I served the roast over cheese grits and it.was.divine. The meat was ahhhh-mazing. I will say that I found the carrots to be a little bitter, but Sister and Honey thought they were fine. At first I regretted not adding some cut potatoes, but once it was all poured over the grits I didn’t miss them at all.
Beer Braised Pot Roast
1 pound small carrots with tops, peeled
1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (12-oz.) bottles stout beer – I used Guinness
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 (1-oz.) containers home-style concentrated beef stock (from a 4.66-oz. package) – I couldn’t find this anywhere so I threw in a beef bullion cube
2 pounds pearl onions – I used 2 bags of the frozen pearl onions and will never make any sort of roast without them again. Yum!
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Hot cooked grits
Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs
1. Cut tops from carrots, leaving 1 inch of greenery on each. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Rub coffee over roast, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cook roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned, reserving drippings in skillet. Place roast in a 6-qt. slow cooker.
2. Add tomato paste and garlic to hot drippings, and sauté 1 minute. Slowly add beer, whisking constantly. Stir in thyme and concentrated beef stock; bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until mixture reduces to about 3 cups.
3. Pour beer mixture over roast. Top roast with onions and carrots. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until roast is fork-tender. Transfer roast to a serving platter, and shred into large chunks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Spoon vegetables onto platter around roast.
4. Skim fat from cooking liquid; transfer cooking liquid to a large saucepan. Whisk in vinegar. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth; add to mixture in pan, stirring until blended. Bring mixture to a boil, and boil, whisking often, 1 minute or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Serve sauce with roast, vegetables, and hot cooked grits.
The roast was delish, but the dessert stole the show for me. It was my first time making Ina’s Baked Chocolate Pudding / Brownie Pudding and it will now forever hold a place in my dessert rotation! It’s in the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook (that I’ve barely scratched the surface of) and was not only easy to make, but can be done in advance and was quite impressive to serve.
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics*
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean (I used a tsp of vanilla as a substitute)
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (optional, but I did use this)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 x 12 x 2 inch) oval baking dish. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
3. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, lower the speed to low and add the vanilla / vanilla seeds, framboise (if using), and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
4. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out three-quarters clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
5. Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.
I hope y’all have a lovely Sunday. The sun is shining in Atlanta, the boys are all outside playing basketball AND we have a three day weekend. *winning*