MY GRANDMOTHER'S POT ROAST

 
 

Adapted from From the Earth to the Table by John Ash.
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* 3 pounds tri-tip or bottom round of beef
* 3 Tablespoons olive oil
* 3 cups shallots, sliced
* 1 cup leeks, sliced, both white and tender green parts
* 1 1/2 cups celery, diagonally sliced
* 1 1/2 cups carrots, thickly sliced
* 1/4 cup garlic, slivered
* 3 1/2 cups hearty red wine
* 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
* 2 1/2 cups rich beef stock
* 2 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
* 2 large bay leaves
* 1 teaspoon fennel seed
* 2 teaspoons each fresh thyme, sage, and oregano, minced (or 1 teaspoon each dried)
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

 
 

Yield: 6-8 servings

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Trim the beef of fat and season with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy-bottomed roasting pan, heat the olive oil and quickly brown the meat on all sides. Remove the meat and add the onion, leeks, celery, carrots and garlic and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables just begin to color and the onions are translucent.

Return the beef to the pan and add the chile flakes, red wine, stock, tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender and almost falling off the bone.

Strain the liquid from the meat and vegetables into a bowl. Remove the meat and vegetables and set aside. Allow the liquid to sit for a few minutes so that the fat rises to the surface; remove and discard the fat. Return the liquid to the empty roasting pan and over high heat simmer until the liquid is reduced by approximately a third to concentrate its flavor. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the meat and vegetables back in the roasting pan and warm through. Slice the meat and serve in shallow bowls along with some of the vegetables. Ladle the reduced sauce around and garnish with roasted potatoes and mushrooms.