; add the potatoes to the pot about 45 minutes before the beef is done. Remove the pot from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour.

Transfer the whole pot to the refrigerator and let rest at least overnight, or up to 5 nights. When ready to serve, carefully remove the hardened layer of fat from the top of the cooking liquid and discard. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat and reduce it until coats the back of a spoon but doesn’t taste heavy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, remove the twine from the beef and slice it against the grain into ½-inch-thick pieces. Place the pieces in overlapping layers in a 12-inch skillet and add a few ladles of sauce to moisten them. Cover the skillet and set over medium-low heat, shaking occasionally, until the meat is heated through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to warmed serving plates or a large platter and top with the cooked vegetables and more sauce. Serve immediately.

ENJOY!

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Comments: The whole idea behind this recipe is to boost the amount of glutamates, creating what he calls a ‘umami flavor bomb.”  Kenji noticed that components that bring umami to a dish act in fact synergistically, so by adding several of them to the dish, you’ll get a real boost in flavor.  In this version, two very unexpected items are included: anchovies and Marmite, the “love it or hate it” ingredient more commonly found in light smears over buttered toast.

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I confess to modifying his basic recipe a little. For starters, I added a lot more carrots because we adore them in our pot roasts. And I used only half a bottle of wine and half the amount of chicken stock/gelatin.  It covered the meat from the beginning and seemed perfect in the reduction stage of the sauce.  I also cooked the roast longer, for a total of 4 hours. By that time the meat was really tender the way we like it. My only other modification was to finish the dish with fresh parsley added right before serving.  It was absolutely wonderful. comfort food at its very very best!

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Dinner is served!  Pot Roast with Golden Cauliflower Puree….

 Kenji, thank you so much for giving me permission to blog on this luscious pot roast… I have way too many things I’d like to make from your book, like the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. They are calling my name super loud! Of course, I will have to follow your instructions to make my own ricotta, which is a project I’ve been flirting with for a long time.

If you want to order the book or read more about it, click here.

ONE YEAR AGO: Chicken Marsala Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce

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SIX YEARS AGO: Pane Siciliano