The guys came over a few weeks ago to play a tabletop role-playing game called Gamma World. It's a game about crazed mutants, bizarre creatures and horrors that defy logic. In light of the weirdness to come, I prepared some roast beast. I'm not sure which kind of beast it was, actually. It kind of glowed, had a bunch of tentacles and shot lasers from its eyes and napalm out of its, well, you know.
This dish serves four to (maybe) six. Four hours total, only about 30 minutes active.
Roast Beast With Root Vegetables
4 lb. shoulder roast
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon cumin ground with a mortar and pestle
3 tablespoons clarified butter
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme, freshly chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
1 dozen cippolini or pearl onions, halved and peeled
16 fingerling potatoes
4 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
2 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. Pat the meat dry. Season with salt, pepper and cumin, then roll in flour and tap off the excess.
3. In Le Creuset sear roast in butter, browning on all sides. (see notes)
4. Reserve roast, remove Le Creuset from heat and deglaze with red wine.
5. Add stock, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, garlic and roast. Place foil on top, then cover with lid. Place in oven 3 hours.
6. After three hours, place vegetables in pot. Recover and cook for 30 additional minutes,
7. Remove roast and vegetables to a warm platter.
8. Strain liquid and reserve. (See notes) Slice roast and plate with vegetables. Spoon the broth over the plate, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Your butter may reach the smoke point before you are finished searing the roast on all sides. No worries. As soon as you see smoke, reserve the meat and deglaze. Be sure to pick rosemary leaves off the meat. You can also wrap the rosemary in cheesecloth to save yourself some time.
You can do all kinds of things with the broth. You can reduce it to make a nice, thick sauce. You can reserve two cups, add a slurry of flour and water, then reduce to make a gravy. Whatever you do, don't use water as your braising liquid or I will come to your house and we'll fight in your driveway.