Thursday, September 01, 2005

Merlot Pot Roast with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Prep/cook time: 8½ to 9½ hours on low, 5½ to 6½ hrs on high

Prepare the smashed potatoes as soon as the beef is tender; the meat can continue to cook until they are ready.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

1 tied fat trimmed boned beef chck roast (3-3½ lb)
fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
3 carrots (about ¼ lb. each ) rinsed and peeled
1 onion ½ lb), peeled and chopped
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup Merlot or other dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/3 cup canned tomato paste
1½ tablespoons cornstarch (I skipped, see note below)
Horseradish smashed potatoes (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 to 2 cups watercress sprigs, rinsed and crisped (optional) (I always skip)

Rinse beef, pat dry, and sprinkle generously all over with fresh ground pepper. Melt butter in a 10-12 inch nonstickfrying pan over high heat. When hot, add beef and brown wekk on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. (I skipped this part - it saved time and saved a dish - all good things in my book. I have made it browning the meat and not browning it and haven't noticed the difference.)

Meanwhile, cut carrots into sticks about 3/8 inch thick and 2 inches long.

In a 4 ½ quart or larger electric slow cooker, combine carrots, onion, celery,garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Set beef on vegetables: add drippings. In a small bowl, mix wine and tomato paste; pour over meat and vegetables.Cover and cook until beef is very tender when pierced, 8 to 9 hours on low, 5 to 6 hours on high. If possible, turn meat over halfway through cooking.

With 2 slotted spoons, transfer meat to a platter; keep warm. Skim and discard any fat from cooking liquid. Turn cooker to high. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with a 1½ tablespoons water; pour into cooker and stir often until sauce is bubbling, 10-15 minutes.With a slotted spoon, lift vegetables from cooker and arrange beside meat. Spoon horsradish smashed potatoes onto platter; sprinkle with parsley. Garnish Platter with watercress. Spoon sauce over meat. Slice meat and serve with vegetables, potatoes, and sauce, adding salt to taste.

Per serving without potatoes: 314 calories, 40%(126 cal.) from fat; 34 g protein; 14 g fat (5.6 g sat.) 11 g carb. (2.3 g fiber); 256 mg sodium; 115 mg chol.

Horseradish Smased Potatoes

Scrub and peel 13 to 3½ lbs. russett potatoes; cut into 1½-inch chunks. Put into a 4-5 quart pan with 2 1/2 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes mash easily when pressed, 20-25 minutes. When potatoes are done, heat 1 to 1½ cups half and half or fat skimmed chicken broth with 2 tablespoons butter or margerine in a microwave safe container in a microwave oven at fullpower just until steaming 1 to 3 minutes. Or warm in a 1 to 1½ quart pan over medium heat. While cream heats, drain potatoes and mash in pan with a mixer or potato masher until almost smooth. Add cream, a portion at a time, and mix until potatoes have the consistency desired. Stir in salt, pepper, and 1 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish to taste. Mound beside Merlot pot roast or scrape into a bowl. makes6 to 7 cups 6 to 8 servings.per serving: 189 calories, 31% (59cal) from fat; 3.9g protein, 6.6 g. fat (3.9 sat)) 29 g carbo (2.6 g fiber) 55 mg sodium, 19 mg chol.

My notes: I made the pot roast pretty much according to directions, except that we did not have any celery. I cooked the pot roast on low for about 3 1/2 hours, and then turned it up to high for about 2 hours. Once the meat was done, I removed it and instead of adding cornstarch, I pureed the veggies into the sauce - the sauce thickened up quite nicely, so the cornstarch was not necessary. However, pureeing the sauce emulsified it and I was unable to remove the fat, so if I did it again, I'd remove the fat first!

I don't usually follow the directions for the potatoes - I just wing it. I use red-skinned potaotes, with the skins on, whatever milk (sometimes half & half if we have it on hand) we have on hand, 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, a bit of butter, salt, pepper and horseradish. I just keep adding ingredients until it tastes right and looks to be the right consistency.

I talked about this recipe HERE.

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