Not Your Ordinary Pot Roast, Low & Slow Cooking by Robyn Almodovar, photography by Jennifer Blume.
Savour the experience of preparing a well-marinated, slow-simmered roast with Chef Robyn Almodovar, winner of both Chopped and CutthroatKitchen. The techniques she’s perfected help you master the art of slow cooking to build depth of flavour in every bold, satisfying dish. Her innovative recipes reimagine tried-and-true classics as new, stunning meals including: Not Your Ordinary Pot Roast; Nothing Baby about These Ribs; Pork Belly This; Beefed Up Bourguignon; Steppin’ Spare Ribs; Dutch Oven Bread, and Cassoulet, My Way.
Robyn has found a way to transform cooking from a chore into a joy with showstopping dishes that only call for simple preparation and hands-off cooking so that every roast, shank and chop turns out mouthwateringly tender. Each dish in this book develops a symphony of flavours sure to satisfy any palate.
I’ve come to realize that many of us have been bequeathed a cherished family recipe. Be it simple or elaborate to prepare, it’s a dish so fiendishly delicious that it is the unmistakable star of the family meal, whether celebrating triumphs, comforting woes, or keeping family traditions alive. Withholding such heirloom recipes from the world seems almost cruel. Hence, I am championing the family recipe. I will entice the people in my universe to share favourite, nostalgia-infused family recipes, and I will give one of them centre stage in this very space on a monthly basis. In the end, we are all family, and these recipes represent the legacies of our shared passions. This month’s post is written by my good friend Rachel Ellner, a lifestyle reporter working out of Boston and New York City. Enjoy!
ODE TO MY MOTHER’S POT ROAST
By Rachel Ellner
I used to tell my mother that the back seat of the boat I take into the afterlife will be filled with her pot roast. Like the wealthiest of ancient Egyptians, I’ll also take my favorite cats, husbands, servants and pottery. But I’m not going anywhere without the tantalizing taste of her roast beef thoroughly drenched in wine gravy. I assume that mashed potatoes, the standard pot-roast accompaniment, are available anywhere.
The response from my mother? “Make sure it’s a brisket.”
My mother was well aware of the popularity of her pot roast. When I was a child, she would allow us a few minutes of talking through stuffed mouthfuls before shushing us.
“I want everyone to be quiet and concentrate on how good this tastes,” she’d say. And we obediently complied.
I thought pot roast was dead and gone. A relic of the 1950’s long banished from our dinner tables. Evidently I was wrong because during a recent discussion, I was dressed down and provided with a long list of reasons why the pot roast is still king. I discovered that pot roast tends to bring up some comforting childhood memories and a great deal of emotion!
I’m not generally a fan of one-pot meals. I love fancy food. The more complicated and intricate the better. I enjoy the challenge. But when it comes to everyday meals, I give in. Convenience is key. I happened upon the Pot Roast Cooking Sauce in the new Loblaws Insider Report. Perhaps a sign that a pot roast was in my future? I’m not totally unopposed to trying new spins on old classics.
The recipe was easy enough. Buy large roasting meat. Check. Carrots, onions, turnips and garlic. Check, check, check, check. Chicken broth. Check. Brown the meat. Pretty easy so far.
Chop up the vegetables and then sauté them.
Add the stock and sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the meat, cover and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 3-3-1/2 hours. Unfortunately, this is where my pictures end. I’m quite forgetful and after 3 hours of cooking I simply didn’t remember to take a picture of the final product. Quite duh, I know. But here’s an image of pretty much how it looked.
I was impressed with the ingredients in the sauce. Water, tomato paste, onion, balsamic vinegar, burgundy wine, garlic, roasted portobello mushrooms, red wine extract, salt, beef suet (beef fat), spices, modified corn starch, seasoning and dehydrated onion. Pretty healthy. I can tell you that the PC Pot Roast Cooking Sauce added tremendous flavour and had no-fail cooking instructions. And it was a bargain at $2.49. It made my life easier and I will certainly use it again.