Monday, November 7, 2011
Nov 3 More fast food from EnRoute outside of Kingston Ont
Nov 4 Joe Beef in Montreal
Nov 5 Traditional Quebec lumberjack feast at the Wong/Lam wedding
Nov 6 McDonald's on the highway outside of Cornwall - don't be so jealous
Nov 7 Espresso braised pot roast
So, this is not going to be my prettiest dish but not everything worth eating is going to be beautiful. We left Thursday for Montreal to celebrate the wedding of our friends, Ivy and Craig so I did not cook one thing at all from Friday until Monday. We certainly ate well but there was no cooking and that means no recipes to share which puts the pressure on my to make sure that I cook today, on Monday, even though I really wanted to just eat out one more day. I had to work today and so that meant that I had to throw something in the crockpot. I asked the boys what sort of meat they wanted and Shack wanted bolognese sauce. Since that isn't happening for two more months, he settled on stew or something else with beef. I was completely uninspired so I got out my "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two" book and opened it to the beef section and pretty much threw a dart at it and it landed on a Pot Roast with Espresso and Balsamic Vinegar recipe.
I made a couple of changes and added some potatoes halfway through and we ended up with a pretty tasty dinner. If I had been home to cook I would have made mashed potatoes instead of adding the potatoes but this way, even if I came home 5 minutes before it was time to eat, at least I knew there would be a starch and they were yummy all mashed up with the gravy. I will do something creative with the leftovers in the next day or two as well.
Espresso Braised Pot Roast with Balsamic Vinegar
Cooker: 3 quart
Cooking time: low for 8 or 9 hours
1.5 lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat and blotted dry
small drizzle of oil
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 tbls olive oil
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or expresso
1/4 beef or chicken stock (i always use chicken stock)
2 tbls balsamic vinegar
1 lb of halved baby potatoes
1.5 tbls cornstarch mixed with 1.5 tbls water.
Rub all sides of the roast with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan over med heat and coat the bottom thinly with oil.Brown all sides of the roast and set aside. Place the onion and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot and toss with the olive oil. Place the meat on top and add the coffee, stock and vinegar. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, until tender.
You can either throw in the potatoes from the start or wait and add them about halfway through. I was home so I could do that but if I were not going to be home I would have added them at the start.
Transfer the meat to a cutting board and tent with foil, letting it rest for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, skim the fat from the braising liquid in the crock pot. Tranfer that liquid to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, until sauce thickens slightly, about one minute. Carve the beef and serve with the gravy.