So, my original plan was that today was to be a travel day. Since the weather changed my plans, I decided that this should still be a free day for me – the mad work pre-MLA could surely wait until Wednesday. And so my “free day” involved nothing that was a chore. I only did activities that I wanted to do. Those included:
- Going to the grocery store. Turns out when you don’t host a holiday, you return home to no food. Well, not no food, but no food that combines into a complete meal.
- Making a boss pot roast accompanied by roasted potatoes, parsnips, and rutabaga. What? You would like to know how you, too, can make this delicious dish? I shall tell you!
- Chuck roast (the one I used was about 1.25 pounds, but you could do bigger if you don’t live alone)
- 1 medium-large onion, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 12 oz. sliced white mushrooms
- 2 Hungarian hot peppers, seeds mostly removed, minced
- 3 biggish cloves of garlic, minced
- dried rosemary (I feel like somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, but I didn’t really measure)
- salt and pepper (no measurements – I season throughout the process)
- 2 bottles of Sam Adams Winter Lager
- like 2 tablespoons of olive oil (no, I don’t measure)
- Preheat Oven to 300.
- In a pot that can go from stovetop to oven, heat the olive oil on the stovetop at high. While it’s heating, season the roast with salt and pepper.
- When the oil is hot, brown the roast. While the roast is browning, and in between turning it, chop your onion and celery. I went with a fairly rustic chop, as this is a pot roast, after all, and that’s rustic food.
- When the roast is browned, transfer it from the pot to a large plate, and then throw in your onions and celery. Maybe reduce the heat to medium high, depending on how quickly you can mince other ingredients while those are cooking. Though there is some salt and pepper left over from the awesomeness of the roast, I did season the onion and celery with salt and pepper, too. While the veggies are cooking (you want to cook them until soft), mince your peppers.
- When the onion and celery are “glossy”, add in your minced peppers. While those are cooking a little, mince your garlic.
- Next, add in your rosemary and garlic. After about two minutes, add in the mushrooms, and cook until they are browned.
- With the heat on high, add in the two bottles of beer. Bring to a boil, and boil for about five minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and then stick the roast back in the pot. Make sure it’s covered with the liquid/veggies, and then cover the pot (my pot is stupid, so I covered tightly with foil. If anybody wants to buy me a a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, a big one, I will be your girlfriend, and maybe even marry you).
- Stick the pot in the oven for an hour and a half. When the hour and a half is up, remove the veg and the roast from the pot. Let the roast rest. We’ll get to the eating part in a bit.
Ingredients for the Roasted Veggies:
- 2 large-ish parsnips
- like 2 lbs of baby yukon gold potatoes (like the kind you would use for potato salad that you leave the peels on)
- 1 rutabaga (maybe a 1.5 to 2 lb-er)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil (drizzled over, no idea how much – not a lot)
- 1 cup water
- When you stick the roast in the oven, you move on to the veggie portion of things. Spray a baking dish (roasting pan, whatever) with cooking spray (Pam or similar).
- Now it’s time to get the veggies ready. Peel and chop your parsnips and your rutabaga, and wash and cut your potatoes in half. Basically, you want the root veggies to cook at the same rate, so chop accordingly.
- When you’re done, drizzle the whole with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and toss so the veg is coated. Add in the water. Cover tightly with foil.
- Stick the veg in the oven with the roast.
- When you take the roast out of the oven, remove the foil, toss the veg around, and raise the heat to 425. Let the veg cook for about a half hour more, until it gets all awesome and roasty.
Instructions for the sauce:
Now, once the roast is out of the oven and off on its plate with the mushrooms and celery and stuff, you’ve got the cooking liquid left over. Put that back on the stovetop, with heat at high or medium-high (use your best judgement) and add in a tablespoon or two of butter and sprinkle in some flour (1-3 tablespoons? again, I’m not so much for the measuring). Whisk whisk whisk whisk whisk and cook cook cook until thick and delicious. (Yes, this is basically a beer sauce.)
When all the things are done, you put them on a plate and eat them. And you put that sauce all over everything, because it is awesome.
- While making the pot roast, I finally watched the Jane Eyre film adaptation from last year which… it was both great and, I feel, a failed experiment. Why the hell was St. John (SIN-juhn) Rivers such a large part of the story? That said, I feel like there is a cat named St. John (SIN-juhn) somewhere in my future. That said, I think that cat is in line behind Uncle Tannous, Carlos, Kevin, and Reginald. (Yes, I have gotten in the habit of naming cats that are not yet born, as I won’t get another cat until my two current ones are dead. I might actually have St. John (SIN-juhn) when I am a senior citizen, which makes the title of this post even more appropriate).
- Also while making the roast, I began a new knitting project, an awesome beret, which I have completed, and which is AWESOME. I sometimes think that I would be happy if I only ever knitted hats, as if one is a weirdo compulsive person, a hat is done in ONLY ONE DAY! Problematically, I really want to make a scarf to go with my jaunty beret, and I’ve got like 300-400 yards of this yarn left, and so clearly I need to make a scarf to go with my jaunty beret. And because I’m bored by “easy” scarves now, this means that the scarf will take at least a couple of weeks.
- Oh, and I spent three hours watching public television while finishing up that beret. Oh, Michael Pollan with your Botany of Desire! Oh, Front Line with your investigation of the life of an undertaker, including dead old people and a dead baby!
And I am so relaxed and so happy. Why exactly am I a professor, again? I should so be some old lady with enough money that she doesn’t have to work as a greeter at Wal-Mart. I would be great as an old lady with a ton of money.