The fragrance of a slow-cooking pot roast with veggies in a tomato wine sauce will be beckon family and friends to dinner. Popovers dress up this inexpensive meal.
For the pot roast:
- 3 pounds beef chuck, tied
- Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
- Olive oil or vegetable oil, for liberal drizzling
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), divided
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup dry wine or 1 additional cup beef consommé
- 1 can beef consommé (10.5 ounces)
- 1 herb bundle of sage, marjoram and parsley
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks on the bias
- 2-3 ribs celery, cut into chunks on the bias
- 2 medium onions, quartered, root ends attached
- 12 small potatoes, halved
- Watercress leaves, for garnish
For the popovers:
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 organic eggs
- A couple of pinches of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
- Aggressively season the roast with salt and pepper.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil, half a turn of the pan. Once the oil is hot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the meat and brown well all over. Remove the meat to a platter and reduce the heat a bit. Add the remaining butter, garlic and shallots. Stir for a minute or two, then add the tomato paste and stir until fragrant. Add in the wine and reduce by half. Add the consommé, herbs and bay leaves; stir to combine. Add the carrots, celery, onions and potatoes and set the roast on top. Cover the pan and roast for 2 1/2-3 hours, until very tender. Let stand, covered, while the popovers bake (recipe below).
- To serve, remove the twine. Slice the meat and serve with the vegetables alongside, meat juices spooned over top.
- For the popovers: When the meat comes out of oven, raise the temperature to 400°F.
- Place a 6-cup muffin tin in the oven to heat. Melt the butter in a small pot.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3 tablespoons melted butter, milk, eggs and salt. Do not over mix.
- Remove the muffin tin from the oven and brush the cups with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, until browned and puffed. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR UNTIL THE POPOVERS ARE DONE OR THEY WILL FALL.
- When the popovers are just about to come out of the oven, remove the twine from the roast and slice. Plate the meat with the veggies alongside and the juices spooned over the top of everything.
- Serve the popovers immediately with more butter or beef juices, for mopping.
Cooking with alcohol enhances the flavors of certain dishes. Some of the alcohol burns off in the process of cooking. If you are concerned about using alcohol when you cook, you may use the appropriate substitute listed in the ingredients.