Sunday, 19 January 2014

Winter Warming Pot Roast

I love pot roasts.  They are so much easier than a conventional roast dinner.  The potatoes and the veg are all cooked together with the meat and the gravy.  Less pots and pans to wash up which is a saving of energy and time.

I will pot roast anything - chicken, pork or beef.  Although your meal is only as good as the ingredients you use, with a pot roast it is possible to get away with a cheaper cut of meat than for a conventional roast dinner.  I actually bought a ready prepared meat loaf rather than a joint of meat.  It has herbs and pine nuts stuffed inside, but mostly it is beef with some bacon fat around the outside to keep it moist during cooking and a string vest to hold it together.  The wrapper said to cook it for an hour at 180C and then for 20m minutes at 160C.

First I sealed the outside of the meat by frying it in very hot lard on all sides.  I threw this fat away once the sealing was done as it was a little burned.  I then poured in some cheap red wine (seriously this was very cheap wine, made by a friend of ours and could probably de-scale the kettle!) about a wine glass full.  I let this bubble for a short while before adding carrots and onions and potatoes all chopped quite large and then some salt, bay leaf, pepper and some dried herbs. 

I topped it up with some water and a spoonful of Marmite.  You could add a tin of beef consomm√© at this point or some stock instead of the water and Marmite but I am using what I have in the cupboard.

The oven is at 160C and I set the timer for an hour. 

At this point I basted the meat and then realised that I had forgotten to put any garlic in so I roasted some garlic separately and added it later.  The timer was set for another hour, same temperature.  With about fifteen minutes to go on the timer I took the pot out and checked it.  The vegetables were all soft and it smelled wonderful.  I removed the meat and wrapped it in tin foil and covered it with a blanket to keep warm while I thickened the gravy. 


A little cornflour and then some damson jelly (any kind of dark sweet jelly will give the gravy some depth and it doesn't make it sweet so long as you only use a spoonful) and I left it to thicken on a low heat on the top of the stove.  Now... the finishing touches.... Yorkshire Puds!

The lid of my pot doesn't fit really snugly so I always use some tin foil to help give a really good seal, this stops it losing moisture while slow cooking.

1/4lb of plain flour and a little pinch of salt mixed with an egg and then 1/2 pint of milk until its a smooth batter. 

Some lard in the bun tins and the oven temperature raised to 220C.  Once the fat was really hot, hot enough to sizzle when the batter is poured in...

I filled each section about half full and put it back into the very hot oven.

Thirty minutes later and they are done.

Delicious!  And enough to do two days!

I love January Sunday Lunch!

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