Pinot Noir-Braised Pot Roast with Root Vegetables is comfort food at its best; packed with flavor, vegetables and cool weather goodness.
Ah, Fall. The only season that conflicts me. While I run the gamut of pure joy for Spring and downright disgust at Winter, all the wonderful things about Fall; the cooler temperatures, gloriously colored leaves, and wonderfully warm sweaters.
Unfortunately for me, underlying all those good things is the knowledge and dread in the season that follows. Remember that whole disgust at winter thing? Yeah, it’s real.
I know that soon, when I look out my window, instead of seeing gloriously green trees back-dropped by a perfectly blue sky, my world will be full of dull browns and probably a lot of white. I’ll see my breath when I walk outside and the tip of my nose will never warm up.
These are all truths of the season that’s coming.
Luckily, big bowls of hot, wine-steeped beef stew that’s been braised for hours is also ahead. Or, as the case may be, now.
I have a confession. I didn’t use parsnips. We don’t care for them and since this isn’t a cheap, easy dinner, I didn’t want to ruin what looked to be a fantastic dish for us so I left them out. Such is life.
The roast (I’m not sure why it’s called a roast when the meat’s cut up in pieces like in a stew) is easy enough to pull together. Two suggestions though. Instead of dredging each individual piece of meat, put the flour, salt and pepper in a zip top bag and mix it up well. Add the chunks of meat, shake well and proceed as instructed.
Even though I tried to get as much loose flour off the beef as possible before searing it, I ended up with a good amount in the bottom of the pan and it blackened and started smoking. If that happens to you, I suggest wiping out the skillet after all meat’s browned, then adding a bit more oil to cook the carrots.
The pickled onions were easy. I didn’t drain mine though because I knew were weren’t going to eat them all with the stew/pot roast. The jar is tucked away in the fridge and I’ll be adding the onions to sandwiches in the weeks to come.
Finally, the potatoes. They’re also easy enough, but I found them to be pretty dry with the only moisture coming from the quarter cup of butter. I was tempted to add milk but held off.
I suppose it’s no surprise that a dish that uses a full bottle of wine wouldn’t hold a lot of appeal to a ten year-old. Sophie was not a fan of the beef or carrots. She did, however, really like the mashed potatoes. I might have failed to inform her that there was a full onion in there. I just reveled in the knowledge internally.
Doug and I, unlike Sophie, thoroughly enjoyed the roast/stew. It was packed with flavor, the meat fell apart easily and the potatoes softened up beautifully with the added sauce from the meat. It was delicious.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d wipe out the skillet after searing the meat to get rid of any loose flour then add a bit more oil for the vegetables.
Beef chuck roast: $14.99
Celery root: $2.29
Pinot noir: $9.99*
White balsamic vinegar: $3.99
Red onion: $1.49
Pink peppercorns: $4.99
Yukon gold potatoes: $4.49
Sweet onion: $1.49
*I’m a fan of Robert Mondavi wines. The private selection Pinot Noir was an excellent choice.
Pinot Noir-Braised Pot Roast with Root Vegetables
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- One 750-ml bottle fruity Pinot Noir
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
- 1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Make the pot roast In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Working in 2 batches, sear the meat over moderately high heat until browned all over, 5 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate. Add the vegetables to the casserole and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Return the meat and juices to the pot, add the wine and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir in the butter and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
- Make the pickled red onion Pack the sliced red onion into a 1-quart jar. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, bay leaf, sugar, salt, peppercorns and 1½ cups of water and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine over the red onion and let cool; drain well.
- Make the mashed potatoes In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes and onion with cold water and bring to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, 40 minutes. Drain the potatoes; return to the saucepan. Add the butter, season with salt and pepper and whisk until a chunky puree forms.
- Spoon the mashed potatoes into shallow bowls. Top with the pot roast, garnish with the pickled red onion and parsley and drizzle with olive oil; serve.