Thursday, April 16, 2009

A New England Dinner...Yankee Pot Roast

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Having lived in New England for most of my life, every once in awhile I get the urge to have something that reminds me of that happy time. On Sundays, particularly when it was snowing, I would dig out my old copy of the Yankee Magazine Cookbook and turn to one of my favorite recipes for pot roast. Picture this, snow falling heavily outside, the fireplace going, the TV turned to an old favorite movie and the smell of rum and horseradish permeating the air. Now that I'm in Florida, I usually wait for a cold spell or turn the air conditioning down to 60. I still haven't figured a way to turn on the snow.


It is April already, and a Wednesday to boot, but I have a favorite uncle who dies for this recipe and has made a request...so we will sit amongst the palms, with the smell of gardenias and jasmine and imagine its cold outside and its just another Sunday in New England. In all seriousness, you can make this any time, but it tastes much better and warms the soul particularly in the winter. I have made a couple of changes to make the original even better. Please read the cook's note at the end before making it.

Half-Way House Yankee Pot Roast

3-4 pound bottom round roast
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons butter
salt
flour
1 large onion, sliced
12 whole peppercorns
12 whole allspice
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
1/2 cup good dark rum
1/2 cup beef bouillon
Kitchen Bouquet
Small whole carrots, or larger carrots quartered

Mash the garlic and sauté in the butter. Rub the meat with salt and flour and brown it well on all sides in the butter. Lay the meat on a bed of thin-sliced onion in a large Dutch oven or any pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the butter, the spices and seasonings and pour the rum over the meat. (A good pot roast will supply most of its own juices, but as it cooks pour the 1/2 cup of beef bouillon over it to make an ample supply of gravy). Cover tightly and simmer for 3 or 4 hours until the roast is tender. This may be done either in the oven or on the back of the stove. If you want carrots with the pot roast, add them to the pot for the last 45 minutes of cooking. About 5 minutes before the end, add a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet. When the roast is done, remove it to a hot, round platter and surround with the carrots. Stir the gravy until smooth, correcting the seasoning if necessary. Pour it over the roast; if fresh dill is available, you may add some. I don't, but it's up to you. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Cook's Note

Don't' get anything but bottom round roast. It is the best cut of meat for this dish. Roast is done when you pierce the meat with a fork and it almost goes through it. Ovens and stoves vary so use your discretion. Do try to use dark rum, although in a pinch you can use white. It does make a difference. Jamaican rum is the best, but Bacardi is excellent. At the end if the sauce is runny, dissolve a tsp. of flour in hot water and add to gravy. Do not miss adding a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet, it does make a difference. And make sure you make it exactly as the recipe calls for. The blend and aroma of all the ingredients is unbelievable...You will think of Yankee clippers and Nantucket!

Mashed Potatoes

If you are entertaining informally for Sunday dinner, make your regular mashed potatoes with butter and milk and add 2 eggs. Transfer to a souffle or casserole dish and bake at 325 for 40 min. This keeps you from having to make the mashed potatoes at the last minute, plus it makes them rather special.

What's for dessert? Try an Apple Crisp!

1 comment:

  1. An instant family favorite! Nothing like the pot roast I grew up with. This tempts you while cooking and tastes even better than the aromas promise! Even our Snowy westie loved the carrots! Alas, no leftovers... Will have again soon!

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