Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pot Roast Carbonnade

Pot Roast is the essential comfort food and this Pot Roast Carbonnade from Melissa d'Arabian is one of the best I have ever had let alone made. Carbonnade is a Belgian/French dish where the meat is cooked in beer. A quick google search taught me that the term carbonnade is a cooking method where the carbonized glazes are built up in the skillet from caramelizing onions and searing the beef. These glazes are then deglazed with beer adding depth of flavor to the broth that is then used to braise the meat.

Any dish that begins with bacon and caramelized onions has got to be good, right? The bacon, onions, beer, and thyme all meld together beautifully yet retain their individual flavors. Braising the meat in the oven creates a fork tender roast and makes this a great choice for cheaper cuts of beef. I was able to buy a single bottle of Belgian beer but noticed that Bud Light has a similar version. I'm sure any beer would work fine, but the Belgian beer did add a rich flavor and some additional spice. I didn't use the prunes in the recipe, primarily because I didn't have any but I think they would add an interesting sweetness to broth.

This is one of those dishes that doesn't photograph well but tastes soooo good. I am anxious to try it again and may throw in some potatoes next time to make it a one pot meal. This is not a good choice for a workday dinner but is perfect for a lazy Sunday. Enjoy!

Pot Roast Carbonnade
Melissa d'Arabian Ten Dollar Dinners

1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into large lardons
2 medium onions, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into large cubes
5 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
Generous tablespoon all-purpose flour
12 ounces beer (dark or light, depending on your preference)
6 prunes
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup beef stock

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the bacon and cook until it renders its fat and almost becomes crispy. Remove it with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook over low heat until they are deep in color and caramelized, about 30 minutes.

Remove the onions to a plate, leaving as much fat in the pot as possible. Add the vegetable oil and mix it with the bacon fat. Raise the heat to high. Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper and sear, in batches, until nicely browned on both sides.

Once the meat is browned, add the first batch of meat back to the pan along with the onions, carrots and bacon. Sprinkle in the flour and stir. Cook for 1 minute before deglazing the pan with the beer. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pot and put it in the oven to braise until the beef is tender, about 2 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the pot roast to a serving dish.

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  1. I'm glad to see that you made one of Melissa's meals. I just watched this episode and was intrigued with the use of the beer. Glad you gave it a thumbs up. I'm definitely going to add it to my "to-do" list.

  2. I love Melissa. I put this recipe on my list of recipes to make. Glad it turned out well. Can't wait to make it.

  3. I've tried several of Melissa's recipes. all good and all easy. I'll be looking for her cookbook if she releases one.

  4. This is a really good pot roast recipe - I am a fan of Melissa's and I have made this pot roast 5 times now and it always knocks my socks off.


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