really, 80 degrees in March

I planned to make a pot roast last weekend. This sounds perfect in March, right? It is still a little cold and dreary… nothing is growing yet so you are stuck with red meat and root vegetables. It was even St Patty’s weekend. Perfect. So I bought a chuck roast.

It was sunny and 80 degrees on Sunday. (sigh)

Pot Roast (original by BH&G 2003 prize winner Gail L. Jenner)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

1 3-4lbs boneless beef chuck roast (mine was grass-fed and organic)

1 Tbsp of oil

2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven and get a good sear on the roast. This helps if the roast is clean, dry and room temp.

1/3 cup of water

1/3 cup of Marsala wine (I used Dry but the recipe does call for Sweet)

basil (I just used all the fresh basil I had left in the fridge. the recipe calls for 2 tsp of dry)

1 tsp garlic salt

ground black pepper (I didn’t measure, I guessed, but it called for 1/2 tsp)

3. Mix these together and pour over the roast. Cover. Roast for 1.5 hours.

1/2 cup plum preserves

4. Melt the preserves in a small saucepan and pour over the meat.

4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into sixths

4 medium carrots, peeled, cut into chunks

1 large rutabaga, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes (I LOVE RUTABAGA!)

1 medium onion, peeled, cut into large wedges

5. Arrange vegetables around the roast, put back in the oven to roast for 45 – 60 minutes until vegetables and meat are tender.

1 Tbsp of cold water

2 tsp of cornstarch

6. Put meat and veggies on a platter. Add cornstarch-water mixture to juices in the pan. Cook until thick. In other words, make gravy.

bangers and mash

plate of sausage and mashed potatos…okay it is actually knackwurst and mashed potatoes.

Rachael’s ‘fancypants’ onion sauce was supposed to be deglazed with white wine but I wasn’t drinking white wine, I was drinking dark beer. So it was kind of Germanized bangers and mash…of course maybe it is the other way around, maybe bangers and mash is really anglicized German food…anyway.

I couldn’t find a great reference for this specific recipe but google it and pick one with good onion sauce/gravy (i.e. it calls for a fresh herb, some wine and broth…not a gravy packet!) Also mashed potatoes are always just a little more delicious with a couple tablespoons of cream cheese (or a wedge of laughing cow!) and chives.

Sausages and mashed potatoes were both staples of our dinner table while I was growing up.  So this is good winter comfort food for me on a busy weeknight; it didn’t require any pricey or hard to find ingredients or 2 days of prep.