Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pot Roast Over Pasta

Inspired by a friend, and confounded by the mounting price of ground beef and my more usual cooking meats at the grocery story, I decided to make a Pot Roast. Being me, I didn't make this decision in a way that allowed me to plan ahead, buy the things I would need for a pot roast, and serve it to my lovely wife as a meal.

I stood in the kitchen with a hunk of beef sitting on the kitchen counter, and I thought to myself, "I think I can do this."

I remembered Aundra's pot roast post, and consulting with The Joy of Cooking, determined that I did not have carrots, celery or any of the vegetables suggested for pot roast (other than onion, always plenty of onion and garlic in my kitchen). Those absent same vegetables feature prominently in the "Italian Style Pot Roast" on the next page.

But that recipe sparked a memory of a meal Carol and I had at one of our favorite Morristown restaurants: wild boar over pasta. I can do that, I figured.

So I followed the bones of the recipe: slit and stuffed the beef with garlic, olive oil and sage, then browned it on all sides in my biggest pot before setting it a side; sauteed my onion in the pot, then boiled away half a cup of red wine (should have added tomato paste, but reached this point in the recipe to realize I'm out- did I mention I didn't plan this meal very well?); reduced another cup of red wine and a cup chicken stock; put the meat back into the pot with another cup of red wine and another cup of chicken stock; finally, I let it simmer for about three hours, turning it every half an hour.

Maybe I was just fantastically hungry by the time I got to eat, or maybe it came out as well as I think it did... We boiled some pasta and sliced the meat thinly, against the grain, so that it came apart into thick strings. A little Parmesan cheese (one of the few things I can depend on my kitchen to have) and voila!

The best thing about it: there's plenty of left overs. (Those of you who do not appreciate the joy of leftovers should not make this meal unless you're feeding an army. Also, you make no sense. Who doesn't love leftovers?).

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