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European Pot Roast

I’m calling this a European Pot Roast because I couldn’t decide if the flavours were more French or German and also because Pot Roast is American in origin (it is, I googled it!).  My family and I always come back to a homemade pot roast; the aroma in the house as it’s cooking is definitely one of my favourite things about making it.  Honestly, as soon as the evenings turn cool, I know autumn is coming and my favourite thing in the world is a slow cooked dinner, warming up the house.  I love summer, don’t get me wrong but I can’t wait for the cooler evenings of the fall and in southern Ontario we are blessed with extreme examples of all 4 seasons.

Serves 6

½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tbsp (salted) butter

1.6 kg (3-4 lb) boneless bottom blade pot roast

1 Large onion, sliced into half moons

3 Cloves garlic, crushed

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme(left whole)

1 Cup white wine (or red if you have it on hand)

1 Cup sodium-reduced beef stock

1 796 ml can of whole tomatoes (you can diced if that’s what you have)

2 tbsp Grainy Dijon mustard

2 tbsp cider vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Heat a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat, add the olive oil and butter.

Season the roast on all sides and when the pot is hot and the fat has melted, sear the roast on all sides, starting with the fat side down.  Rotate the roast every few minutes; you want the meat to be dark and caramelized on all sides.

After the roast has been browned on all side, set the roast aside and strain any excess fat from the pot, drop the heat to low.

Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper and sauté until they are soft and translucent and some are slightly charred.

Add in the garlic and thyme sprigs, sauté for about 30 seconds, careful not to let the garlic burn.

Turn the heat to high and add in the white wine, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any yummy bits of food that may be stuck there(deglazing).

Let the wine boil for 30 seconds, to a minute to let the alcohol cook out.

Add the can of tomatoes and the stock to the pot after the wine has boiled for about a minute (the alcohol will be cooked out at this point); season with salt and pepper.

Break the tomatoes up a bit with a fork but keep in mind you want the tomatoes to stay chunky (skip this part if you’re using diced tomatoes).

Bring the pot up to a boil and then stir in the Grainy Dijon and cider vinegar; mix well.

Bring the pot back up to a boil and then return the meat and any juices from the plate to the pot (place the roast fat side down).

Drop the heat to medium low, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and let the roast simmer for two and a half to three hours.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with some of the tomato sauce on top of the beef or return the meat to the pot and serve it as is, discard the thyme sprigs before serving.

Notes:

1.   You can slice the meat or break it into chunks when serving.

2.   I trimmed the fat away from the roast before serving it.

3.   Use any tough, inexpensive cut of meat.

4.   You can use beef stock even water in place of the wine.

5.   This is great with steamed or mashed potatoes.

French Pot Roast