Monday, March 15, 2010

Pot Roast for St Patrick's day...

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I love pot roast. I know some think of it as only winter comfort food. But my mom made it frequently all year round, so I am not bound to that way of thinking. Recently a friend and I were talking about pot roasts and she said her mom made one with coffee, that it was an old "country" dish.

I got to thinking about it and decided to give it a try myself, but I wanted to add some sort of twist to it. Looking through my spirits cabinet, I spied a bottle of Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey. Aha! With St. Patrick’s Day coming, what better than an Irish coffee pot roast?

I used instant espresso for the coffee, because I like the darker roast flavor, but any instant coffee will do.

You might remember that I love those bags of prepared mirepoix you can now buy frozen: carrots, celery and onion, all chopped and ready to use. You can also get the same sized bag of little pearl onions.

You could, if you like, cook potatoes in with the pot roast, but I quite liked the mashed potatoes we had. I added zucchini (I mean really, you must have something green for St. Patrick’s Day!) brushed with balsamic vinaigrette and grilled on a stovetop grill pan. It made a delicious dinner for any kind of weather.


3 ½ to 4 lbs. boneless chuck or rump roast
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bag (12 oz.) frozen mirepoix mix (see note)
½ cup Irish whiskey plus 2 tbsp. to finish
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp. each ground black pepper and salt
2 bay leaves
1 large pinch ground cinnamon
1 bag (12 oz) frozen pearl onions
¼ cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350o. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, brown the roast very well on all sides in the oil. Remove the roast to a plate.

Lower the heat a little. Add the mirepoix mix and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and just starting to turn golden brown. Add the whiskey. If you’re brave enough, stand back a bit and light with a match and shake the pan until the flames burn out. Otherwise, let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Whisk in the flour and stir for a minute or two. Whisk in the stock, bay leaves, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Return the roast to the pan, cover and bake for an hour. Add the pearl onions, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour more, or until the roast is fork tender.

Remove the pot roast to a carving board. Whisk in the sour cream and remaining two tablespoons of Irish whiskey. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove the bay leaves, Carve the roast into serving sized portions and put on a warmed platter with as many of the pearl onions as you can easily fish out with a slotted spoon. Drizzle with some of the gravy, passing the remaining gravy at the table. Serves 8.

NOTE: You can replace the frozen mirepoix mix with ¾ cup chopped onion, and ½ cup each chopped celery and carrot.


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Jan said...

When is the espresso/coffee added?

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