Cold St. Paul. Antidote: hot, filling, and long-lasting food. Simmering, shimmering stews stovetop. Comfy roasts down in the oven or in the crock-pot. Earthy winter squashes. Colorful root vegetables mixed up with onions and garlic. Lots of stout. Locally brewed, of course.
This pot roast recipe fills the bill (and all of your tummies) on all accounts. First you braise a chuck roast topped with big chunks of butternut squash in chicken stock and stout for a hearty meal. That's then the basis for a next day stew where you throw in the kitchen sink vegetable-wise. (That would be another article.) At the price of beef, you get a lot of food for your investment of money and time and did I say you'd feel warm and cozy--sort of like snuggling up in a warm Irish pub? Or at least at the Groveland Tap?
Horseradish-Bacon Pot Roast with Mashed Butternut Squash and Stout Gravy
- 3 pieces bacon, thick-cut is best
- 3-5# pot roast, left at room temperature for an hour or so if possible
- Kosher salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- 2T white, all-purpose flour
- 2-3 ounces prepared grated horseradish (found in the refrigerator section)
- 1 Butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks (approx 3"x3")*
- 2 Medium onions, quartered
- 3 Cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 cups stock, chicken or beef, low-sodium
- 1 cup stout (I like Summit Oatmeal, but Guiness will do)
- 1/2 cup water (for making gravy after roast is done)
- 2T cornstarch
- In a 6-8 qt dutch oven or roasting pan, cook bacon until crisp over medium heat and remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Set aside to cool, chop, and refrigerate until roast is done. You'll use the bacon in the gravy. Leave drippings in the pan.
- Meantime, liberally salt and pepper (at least a teaspoon/ 1/2 teaspoon, respectively) the pot roast, rubbing seasonings in well. Sprinkle each side with one tablespoon flour and rub in as well. Spread half the horseradish on each side.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place rack just below center.
- Reheat bacon drippings over medium heat and gently lie the roast down in the fat. Brown well for 10 minutes or so until golden and crusty; turn and repeat.
- Add the squash, onions, garlic, bay leaves, stock and stout to the pot and sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper. Make sure some of the onions/garlic get underneath the meat for flavor. Cover and place in oven. Braise until meat and vegetables are very tender (2 hours or so), checking a time or two to make sure you have plenty of liquid in the pot.
- Remove meat and vegetables to a warm platter and cover. (If you like mashed squash, mash first.)
- Place pot on stovetop and skim fat off the top (or put it through a measuring skimmer cup.) Heat braising liquid over medium heat while you whisk the corn starch into 1/2 cup water. Pour about half of the cornstarch slurry slowly into the pot, whisking. Let cook a minute or two, adding more slurry should you need or like a thicker gravy. Add the reserved chopped bacon. Simmer 4-5 minutes, stirring. Taste and re-season if necessary. A drop of hot sauce might be good here. Pour gravy into a pitcher and serve at the table with the warm meat and vegetables.
*To make butternut squash easier to peel, pierce it with a knife in several places and microwave it on full power 3-4 minutes. Also, this recipe produces ultra-done squash (mashable). If you'd like just-done squash, wait an hour into the baking time to add it to the pot.
For more info:
The Ale Jail has lots of stout