Last night's dinner made up for all the quick and easy ones we've had during the past couple of weeks, not that pot roast braised in a Dutch oven isn't easy mind you. I'll grant you this is more of an autumn dish than a summer one but every once in a while a body demands some comfort food, at least our bodies do, and since our daily temperature on the coast rarely reaches over 75, there's no excuse not to heat up the oven and cook something wonderful like this pot roast flavored with cranberry and orange.
Inspired by a recipe on wholefoodsmarket.com, after browning the roast and sautéing some onions and garlic, I deglazed the pot with apple cider vinegar before adding a can of whole berry cranberry sauce, orange juice and some beef consomme. Braised covered for 1-1/2 hours in a moderate oven, I removed the lid for the last half hour to reduce the sauce and give the roast a little more color.
After the roast was removed, I thickened the sauce slightly with a cornstarch slurry and finished it off with orange zest and chopped fresh parsley. Served on a bed of soft pillowy gnocchi with a side of coleslaw, it was darned quiet around the old dinner table which is always a good sign, isn't it.
Now, in case you're wondering what's happening in our world today - our quiet little town is buzzing with activity on this last long weekend of the summer so I have to admit we're planning to lay a little low. The sun is shining, blue sky above, birds are singing and the bay outside the house is filled with boats, fisher people and crabbers. If there's one thing I know for sure, this is not a good weekend to be a crab.
Cranberry Orange Braised Pot Roast (from JBug’s Kitchen Antics inspired by wholefoodsmarket.com)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 3 to 4 pound chuck roast
Salt, coarse ground black pepper
2 large onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 – 14 ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup orange juice
1 10 ounce can beef consommé, undiluted
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch mixed with juice from 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high. Tie chuck roast with kitchen string so it cooks evenly and season well with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Brown on all sides in hot pan. When browned remove from pan and set aside. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring constantly until onions start to soften. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove onion/garlic mixture from pan and set aside. Add vinegar to pan and cook stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom. Add cranberry sauce, orange juice and beef consommé. Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Return roast and onion/garlic mixture to the pot. Cover pot and place in preheated oven. Cook for 1-1/2 hours or until roast is tender. Remove cover from pot and cook additional half hour until sauce is reduced and dark in color. Remove roast to a platter and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and orange juice. Place pot over medium heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook until sauce has thick and clear. Stir in orange zest and parsley. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve sauce with roast.
A year ago - Southwestern Pasta Salad
Two year's ago - Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie
Three year's ago - Mango Chutney