Friday, December 23, 2011

Honey Pot Roast for Christmas (Eve) Dinner

This is pull-apart-with-a-fork tender pot roast, lightly sweetened with honey.  We'll be serving it for Christmas Eve dinner this year.  We got the chuck roast from McElhaney Family Farm in Hookstown--a wonderful source for locally raised beef!

I adapted this from the National Honey Board's recipe for Irish Honey Pot Roast.  We just fiddled a bit with it! :)  I made it a day ahead and will let the meat cool in its juices, so to speak.  I'll reheat it in a slow cooker on low for a few hours before serving.

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 to 5 lb chuck roast
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup honey (I used summer amber honey)
1 cup apple cider (you could substitute ale)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut in in 2 x 1/2 inch pieces (approx.)
2 cups parsnips, peeled and cut like the carrots
2 cups leeks, well-cleaned and cut like the carrots
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut in 2 inch chunks
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Salt and pepper the meat, coating thoroughly.  Dredge the meat in the flour.  Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high flame.  Sear the meat on all sides--letting brown very well on the two largest sides (about 5 minutes each side).  Gently heat the broth, cider and honey and stir well to thoroughly combine.  Add this to the Dutch oven along with the garlic and thyme.  Seal with aluminum foil and place the lid on top.  Roast for 1 1/2 hours.  Add the vegetables (they'll pile high on top--but not to worry, they'll cook down).  Seal again with foil, add the top and roast for another hour or so until the vegetables are soft and the meat is tender.  At this point, you can remove the vegetables to a serving dish and place the meat on top, spooning the broth over all.  If you'd like a thicker gravy, you can place the Dutch oven on the stove and bring it to a boil.  Combine about 1/4 cup flour, a bit of salt and pepper and 1/2 cup cold water in a jar with a lid and shake well.  Add the flour mixture to the boiling broth and stir until the gravy thickens.  Taste for seasoning and either pour the gravy over the meat and vegetables or serve on the side.

Make ahead:  Once the meat and vegetables have cooked, remove them from the Dutch oven, placing the meat in a slow cooker with the broth and the vegetables in another dish.  Cool and then refrigerate overnight.  About three hours before serving, remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.  Place the meat in the slow cooker and heat on low about two hours.  Add the vegetables about hour before serving (or cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until heated through).  This recipe serves between 8 and 10 people.

The National Board's recipe notes the whole thing can be made in a slow cooker:  Place the vegetables in the cooker, brown the roast and place it on top of the vegetables.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

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