When it’s time to cocoon; it’s time to make pot roast

When my Caroline is not feeling well, she and I cocoon. We have been nested in our little house for a few days. It’s been a while since she has succumbed to my constant attention and I admit I am truly relishing every little moment. Right now we are tucked away in my bed watching TV and she is eating a bowl of ice cream. It’s also at times like this that the urge to have something warm and stew like hits me. I love stews. It reminds me of cozy Sunday nights growing up. My mom made a fantastic beef stew and she made a great Chicken and Dumplings. And with the weather so grey and chilly, who doesn’t want something warming? It’s almost as good as a heart warming hug.

Yesterday I made a quick trip down the street to our little grocery store, Pans. It looks like something out of the 1950s. I adore it. Summer Sunday afternoons means listening to the Cubs game while pushing my cart up and down the aisles. As I was strolling by the meat counter, a pot roast called my name. I turned around, gave it the once over and the next thing, I plopped it on the counter and handed over my credit card.

I looked over a couple of recipes and then decided to take bits and pieces of them along with some of my own ideas and cook the pot roast. Here goes:

Cook away a gray day or illness pot roast

2.5 lb pot roast — really any rough and tumble cut of beef.

1 tbl vegetable oil

1/2 cup flour

2 tsp Herb de provence

1 cup beef broth

3 long peels of orange rind

1 cup dry red wine

2 bay leaves

2 large peeled and chopped parsnips

1 large peeled and chopped onion

7 peeled and chopped carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, salt, pepper and herb de provence in a large bowl and then bath the meat in it. Shake off excess flour. In a dutch oven, heat the oil on the stovetop. Place meat in pan and brown each side. Once brown, add wine, broth, bay leaves and orange rind. Place in oven and let cook for two hours. Remove pot roast from the oven and add vegetable. Return to oven and cook for another 45 minutes.

You can serve this with mashed potatoes, noodles, rice and even polenta. I would drink the rest of the cotes du rhones with dinner.


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