Wednesday, April 17, 2013

30 Before 30: Mustard and Bourbon-Glazed Pot Roast (#7)

If you want to talk about adventures in cooking, making a pot roast was, for me, a great adventure. I've never really cooked beef before, especially a big hunk like that. Give me some fish or chicken or most seafood and I've got it. Ground meats? Okay. But a big piece of chuck? That was a totally new one on me. Aaron went through his Great Meat Cookbook (greatest birthday present ever? It's in the running at least) and when he found this one, he told me I was making it during my challenge month. And you know what? It turned out just fine.

Of course it was extra confusing for my first big meat adventure because you need to use the cooking instructions from a different recipe if you're not grilling. The directions below are for braising in the oven. Fortunately it sounded much more complicated than it ended up being. Give it a shot. If I can do it, you can too.

Mustard and Bourbon-Glazed Pot Roast via The Great Meat Cookbook:

Serves 6 with leftovers

Mustard-Spice Rub-
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
2 tsp. paprika or California chile powder
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt

Mustard Glaze-
¼ c. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 4 lb. boneless chuck-eye roast, tied, or 4 lb. Flat-cut brisket
½ c. homemade beef stock, canned low-sodium chicken broth, or water, plus more if needed
½ c. bourbon
2 tsp. unsulfured molasses
1 Tb. Coarse-grain mustard
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced, about 4 c.
4 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the rub, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. If using brisket, to keep its flat shape and ensure that it does not break apart during cooking, tie several loops of butcher's twine around the diameter and length of the roast. Sprinkle the rub generously over both sides of the roast. If time allows, wrap the roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a cast iron skillet, sear the roast over medium high heat until nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a large Dutch oven. Whisk together stock, bourbon, molasses, and mustard in a small bowl and pour over the meat. Scatter the onions and garlic on top. Cover, place in oven, and cook for 1 hour.

Turn over the roast so that the onions are now on the bottom, and add more stock or water if needed. Continue to cook, uncovered, for 1 hour, checking every 20 to 30 minutes to make sure there is still liquid in the pot and to stir the onions so that they brown evenly; add more stock or water if needed.

Replace the lid on the pot and cook for 1 hour more if using chuck, 1½ to 2 hours if using brisket, or until the meat is tender; check every 30 minutes. For best results, let cool, then remove the meat, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight; refrigerate sauce separately. I did the initial refrigeration, but not this one.

If not refrigerating, remove the meat from the cooking liquid. Scrape any onions adhering to the meat into the cooking liquid. Remove the twine and pat the meat dry. Discard the fat from the cooking liquid.

Make the glaze by combining ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and onions, the mustard, and rosemary in a food processor or a blender and puree. Brush some glaze over one side of the meat and place glaze side down in a pan heated over medium heat. Brush the top of the roast with more glaze. When the glaze turns brown, turn over the meat and brown the other side.

Meanwhile, reheat the cooking liquid (if need be. Mine was still hot) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the twine if necessary, slice the meat into ½-inch-thick slices, ladle over the cooking liquid, and serve.

This was pretty good for my first attempt. I did overcook the meat a little, but that was also because we did a half size roast and it could have used maybe 30 minutes less braising time. However, the sauce was amazing and if I had done the second refrigeration, this would be a very easy midweek meal.

Recipes Complete: 7
Recipes to Go: 23

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