There is nothing like a fragrant cauldron of yummy goodness simmering away in your oven for a few hours whilst you are hunkered down at home in the winter on an inclement day during the Time of the Corona to give you a sense of solace. So I present a little sloooow-roasted oven-braised beef pot roast with shiitakes and leeks served alongside pureed romanesco with garlic, chives, ricotta and horseradish for your cooking consideration...
As per usual in any non-baking recipe, you can substitute the seasonings and other ingredients pretty freely, or omit what you don't like. I don't use a roux as a thickener, nor do I dust the meat with flour because we are keto in this household, but if you're not eschewing carbs, by all means do so. Or you can simply remove the meat when it's done and reduce the jus in the pot until it is the consistency you like. A dab of creme fraiche or sour cream will also thicken it, but el esposo prefers a saucier sauce so I didn't. Cauliflower or broccoli make great low-carb options to use as substitutes for the romanesco, I chose ricotta as the cheese because it's what I needed to use, but gruyere, chevre, anything you like would be nice, I'm sure. I use a shallow 14" Le Creuset enamel-coated cast iron braiser that I have had for 15 years, but a Dutch oven will be fine - just don't feel tempted to fill it with too much liquid. I use an immersion blender to puree the romanesco, it is an indispensable tool & so inexpensive, but you can use a blender, processor, food mill, or even a potato masher. This dish will serve 4 easily.
Oven-Braised Beef Bottom Round Roast with Shiitakes and Leeks; Pureed Romanesco with Garlic, Chives, Ricotta and Horseradish
For The Beef
- 2 lbs of beef bottom round roast, whole
- a couple of pinches of porcini powder (I use this one)
- freshly milled black pepper, to taste
- 1 packet of Sazon, optional
- teaspoon of paprika
- olive oil to lightly coat bottom of braising pan
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 3 sprigs of fresh marjoram
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large leek, cleaned of debris & sliced into large coins
- 1/2 of 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed with the flat side of chef's knife & minced
- sliced shiitakes mushroom, 1 cup
- sliced crimini mushrooms, 1 cup
- 1 large zucchini, cut into large chunks
- 1 TBS of tomato paste (or ketchup)
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of Pinot Noir (or any good dry red wine you're drinking)
- 1 cup of stock - beef, chicken, or vegetable
- 2 TBS of butter
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 large head of Romanesco, chopped into large florets
- olive oil to lightly coat bottom of pan
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 TBS. butter, unsalted
- 1/2 cup low-sodium stock
- 1/4 cup of cream or half and half
- 1/4 cup of ricotta
- horseradish, to taste (I used a tablespoon)
- freshly milled pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste (I didn't use any)
- chopped chives, to taste
For The Beef:
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Remove roast from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking, clean and pat dry with a paper towel, then season with freshly milled black pepper, porcini powder, paprika, and Sazon. (If you are using Sazon or any other seasoning salt, you won't need additional salt). Set aside for .
- Prepare all your veggies and aromatics. Set aside.
- Heat a large braising pan over medium high heat, coat the pan with a light film of olive oil, when oil is hot, sear roast on all sides one side at a time for 5 minutes per side without disturbing the roast.
- Remove meat from braising pan, keeping in a warm spot, then add the leeks, onions, garlic and mushrooms. Add more oil if needed. Saute until aromatics and vegetables soften - do not brown them. When aromatics are softened, add soy sauce, stirring in well, then add tomato paste, stirring in well, and coating all the aromatics well... letting the tomato paste cook until it loses its raw look.
- Then deglaze pan with wine, scraping up all and any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, when wine cooks down about half way, add stock, herbs (oregano, marjoram, bay leaf), stir in well, then place meat and any accumulated juices back in pan, coating the meat on all sides with the sauce.
- Add the zucchini, if using, bring pan back up to a boil, add butter and cream on top of the roast, fit tightly with lid and place in the center of the oven for two and half to three hours, turning roast once halfway through cooking time. Meat is done when it gives in easily to the touch and is almost falling apart.
- Remove pan from oven, let rest for 10 minutes covered, then remove meat from pan, slice and serve on warmed plates with mushroom sauce and pureed romanesco (or whatever sides you choose).
- Heat a deep sauce pan over medium heat, add olive oil to coat pan, when pan is hot add the garlic and saute until fragrant (about 45 seconds). Add romanesco florets and 1 tablespoon of butter, mixing well with the garlic, season with freshly milled black pepper to taste. Saute for 2-3 minutes until romanesco caramelizes slightly, careful not to let the garlic burn as you do.
- Add cream and stock to romanesco mixture and cover tightly with lid until romanesco is soft & breaks apart easily with a wooden spoon (7-10 minutes). Check pot occasionally for liquid, if it gets too dry to fast, you may need to add more stock or cream, but ideally the romanesco will absorb all the liquid without need for more.
- When romanesco is cooked, remove from heat, and blend with an immersion blender directly in the pot. Just be sure the blender's blades are below the surface or else you will be wearing pureed romanesco. When smooth, add ricotta and horseradish and blend in well with the blender.
- When puree is the consistency you like, finish with black pepper, chopped chives, and the last tablespoon of butter, stirring it all in with wooden spoon. Serve.