Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Balsamic Pot Roast with Roots

Balsamic Pot Roast with Roots

I wrote a short series of wine country posts over the past week.   In one of the posts I mentioned that we were out in the Kenwood area visiting one of our favorite wineries, Eric Ross.  http://www.ericross.com/

The Manager, Dennis Mitchell and his wife Diane are two of our favorite people.  Their love for each other is evident, as is the love for the wine. 

The tasting room experience is totally laid back.  You might be the only couple in there at any given time.  And be prepared to taste some of the best Zin on the planet!

By the way, the Eric Ross Zinfandel would pair very nicely with this dish.   We had soda with the pot roast.  We are saving our wine for a "special occasion," like a Friday night when we can really enjoy the bottle.  ;.)

After leaving Eric Ross we stopped by our favorite olive oils shops.   Olive oil shops in California also carry great quality Balsamic vinegar.   

Balsamic vinegar was the inspiration for this dish.

View from Oakville Grade
between Sonoma and Napa Valley

I did not use the Balsamic which I purchased in Sonoma County to make this dish.   I purchased Cinnamon Pear.  I will be making something very special with that soon to share with you. 

This is a great weeknight meal because it's made in the crock pot.  I do brown my meat for this dish, however.   

I speed up the process by using a steak seasoning blend.  Crock pot meals are supposed to save you time.  No need to make your own spice blend unless you've got some on hand. 

Note 1:  Try to chop your veggies as uniformly as possible so that everything cooks evenly. 

Note 2:  I like recipes that give me options.  I used turnips instead of potatoes for this dish.  Feel free to substitute potatoes or even parsnips.  Also, note the adjustment on the amount of vinegar you can use if you do not like a peppery flavor to your roast or gravy. 

Makes 4 Servings:


1 1/2 - 2 pound Boneless Chuck Roast
2 tablespoons Grill Seasoning for Steak, divided
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 small or 2 large Carrots, chopped into coin sized pieces
2 stalks Celery, chopped
2 Turnips, peeled and diced
2 cloves fresh Garlic, minced
1 Bay Leaf, crushed
1 medium sweet Onion, quartered and then halved
1/2 tablespoon dried Thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried Rosemary
1 cup Petite Diced Tomatoes
1/4 cup cold Water
1 cup Beef Broth
2 tablespoons Corn Starch, divided*
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar**
1/2 cup Light Pancake Syrup
4 ounces fresh sliced White Mushrooms

Season roast with half of the steak seasoning.  Brown in olive oil, about four minutes each side. 

Turn slow cooker to low heat. 

Add carrots, celery, turnips, garlic and bay leaf.

Add browned roast on top of vegetables.  

Sprinkle thyme and rosemary over roast. 

Add chopped tomatoes and water to the slow cooker. 

Whisk one tablespoon of the corn starch into the beef broth.  Microwave on high (in a microwave safe bowl) for three minutes until it thickens. 

Stir balsamic vinegar into the broth and cornstarch mixture.  Pour over roast and vegetables.  Drizzle in pancake syrup.

Cook on low for 6 hours. 

Increase slow cooker heat to high.  Once the sauce begins to bubble, add in the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for one hour. 

Let meat rest slightly before serving.

*If the gravy is not thick enough, remove vegetables and reserve.  Pour gravy into a sauce pan.  Take a little of the warm gravy and whisk in the remaining cornstarch.  Return to pan.  Whisk constantly to avoid lumps.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer until the gravy comes to the desired consistency.

**For a less "peppery" sauce, you can reduce the amount of Balsamic Vinegar to 1/4 cup.

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