Saturday, October 10, 2009

Daddy Jon's Pot Roast

For me, recipe's are more like suggestions than actual rules. I usually start with a recipe, often looking up several recipes - and then I concoct my own recipe using ideas inspired by those I looked up as well as my own.

This recipe is no exception. It started out as Momma Neely's Pot Roast, but I added enough of my own ideas to it that it is now my own recipe; so, I call it Daddy Jon's Pot Roast.

Daddy Jon's Pot Roast
  • 1 (3-4 pound) pot roast (I prefer bone-in as the bones lend flavor)
  • Vegetable oil (I used bacon grease leftover from my breakfast)
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed (don't be afraid to add even more garlic)
  • 1 cup red wine (see note below)
  • 2 cups stock (preferably beef, but whatever you happen to have on hand, I used chicken because that's what I happened to have left over from a previous dinner)
  • 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs (I suppose a teaspoon of dried would work)
  • a handful of raisins
  • 12 whole allspice berries
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 carrots peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces (1/2 inch if large in diameter)
  • 2 parnips peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces (1/2 inch if large in diameter)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil and sear the roast on all sides. Remove the roast and add the onions, garlic, and tomato paste; cook until slightly colored. Remove the Dutch oven from the burner, spread the onion mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan and lay the roast on top. Add the wine, stock, thyme, bay leaves, allspice, and peppercorns. Cover the Dutch oven and place in the oven.

Roast for about 1-1/2 hours and then add the carrots and parsnips, pressing down into the liquid. Continue to cook for another hour or so.

Remove the roast and vegetables from the dutch oven to a serving dish. Strain the leftover liquid in the dutch oven through a colendar and then return to the dutch oven. Over medium heat, gently boil the cooking liquid to reduce and thicken. Remove gravy to a bowl

Optional: You could also add potatoes along with the carrots and parnips. Although, I put a couple of baking potatoes in the oven at the same time I added the carrots and parsnips to the pot. I left the potatoes in the oven while I reduced the cooking liquid.

A note on the wine: Personally, although I am a Mormon and don't drink, I don't have a problem using a bit of wine in a recipe. Particularly one like this where it cooks for a long while as all alcohol will be long gone by the time it is consumed. I usually keep a bottle of cooking wine in the pantry; although, I've recently discovered that, if you watch sales, you can pick up a bottle of cheap wine for $3-$4 dollars, which is cheaper than cooking wine. To a wine connoisseur, I'm sure it probably tastes nasty; however, my personal opinion is that the typical substitutes (water, juice, stock, etc.) change the flavor profile and that even a cheap wine will produce a result closer to what the author of the recipe intended. However, if you have a problem using wine in a recipe then feel free to substitute.

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