Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Roast Made Easy

Although I don't make a holiday roast (my holiday being over and all), I've had a great big hunk of meat taking up space in my freezer, and I thought now is as good a time as any to serve it. This time of year is great for a good, hearty roast. Rich foods are a perfect comfort on a cold, snowy evening, and that's just what we've got here in the Northeast.

Roasts are often all-day cooking affairs, but that doesn't mean they have to be complicated or difficult. On the contrary, making a roast can be the most worry-free, hands-off choice for entertaining. Roasts pair especially well with root vegetables, which are in season anyway, and the veggies can cook right alongside the roast, making entertaining with a dish like this incredibly simple.

I made this dish with a beef roast, but I don't see why you couldn't use any number of other meats - lamb, bison, venison, elk, wild boar (if you're lucky enough to have access to these). But whatever you do, do yourself, your community and the planet we all share a great big favor - make sure your meat comes from grass-fed (or wild) animals from an ethical, local farm. Animals given the opportunity to roam freely, raised on a natural diet, are far less prone to disease, have much higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids, and are generally more nutrient-dense than their factory-farmed counterparts. Buying locally raised meats supports your local economy and avoids the huge carbon toll of transporting food over long distances.

A happy and DELICIOUS holiday to all!!!

Holiday Roast Made Easy
2 Tbsps. safflower oil
3.5-5 lb. boneless roast
6 small or 3 large turnips, cut into 1/8ths
3 large carrots, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup water
2 Tbsps. dried tarragon
1-2 Tbsps.coarse salt
black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsps. butter

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the safflower oil over high heat. Sear the roast for 3 minutes on each side.

In a slow cooker, add the turnips, carrots, onion, garlic and water. Place the roast on top of the vegetables so that the meat drippings help to flavor the veggies.

Combine the tarragon, salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk together. Spoon the mixture over the top of the roast. Add the butter in small bits over the top of the roast. For an even richer flavor, you can add the pan drippings from the skillet to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. If you like, strain some of the juices and reduce in a saucepan for about 15 minutes, and serve as a sauce to accompany the meat. Serve sliced meat alongside the carrots and turnips.

Serves 6-12.

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