Cooking Odds and Ends

So we had some really knock-out meals recently that I just had to get out into the ether.  Last Sunday it was super cold and dreary – the high for the day was 36F (2C) – and that put me in the mood for Pot Roast.  This recipe was in the crock pot, but it was seared first, which is absolutely essential, I think.  Quite simple – heat a Dutch oven to screaming hot; add 3 table spoons of grape seed oil and brown all sides of a 3-4 lbs chuck roast, 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a crock pot and add 8 oz. beer and one packet of Italian dressing mix.  Cook for 8 hours on low.  I get creative with the braising liquid.  For this, I used a dark stout aged in whiskey barrels.  It was fantastic.

bourbon stout1

With the roast, I had a Michael David Petite Petit from Lodi, California – one of my favourite Petit Sirahs…

With leftovers from Thanksgiving, we made the very best Turkey Pot Pie I have ever had.  Two secrets to this – the gravy was made from roasted Turkey broth and the ‘crust’ was essentially several cornmeal and chive dumplings.  It was really outstanding.  Nothing like comfort food…and this cast-iron skillet belonged to my great grandmother – it’s probably coming up on the century mark.  If there was a kitchen fire, I’d save this and my Le Creuset Dutch oven.

pot pie

And speaking of Le Creuset – and things French, I had a nice little Côtes de Bourg with this.  I was supposed to have the wine with Thanksgiving dinner, but as you’ll note from the photo, there was a ‘cork malfunction.’

cotes du bourg
Côtes de Bourg w/ defective cork

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