The season opener of Lost—the only network television show I’ve routinely watched since Seinfeld—will be on at 8, with a clip-show recap starting at 7, and there’s a blizzard outside:
That sounded like a good enough excuse to cook up a kick-ass dinner. I’ve been meaning to give pot roast a try for a while now. Here’s my version:
I started with a mirepoix. Dice up a pile of carrots and celery, then dice up enough onions to make a pile the same size and soften them in a skillet with some butter. Although I’m a fan of the current French President and his hot, hot wife, I departed from the traditional mirepoix by including a bunch of ginger and garlic.
Cook that until it’s softened, then dump it in your slow cooker set on high.
Then I poured some flour on a plate and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I don’t bake, so I only keep a small container of rice flour handy. Trim off as much fat from the roast as you want—for aesthetic purposes, I sliced off a piece of fat that had some butcher’s ink on it—and dredge the roast on all sides.
Heat up some oil in the skillet you used for the mirepoix—olive oil would be good but I used wok oil for a little more flavor—and give the dredged roast a nice sear on all sides to give it a bit of a crust to hold its juices in.
Throw that sucker in the slow cooker with the fatty side up and get your liquid ready. I used a can of beef stock and the remainder of a bottle of Alto Vineyard’s Villard Blanc, about a cup and a half. I poured those into the skillet along with a package of dehydrated porcini mushrooms. I brought that to a boil, scraping up all the browns leftover from the earlier phases of prep-work, reduced it by about a third, then poured it into the slow cooker. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have exposed the ‘shrooms to that high heat and would have been wiser to let them rehydrate in the slow cooker, but what the hey.
I chopped three small Yukon gold potatoes and added them to the slow cooker and seasoned with black pepper, parsley, thyme, basil, and a few bay leaves. It’ll be cooking for about four hours, until the internal roast temperature gets to 165 for a solid medium-doneness. About halfway through the cooking time, I added some more liquid, about a and a half cup of hot water with some worchestershire sauce added in it to cover the potatoes. Whenever I felt like smelling something tasty, I’d take the lid off and spoon some of the liquid and mirepoix over the roast.
One more picture on the way once it’s ready to be eaten. In the meantime, I’ll be shoveling the sidewalks, working on my research, and laughing at this video of a reporter getting pooped on.
Update: Turned out pretty good.
The Lost season premiere was good, too.