Pot Roast with Carrots, Shallots, Mint & Lemon
Serves 6 to 8
On a blustery winter day in Cleveland, nothing gets my family and friends around the kitchen table faster than a flavorful pot roast. This is the ultimate comfort food, and as it slowly simmers away on the stove, intoxicating aromas fill the entire house. I love to serve this dish on a big platter garnished with all the melted carrots and shallots from the pot. I finish it with lemon zest and mint leaves to brighten it up and cut through the roast's rich goodness. Try this dish and I'm sure it will become a cold-weather staple in your home like it has in mine.
1 (5-pound) chuck blade roast, silver skin removed
1 pound slab bacon, cut into large dice
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
20 shallots, peeled
5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
2 cups apple cider
4 (12-ounce) bottles of wheat beer
10 sprigs fresh thyme
About 2 quarts chicken broth, preferably homemade (page 163)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1. Season the roast liberally with 2 tablespoons salt and refrigerate overnight.
2. An hour before cooking, remove the roast from the fridge.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until slightly crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan. Dry the roast with a paper towel and begin to brown it in the bacon fat for 2 minutes per side. When browned on all sides, remove the meat and set aside.
5. Add to the pot the carrots, shallots, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Add the coriander and bay leaves and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pot with the apple cider, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. This gives the dish more depth and richness. Add the beer and thyme and bring to a simmer.
6. Return the roast to the pot along with the cooked bacon and enough broth to cover the meat. The braising liquid will reduce considerably while in the oven. Cover the pot and put in the oven. Cook until the meat is tender, 3 to 4 hours, basting every hour. Remove from the oven and skim off the excess fat.
7. Carefully move the roast to a large platter. Spoon the vegetables and sauce on top, discard the bay leaves and thyme, and garnish with the mint and lemon zest.