“Smell brings to mind... a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.”
This unique version of a beefy classic intrigued me with it's ease and addition of cranberry sauce and horseradish. The result was a great sweet and sour vibe which we all enjoyed. It really worked. Since the juices are not the traditional savory gravy usually served with pot roast, I opted against serving it with mashed potatoes and served it instead with mashed turnip, which can stand on it's own, maybe with a pat a melting butter, no gravy needed. I'm making all the long-cooking meals I can before spring arrives and my palate turns to the grill and the fabulous in-season vegetables and fruits that will begin to arrive at the market.
Spicy New England Pot Roast
(from The Essential NY Times cookbook)
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
One 4-pound boned and tied arm, blade, or bottom round roast
3 tablespoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1/2 cup freshly grated horseradish or drained prepared horseradish (4-ounce jar)
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cinnamon stick, broke in two
4 whole cloves
1 cup beef broth
16 small white onions (you can use jarred or frozen)
1bunch carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
1. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the flour, rubbing the mixture into all the surfaces.
2. Heat the drippings in a Dutch oven or other heavy casserole and brown the meat very well on all sides over high heat. Drain off drippings.
3. Mix together the horseradish, cranberry sauce, cinnamon, cloves, and broth and add to the meat.
4. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 4 hours. For the last hour, add carrots and onions. Before serving, remove roast to a platter and cover with foil. Pour drippings into a pitcher, drain off any fat from the top, and serve.