Beef

The Barefoot Contessa Does It Again….

It’s no secret that I love me some Ina Garten. The woman has a beautiful house in East Hampton, fabulous friends with amazing professions at her disposal (florists, bakers, photographers, LIGHTING SPECIALISTS?!, etc.), and when it comes down to it, she has delicious & reliable recipes.

With that said, it was a no-brainer to look to her for recipe ideas for a dinner the bf and I were fixing for my family. The criteria were simple. (1) It had to be delicious. (2) Since I don’t get to cook for my family too often, it had to be special. (3) It had to please the pallets from a 3 year old all the way to……..well, I won’t divulge our ages.  🙂

Days before our trip we happened to catch an older episode of the Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics show on the Food Network and saw the perfect dish– Company Pot Roast. It looked super hearty and comforting—and with one pot, it was ideal!

Since it was our first hand at the recipe, we stuck very true to the script. The end results? Quite Delish in our opinion! The additional step of pureeing half of the sauce and then returning it back to the pot seemed a bit laborious at first. However, after trying the dish, the consistency that this step gave is a MUST! That Ina—she sure does know her stuff!

Two things to note when following this recipe:

  1. Some of her estimates seemed a bit off for us. For instance, the recipe calls for 2 cups of celery, which she estimated to be 4 stalks. For me, it was 6 stalks. The recipe could also easily feed 10 adults, let alone the 8 it quoted.
  2. The preparation work of the mirepoix can be killer. 6 cups of chopped carrots, onions, and celery made me wish I had a commis to do the prep work! 🙂

With that said, the dish turned out quite well and we would definitely recommend making it. Pair it with garlic leeks mashed potatoes (like we did) and you’ll have a little party on a plate. And as Ina would say, “How bad could that be?”  🙂

Ina Garten’s Company Pot Roast ©

Ingredients

1 (4 to 5-pound) Prime Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, tied
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
All-purpose flour
Good Olive Oil
2 Cups Chopped Carrots (4 Carrots)
2 Cups Chopped Yellow Onions (2 Onions)
2 Cups Chopped Celery (4 Stalks)
2 Cups Chopped Leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 Leeks)
5 Large Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
2 Cups Good Red Wine, such as Burgundy
2 Tablespoons Cognac or Brandy
1 (28-ounce) Can Whole Plum Tomatoes in puree
1 Cup Chicken Stock, preferably homemade
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
3 Branches Fresh Thyme
2 Branches Fresh Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.

Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.

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3 thoughts on “The Barefoot Contessa Does It Again….

  1. Yum, I love dressed-up mashed potatoes, and garlic and leeks sounds like a serious party in my mouth! Can’t wait for our Christmas get-together! 🙂

  2. yay!!! one dish i got to try and boy-oh-boy, it hit the spot especially after an hour commute from work and another half hour to the sis’ house from the kids’ school. comfort food is right!

    ina does have a fabulous life, doesn’t she? ina, if you are reading this, how about inviting some ordinary, talentless fans to your company dinners? i.e., moi??

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