Comfort food powers, activate!

Originally posted October 2012.

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Guys, I had to turn my heat on yesterday.

I had to wear a hoodie AND a coat when I took Sam for a walk.

It’s dark at, like, seven.

These kinds of things do not make for a happy Lauren. However, in my defense, I coped with yesterday’s sudden drop in temperature very well. I didn’t sulk (much), busted out some of my favorite cold-weather music (check out Craig Cardiff; the live version of “County Road Christmastime” on Bombshelter Living Room is one of my all-time favorite songs), and cooked up what is a contender for the king of lazy Sunday comfort foods: pot roast.

I knew Sunday was going to be cold, gloomy and grey, so last week, I went to the grocery store prepared and bought myself a three and a half pound boneless bottom round roast. I knew I was going to need it.

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Hunk. o’. meat.

To my chagrin, I overestimated how much beef stock I had on hand (mentally: at least two cartons; actually: 1.5 cups), which actually, I believe, worked out in my favor. Although I didn’t end up with a ton of gravy, it was juicy, and the meat and veggies turned out to be SO flavorful that Colin said he wanted to cry.

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I served it alongside this delicious polenta. I’m itchin’ to go home and devour the leftovers as I type this.

With these two secret weapons up my sleeve, I don’t think I’m dreading winter nearly as much as I usually do.

Pot roast
3.5 lb boneless bottom round roast
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
salt
pepper
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup water
1 cup dry red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon)
2 small red potatoes, diced
1 cup carrots (I used baby carrots; they’re what I had on hand)

In a pot/pan/Dutch oven large enough to hold your roast, heat your olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Season your roast generously with salt and pepper. Once your butter has melted and the butter/oil combination is nice and hot, sear the roast on all sides. Remove the roast from the pot, then add in your onions, garlic and spices.

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If I lived in the Harry Potter universe, I’m pretty sure amortentia would smell like onions, garlic and herbs sauteeing in a butter/olive oil mixture.

Once the onions soften and become translucent, add your roast, stock, water and wine to the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. You’re going to let it simmer for about four hours, and during the last hour, add your potatoes and carrots.

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If you start pulling off pieces of the roast at this point, I won’t judge you. As I was cooking, sometimes I’d push the roast around and ladle the liquid/onion/garlic mixture over the roast. If you choose to use more liquid and nearly cover the roast, obviously you won’t have to do any ladling. You can still filch pieces off the roast, though. I encourage it.

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Once you’re done cooking, slice up your roast and serve alongside goat cheese polenta. Or mashed/scalloped/roasted potatoes. Or creamed spinach. Or egg noodles. Whatever floats yer boat, really.

I wish I could eloquently describe how flavorful these vegetables are. They soaked up EVERYTHING. It’s like there’s a rumble going on in your mouth. A love rumble. You know what? This is getting creepy. Here, just look at it.

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Just try telling me you don’t want to make this for dinner next Sunday.

Happy eating!

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