Pot Roast Worth Cooking in the Summer!

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Deuteronomy 28:7   The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

Today is one of those days that I absolutely needed to read Deuteronomy 28 and hang on to the words with both hands.  I got up feeling great and looking forward to Baked Oatmeal (have I mentioned how much I love this stuff?!!)  Then I thought I would make a quick loaf of bread for lunch sandwiches.  But sometime during the middle of the bread making my food processor acted up.  This caused the bread to be half kneaded.  No problem, I will just do it the old-fashioned way and actually knead it myself.  About half way through that I remembered that “I forgot” the wheat gluten.  No problem, I’ll just add it now.  Then the phone starting ringing, heaping one coal after another upon my head.  In hindsight, the oatmeal was great, you CAN’T add wheat gluten later, and sometimes my bread doesn’t turn out in time for lunch!  As for the phone calls — well, the Lord says if we are obedient he will cause our enemies (or problems, in this case) to be defeated and they will attack us from one direction and flee from another.  If you ever have a day like mine has been, remember to read Deuteronomy 28 and rejoice in the knowledge of knowing the Lord does promise to bless all the work of our hands (v12).

And just in case you think I really am off my rocker today with Pot Roast in the summer, let me tell you – this one is worth heating the kitchen up for.  I just had a hankering for beef.  We don’t eat much beef, so when we do I want to make it worthwhile.  The red wine in this recipe mixes with the broth and meat juices to create a full flavor richness that you can only get when slowly baking this beef allowing the flavors time to meld.  Oh, and the sun dried tomatoes — well, you gotta try it!   I hope you like it as much as we do!

Balsamic Glazed Pot Roast
3 1/2 – 4 lb. chuck roast
4 Tablespoon oil to start – plus 2 Tablespoons oil
1-2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 (3 oz.) package sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef broth or stock
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup red wine – whatever you have on hand
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons flourPreheat oven to 350 degrees.Trim the chuck roast, removing large strands of visible fat and cutting the roast into 6-8 pieces (3-4 pieces if using a smaller roast).

In a 5-7 qt. Dutch oven, heat 4 T. oil over medium-high heat.

Add the meat in a single layer and brown for 3-4 minutes on each side (meat may need to be browned in 2 batches).  Remove the meat to a plate.

Add remaining 2 T. oil, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes to the Dutch oven.    Saute until the onions are tender.

Add the flour and stir. Add the beef stock and deglaze the pan by scraping up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan (they have intense flavor).

Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, garlic, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Stir until ingredients are combined, then return the chuck roast pieces and juices to the dutch oven.

Lay a piece of aluminum foil on top and carefully press down until it touches the entire surface of the pot roast.   Tightly seal the edges of the foil, crimping them over the top of the dutch oven.

Put lid on top. Place in the lower half of the oven and allow to braise for 2 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes and some fresh vegetables from the garden!

Substitutions: Try experimenting with different combinations of liquids and spices. 2 cups of liquid and a few teaspoons of spices for a 4 lb. roast is a good rule of thumb. Water, red wine, beef broth or stock, and beer are are excellent liquid choices. Garlic, rosemary, thyme and paprika (sweet or smoked) make wonderful spice additions to your roast. Salt and pepper is always a must.

Note:  This recipe called for one  (8 oz.) package sliced baby bella mushrooms.  I don’t really care for mushrooms so I left them out — but for most people this would be a fabulous addition!

The best tips for cooking with wine include coordinating its flavors and textures with characteristic in the dish. It’s also important to consider the acidity of wine with different foods as well as its effect on certain types of cookware. A basic tip to keep in mind when making wine-based sauces is to allow the liquid to simmer and reduce to about half its original volume so the outcome is flavorful.

Wine added to sauces won’t interact well with the other ingredients to bring out their full flavors unless it cooks enough to reduce down and become concentrated. The alcohol in the wine needs to be cooked out or the taste is likely to be too sharp rather than rich. When cooking with wine, researching and reading labels to discover unique taste notes can help you add similar foods to your dishes to create rich layers of flavor. For instance, pinot noir is often said to have mushroom flavors, so using it in a beef stew or other dish with mushrooms may be a delicious addition that brings out maximum flavor.

As a general guideline, red wines are best in hearty beef dishes and white white varieties tend to suit poultry, fish and vegetarian recipes. It’s crucial to consider the texture and not just the flavors when cooking with wine. For example, cabernet sauvignon has a heavy texture that combines well with rich proteins such as beef. In contrast, chardonnay has a creamy texture and would be a much better choice for a fettuccine Alfredo recipe. Sherry can bring out the flavors of many fruits and vegetables.

Sherry can even be used in desserts such as chocolate fondue. Merlot is another wine that is ideal for chocolate, especially the dark variety to match the rich taste of the wine. Yet, merlot doesn’t usually complement acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes. To help protect pots and pans when cooking with wine, stainless steel is a better choice than aluminum or cast iron, as the finish of these materials may be ruined by varieties with a high acid content.

When cooking an ethnic recipe, a great tip is to used wine from that region or country. Not only could the dish be enhanced by cooking with wine from that kind of cuisine, but the beverage may also be served with the finished meal. Serving appetizers as well as desserts than are associated with the region or country can nicely tie in the wine and the main dish to make a cohesively flavored meal.

Tips for cooking with wine from Wise Geek.

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