Thursday, February 28, 2008

Braised Beef Roast with Puréed Veggie Gravy

This puréed veggie gravy - sweet and tangy, thick and flavorful - MADE this dish. The "gravy" is really nothing more than the veggies that cooked with the beef roast - red peppers, carrots, and onion - blended with the roast beef juice and deglaze sauce from the roasting dish. So easy and SO delicious.

First, season a 4lb beef/pot roast with black pepper and smoked paprika (save the salt for now, it'll dry out the meat) and brown on high heat in a big, oiled skillet on all sides. When all sides are browned, move to your roasting/braising dish or slow cooker. Also, get that oven to 300 degrees if you plan on cooking everything in there...

Have your sous chef cut up a big red bell pepper, a couple of carrots, and a nice-sized onion in to chunks of ~1 inch - and just peel and barely break-up a few cloves of garlic. Add those raw veggies to your roasting dish. If you do not have a sous chef, give us a call and we'll come over to help you make - and eat - this meal.

Pour one cup of red wine - along with two tablespoons of red wine vinegar - into the skillet you used to brown the beef and deglaze, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 can (8oz) of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a good amount of salt and pepper. Continue to stir and bring up to a nice hot temperature.

Pour that mixture all over the meat and veggies, cover tightly, and add to the oven. You're going to be looking at ~45 minutes/pound of slow and low cooking, and probably 3 hours in an actual slow cooker. This cooking length will cook the meat thoroughly - we're going for a real braised, pull-apart doneness with this one - but you could certainly go for ~20 minutes/pound for a more medium-rare doneness, remove the beef, and then keep cooking the veggies...

Take out your roast and set aside, covered. Next - if you have a hand blender, remove half of the veggies AND half of the liquid from the pan and add to a smaller saucepan and give those veggies a whir until they are combined. If you don't have a hand blender, you could do this in a food processor. Or, you could get that sous chef to mash everything up with a potato ricer and combine!

Taste the "gravy" for seasoning and add more of your liquid if too thick, more veggies if too thin. Pour over some of your beef roast and add some of the other half of veggies and enjoy! We also had boiled some turnip and cabbage to have along with the beef and veggies.

Ours came out great - the veggie sauce/gravy was sweet from the peppers and carrots and tangy from the vinegar and delicious. Where this REALLY shined was the next day, when we sliced some of the beef real thin and warmed it up on the stovetop IN the gravy.... then we plated it on a piece of bread, open-faced sandwich style! Yum!

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