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from the kitchen: cafe pot roast

a bowl of food on a plate

Serves 6
For the pot roast:

  • 4 pounds beef roast, butcher-tied, (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons blended oil
  • 3 large onions, quartered
  • 3 large carrots, cut into medium dice
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into medium dice
  • 1 head fennel, diced
  • 1 whole head garlic, top half cut off
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 (750mL) bottle red wine (preferably a full-bodied Syrah) 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 quart veal stock (beef broth can be substituted)

To prepare the pot roast:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Season the meat liberally with salt. Heat the oil in a large roasting pan on high heat and sear the meat on all sides, getting good color on the meat, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. In the same pot, add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until the vegetables are golden brown. Add the garlic, flour, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns, star anise, and cloves, stirring well to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine and Worcestershire sauce. At a medium simmer reduce the liquid by half, about 10 minutes, and continue stirring to ensure that all of the ingredients are incorporated. Add the veal stock and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pan and cover the pan loosely. Roast for 2½ hours or until a knife inserted into the meat pulls out without resistance. Let the meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes and strain the sauce onto the pot roast, discarding the vegetables.

For the potatoes:

  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

For the potatoes:
Place the potatoes in a pot, cover them with cold water, and cook until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and run them through a food mill or potato ricer. Place the cream and butter in a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and, using a whisk, slowly work in the cream mixture. Once all of the liquid has been added, whisk the potatoes until they have a light and fluffy texture. (Be careful not to overwhip or the potatoes will have a glue-like texture.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To prepare the greens:

  • 2 pounds greens, such as chard or kale, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the greens:
Tear the greens into large pieces. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic and shallots until translucent, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the greens and cook until they begin to wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the white wine, stir, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve:
In each medium bowl, place the greens and the potatoes side by side. Add a few slices of pot roast on top of the potatoes and drizzle the sauce on top.

Cook’s Tip:
The pot roast will cook more evenly if it is contained in a uniform shape. We suggest butcher-tying the meat to accomplish this. Whether you are stuffing a piece of meat or just holding its shape, tie the meat with twine almost like you are tying a roll of paper towels or a newspaper. This will help to hold in the juices and will be easier to slice.