Monday, October 22, 2012

Cola Pot Roast with Vegetables

Every once in a while, a girl just gets the urge to braise something in alcohol. I began the day scouring our tiny supermarket for short ribs, which much to my disappointment were nonexistent. Then I stumbled upon a beautiful chuck roast and remembered an old recipe I’d tucked away, a gem that used cola to marinate and braise this tough cut of meat into tender submission. The result later that night was amazing – moist, succulent meat with an almost ethereal hint of tanginess.

Cola Pot Roast with Vegetables
Courtesy of Comfort Food by Southern Living

1 (12-oz) can cola soft drink (I used Coca Cola)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 (3-4 lb) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 tsp fresh coarsely ground pepper
8 large carrots (about ½ lb), cut into 1½-inch chunks
7 Yukon gold potatoes (about 2¼ lb), cut into quarters (I found I had too many potatoes and wanted more carrots. Also, I think this might be amazing with sweet potatoes.)
2 large onions, cut into eighths
2 tbsp cornstarch
½ cup cold water
Garnish: fresh oregano or thyme sprigs

Combine first 5 ingredients and 2 tbsp oil in large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Add roast, turning to coat. Seal and chill 8 to 24 hours. Remove roast from marinade; discard lemon slices, and reserve marinade. Sprinkle roast with pepper.

Brown roast 4 minutes on each side in remaining 1 tbsp hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove roast from skillet and transfer to a large roasting pan. Add reserved marinade to skillet, stirring to loosen particles from bottom. Bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 300˚. Arrange carrots, potatoes and onions around roast in pan; pour hot marinade over roast and vegetables.

Bake, covered, at 300˚ for 4 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter. Skim fat from juices in roasting pan.

Whisk together cornstarch and ½ cup cold water in small bowl until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into juices in pan; cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until thickened, whisking to loosen particles. (Dear reader, I did not complete this last step. Hungry, greedy hands and mouths descended upon the roast as soon as it was removed from the oven.) Serve gravy with roast and vegetables. Garnish, if desired.

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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