I am surprised I have not posted this dinner before. The last time we had it with mashed potatoes and it was great. This time I made polenta and it was outstanding!! Pasta would also be an alternative, but I loved the soft polenta.
The recipe we pulled from Cook's Country TV several years ago. It is a great tasting Italian Pot Roast. Perhaps a little putzy to put together, but the oven does most of the work. If you are ready to try a new pot roast recipe, let it be this one.
Italian Pot Roast
from Cook's Country with my interpretation
I boneless beef chuck roast 2 1/2-3 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup red wine (divided)
1 large head garlic, outer papery skin removed, then halved
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat dry roast and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown roast on all sides for 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate. Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, celery, mushrooms and tomato paste until vegetables begin to soften 5-8 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, water and 1/2 cup of the wine, garlic head and thyme. Return roast to accumulated juices to pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place foil over pot, cover with lid and transfer pot to oven.
Cook for 1 hour and flip roast over. Continue cooking in the oven for another 1 1/2 hours or until fork tender. Uncover pot and let the roast rest in the juices for 20 minutes, skimming fat from the surface. Transfer roast to carving board and tent with foil. Remove the garlic head and add remaining 1/2 cup of wine. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook until sauce thickens, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, carefully squeeze garlic from the cut half bulb and mash into paste. Add rosemary to pot and simmer until fragrant...about 2 minutes. Remove and discard rosemary and thyme springs. Stir in mashed garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Cut the roast into slices against the grain. Transfer to platter and pour the sauce over. Serve over soft polenta, mashed potatoes or pasta.
I had to do quite a search on the Internet looking for the right ratio for soft polenta. It seems most people cook the thicker polenta that is then sliced and fried. Finally, I found the ratio and it turned out perfect.
I found Bob's Red Mill Polenta Corn Grits at Whole Foods. I took what I needed out of the bag and put it in the freezer. It needs to be frozen or in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup coarse or medium grind corn meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
In a 4 to 6 6 qt. pan over medium high heat, bring the water and broth to a boil. Whisk in the salt and then the corn meal in a thin, steady stream, whisking non-stop until smooth.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, for 8-10 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter and olive oil. Serve right away or you can cover and it should keep warm and soft for about 20 minutes. It will get stiffer as it cools.
With such a delightful meal, you really need a great wine. This wine was the right choice. It is known as a "Super Tuscan." It is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It was ranked 69 out of the Top 100 in 2011 by Wine Spectator. Wine Spectator also ranked it most drinkable in 2012-2022. We felt it was very drinkable now and will age 3-5 years. It has the essence of black current, cherry and cedar aromas. Price was $18.