Kitchen-Sink Pot Roast

I found this recipe over the weekend in one of my mom’s cookbooks. It’s called Farm House Cookbook: A cook’s two-year odyssey through the small farms, ranches, dairies, vineyards, and orchards of America, with 300 recipes fresh from their kitchens, written by Susan Herrmann Loomis. This is right in my wheel-house. My mom doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to be keeping this cookbook for as long as possible (…forever?).

This pot roast recipe caught my eye because it uses a variety of winter vegetables that we’ve been getting in Ag Connections boxes lately. I’ll be making a few adjustments based only on my availability: adding turnips, using collards from Organic Redneck instead of kale, and using Ag Connections heirloom potatoes from Juniper Jungle farm instead of Russets.

Here’s the recipe in its entirety, and 100% verbatim. Although it looks long, I’ve read through it and it appears to be a simple recipe that will yield lots of big flavors. Experiment, and enjoy!

“This is an amalgamation of pot roast recipes garnered from a variety of farmers and from the source of all good recipes while I was growing up. It’s a kind of kitchen-sink recipe that will take a good cut of meat and just about any seasonal vegetables and bring out the best of their flavors.

Use this recipe as a guide – add other vegetables such as leeks, parsnips, young turnips, or rutabagas if you like. Try to make it the day before you serve it, as it improves and mellows with some age and will be almost twice as good the next day.

This is ideal for winter, of course, but I like to serve it in spring, too, when the choice of young and tender vegetables is legion and the evening air often has an unexpected chill.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups canned tomato sauce

½ cup robust red wine or water

2 sprigs fresh thyme, or ¼ teaspoon dried

2 bay leaves

1 bunch parsley stems, tied together with kitchen string

2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise

3 allspice berries

3 pounds boneless beef rump roast, trimmed of excess fat

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced, lengthwise

5 small carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick

4 large ribs celery, trimmed, strings removed, and cut into ½-inch-thick crescents

1 large bunch kale (10 ounces), trimmed and coarsely chopped

4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths

  1. Mix the flour with a generous amount of salt and pepper on a piece of waxed paper.
  2. Combine the tomato sauce, wine, herbs, and spices in a medium bowl and mix well.
  3. Rinse the roast and pat it dry. Dredge it in the flour, covering all surfaces.
  4. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy saucepan, stockpot, or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Brown the meat on all surfaces, watching it and turning it frequently, about 8 minutes. The roast will get quite brown on the outside, which is fine, though it shouldn’t burn. Transfer the meat to a plate.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the other vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Place the roast on top of the vegetables, and pour the tomato sauce mixture over all. Turn the roast and stir the vegetables as much as possible, making sure the liquids are evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the meat is almost completely tender, about 2 hours.
  6. Add the kale and potatoes, mixing them into the liquids. Cover the pan, and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through, the potatoes are soft, and the kale is tender, at least 45 minutes. Serve the pot roast immediately, after adjusting the seasoning and removing the parsley stems, or continue cooking it all day. The longer it cooks, the better it is, as long as the cooking is gentle.
  7. If you prepare the pot roast a day ahead, cover and refrigerate it. The next day, skim off any solidified fat, and reheat gently.
  8. To serve, remove the pot roast from the pan and cut it into thin slices. Arrange the slices on a warmed serving platter, ladle the vegetables on and around the slices, and pour the juices over all.

8 to 10 servings”

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