Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stracoto with Shiitake Mushrooms

I was sad to take a month or two off from Taste & Create, but it's not without good reason(s)! First, in July/August we were in France (and very soon we will get back to the story of our trip of a lifetime!). When we got home, I had just two weeks to frame a ton of photographs for my very first gallery show!! My friend Cath and I have a 6-month show at a local art gallery, her paintings and my photographs! So exciting! (let me know if you'd like more information)

So, because I've got some new readers, and I've taken a couple months off, maybe some of you aren't familiar with the fabulous food blog event, Taste & Create. It is the best event around, created by my friend, the lovely Nicole, of For the Love of Food. In which, bloggers are paired off to choose and prepare a dish from their partner's blog, and write about it. Fantastic. I love it!

This month, my partner was Kimberly of Rhubarb and Honey. Kimberly has some tempting recipes (although to be honest, you need to eat more dessert, girl!) I chose to make a pot roast, although it sounds better in Italian...Stracoto. Ahhh. Yum.

Regarding the pot roast, Kimberly wrote: "This is actually my brother’s favorite pot roast recipe, which he probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon had he not been watching Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network (believe me, he wasn’t watching to see what she was cooking, if you know what I mean)."

Oh yes, we know what you mean, that girl is gorgeous. I read that to my husband, Number One, and he said, "Honey, if you had a cooking show, I wouldn't watch it for the recipes either." Sweet.

This stracoto is scrumptious. Tender, and the gravy is the best part! I didn't have porcini mushrooms, so I used a couple handfuls of shiitakes. I rounded up to 2 cups of beef broth, then with about an hour to go I added another 1 1/2 cups of water along with a couple cubed potatoes (I just had to have something to put that delicious gravy on). Try it and see for yourself! Number One doesn't even like pot roast, but this he loved. Do I have to tell you that no pot roast I know is photogenic? I'll let this photo speak for itself.

Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms
(follow the above link for the original recipe, my changes are noted below)

1 (4-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups canned beef broth
1/2-ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy 6-quart roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total cooking time. Transfer the beef to a bowl.

3. Add remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, add the onions and saute until tender, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the wine and boil 1 minute. Stir in the broth and mushrooms.

4. Return the beef to the pan. Bring the liquids to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until the beef is fork-tender, turning the beef over halfway through cooking, about 3 hours. With 1 hour remaining, add potatoes and 1 to 2 cups water, cook until potatoes are tender. Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Tent the beef with foil and let stand 15 minutes. Carefully remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon.

5. Transfer the pan juices and vegetables to a blender and puree until smooth. Combine the sauce and rosemary sprig in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

6. Cut the beef across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the sliced beef on a platter and garnish with rosemary. Spoon the sauce over and serve.


Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

This looks so good! This is my first participating in taste and create and I don't think that it will be my last.

Chris said...

Giada doesn't do it for me, I'm a Nigella kind of guy :)

But this braised roast really rocks, I can't wait to try it in the dutch oven. Bookmarked this one.

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