Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables


<img alt="pot roast with root vegetables"/>

 Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables

With four men type folk in my life, I can guarantee that what is lovingly referred to around here as “roast beast” will be on the Sunday dinner menu from time to time.  They like it whether it’s a rump or a chuck, braised or roasted, on a spit or formed into a roulade and stuffed with sauteed mushrooms and garlic, or spinach.  Period.

My mother taught me how to make a chuck roast sometime around the 7th grade, and it was the same each time I made it even though it’s not on any family recipe card that I’ve ever seen: season some all purpose flour with salt and pepper, and coat the roast on all sides. Put a spoonful of bacon fat into the pot, heat it up and then brown the roast on all sides.  Pour some water into the pot, covering the meat and simmer after bringing it to a boil.  About 30 minutes before serving time, add to the pot chunks of peeled and quartered russet potatoes, a few carrots, and a few stalks of celery.  Correct the seasonings, put the lid back on the pot and cook until a fork inserted into the potatoes and carrots goes smoothly.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a roast beef quite like that, but it got dinner on the table and no one complained.

Now, roast beef is more something I’ve seen in one of my magazines, or in a cookbook I’m thumbing through while looking for the perfect recipe.  I haven’t found it yet, so I keep searching and experimenting, entertaining myself while feeding the guys something they enjoy.

Last Sunday, the recipe for “Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables” in this February’s issue of Bon Appetit caught my eye because I was planning a gluten-free dinner for my oldest son who just turned 29 and has been recently diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease.  The recipe excludes any flour thickener, instead calling for a rub containing sweet paprika and brown sugar among other spices.  It also called for celery root instead of celery, which I wanted to try, and quite a bit of fresh garlic, which is always high on my list.  The pot roast was quite tasty, creating a very rich sauce due to the heavy browning which I made sure to scrape up as the red wine went in.
Speaking of the red wine, I used a Twin Fin California Merlot.  The “fins” referred to are on the back of a vintage car and if you knew my son, you’d understand.  The celery root was delicious.  The flavor of celery is pronounced but without the sometimes soggy, stringy texture of regular celery.  Since I didn’t see too many pieces left on the guys’ plates, they must have liked it, too.  Not bad for such an ugly little root!

I served the roast with a simple green salad of mache and a spicy green mix, some tomatoes and ricotta salata tossed with a light lemon vinaigrette.  Lovely “Smashed Potatoes,” courtesy of 101 Cookbooks were enjoyed by all, very easy to make and a nice change from the more traditional mashed or boiled potatoes.  I also decided to try the “Carmelized Green Beans” from Saveur Issue #109 (and if you haven’t read it yet, oh my goodness, it’s all about butter…), which I made with Plugra instead of the Lescure Beurre des Charentes suggested in the recipe.  As much as I though I’d enjoy this recipe, it was disappointing.  I don’t know how anything can go wrong with good butter, but we’ve gotten used to eating green beans that are quickly parboiled, and then roasted or sauteed.  We like the crispness of them, and missed that in this recipe as the cookbook author said we might.

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Last, but not least, I made the birthday boy a flourless chocolate cake courtesy of the Gluten-Free Goddess which was totally excellent.  I would have loved to taste it again the next day as it is supposed to be even more delicious after sitting overnight, but I packed up the leftovers to send home with the birthday boy.  *sigh*  (Hopefully, it isn’t in the back seat of his car under his laundry.)  Although I’ve made dense chocolate cakes before, most have had flour added.  This recipe comes together perfectly, and puffs up quite nicely.  Like I said — excellent!

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In retrospect, it was a great evening having all my guys around the table for a change, just like we managed at least four times a week when they were growing up.  Plus, the food was delicious, hopefully helping the birthday boy realize that having Celiac’s will take some responsibility on his part, but by no means condemn him to a life of food he won’t enjoy.

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He just needs to stop eating fast food.

Pigs will fly first, of course.


14 thoughts on “Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables

  1. That looks so good. My family would love to have that. I have always had problems with pot roast, roast beef, etc. Basically any of the larger pieces of meat. Go figure. Just curious how did they diagnose him at 29 with celiac’s?

  2. What a great dinner. When I think gluten free I think deprivation and limitations, of course.But this meal is fantastic !I always love a good pot roast.

  3. Hey Jerry, no drooling on your keyboard. And I’m sure you have a pretty good pot roast recipe up your sleeve…right?
    Hi Judy — in a nutshell, the common intestinal problems that never went away. He’s had a wheat allergy all his life (along with so many others I can’t count…)and although I tried to control it when he was younger, he’s lived his food life on the edge for quite a while. Needless to say, his skin began to show bad rashes and his ankles and feet began to swell. He was hungry all the time, and ate a lot, but his food was going right through him, so he got on line, did a bit of checking after I told him it was most likely what was wrong, and then scheduled a trip to the doctor. I guess it’s a “white” disease with about 1/2000 having it…Go figure, huh?

  4. Growing up with a vegetarian Dad we never had a roast beast or ham or anything like that growing up…can you imagine.Once in a while when I have company I will cook up a beast and offer it to the masses. This roast sure looks delicious, mouthwatering and tempting:D

  5. Thanks for the info! I keep hearing about it and behavioral problems but am not ready to commit to such a radical change just to test it!

  6. Looks like a fabulous Sunday lunch. Simple but the simple things are often best. You’ve reminded me I really need to try those smashed potatoes…

  7. There must be something in the air, because I just posted about pot roast a couple days ago!! This one sounds delicious, and that cake sounds amazing!!

  8. Celiac Disease sucketh. My sister was diagnosed with it last year. I have several symptoms but sheesh, I like my gluten food so much I’ve resisted being tested because I don’t want to know. Okay, it’s not that I wouldn’t mind knowing, but with knowledge comes a decision and I’m not ready for that decision. Queen of Denial, yes I know. There’s a good blog around here somewhere I think it’s called Gluten Free Girl with EXCELLENT GF recipes.

  9. Hi Bellini Valli — Actually, if I had grown up a vegetarian, I might not know any difference. We actually ate a lot of pasta, rice, and potatoes simply because they made inexpensive meals. And most of the time, I enjoyed them better than I did the meat-based meals. But when I need a steak, I REALLY need a steak, so making a decision to not ever eat meat again is most likely not ever going to happen around here.
    Annemarie — the smashed potatoes are super simple and very good!
    Deborah, I’m headed over in your direction now.
    Tammy, from what I’m learning, yes, it SUCKETH. I don’t eat enough packaged type food to make giving that up an issue, and I’ve tried rice pasta and buckwheat products,so I could hang with that, too. But no white or whole wheat bread? Jeez. I did purchase some gluten-free flour, though just to try it out…I guess the big issue is about whether people want to cook or not. If you’re a busy person, I could see that it would be just another thing to have to deal with.

  10. Thanks for visiting my blog – while the roast meat is not for me the potatoes look fantastic. And I could eat a large slab of that chcoolate cake 🙂
    I hope your son is doing ok with the gluten free diet – my niece was diagnosed with celiacs at age of 2 so she will never know any different but my sister has been told she probably is which is really hard because she has no symptoms and not a definite diagnosis – from friends with a gluten free diet this seems to mean when you eat out you have a life of steak and salad, risotto, and flourless cakes – and lots of asian. I think the hardest thing is no bread which my sister says means it is harder to get full! But there are lots of great rice, soup and salad dishes that she is still to try as well as meat!

  11. Everything looks amazing.. of course. 🙂 I am now craving roast beast. And root veggies. And flourless chocolate cake. And still craving chocolate/strawberry tarts and baby cakes.. GAH. I need to go make lunch.

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