29 April 2010

Veal rump pot roast

Pot roasts are meant to be one-pot dishes where a bunch of veggies and meat are cooked over several hours in broth. This creates a very flavorful dish without the need for spices other than salt and pepper.
Serves 4

2-3 lb veal rump, it was held together in a net made out of butcher's twine
20-25 cremini mushrooms, most of them were small and medium sized, seperate stalks and heads and dust off dirt if any.
1 1/2 cups diced red onions
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly diced
4 dried bay leaves
2 bunches wild leeks, sliced on a bias. Wild leeks are also called ramps and grow wild in the midwest and the east coast. They taste like spring onions and garlic and look like large spring onins as you can see in the image below. Give it try - they are in season!
1 carrot, peeled and cubed
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
generous bunch of bouquet garni - rosemary and thyme, tied with a twine
5-6 whole peppercorns
3 cups of beef broth
1 1/2 cups red wine
Salt to taste
  • Preheat oven to 325 deg.
  • Use a thick bottomed, oven proof pot - I used my cast iron Le Creuset pot. Heat a tbsp of peanut oil on medium high heat. Brown the veal rump on both sides. There will be smoke if ventilation isn't good, but don't worry about that. Crack open your windows. Make sure the veal is nicely browned on both sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Discard the oil and put in another tbsp of fresh oil. Again over medium high heat, put in onions, garlic, carrots, peppercorns and mushroom stalks. Sprinkle some salt and stir. Saute until onions are brown.
  • Add wine to gently scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the veal rump. Add enough broth to submerge the bottom half of the rump. Add a couple more tsps of salt, bouquet garni and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cover the pot with aluminum foil, depressed in the center so that the condensation rolls off the middle onto the meat instead around the sides of the pot. Aluminum foil also helps seal the pot well.

  • Cover and move the pot to the oven. Check in 10 mins, if the broth is furiously bubbling lower temperature to 300 deg. On the other hand if broth is not bubbling enough, increase heat to 350 deg. The idea is to have the broth bubbling gently.
  • Bake for 3 hours.
  • Insert a fork into the meat. If the meat is done, you should be able to do this easily. Gently remove the meat and set aside.
  • Strain and discard all the solids. At this point the veggies and herbs have already imparted all their flavor into the broth.
  • Bring the strained broth back to a slow simmer. Add potatoes, sliced wild leeks (I used half the green leaves as well) and mushroom heads. Place the meat back into pot. Cover pot with aluminum foil and the lid. Move it back into the oven.
  • Bake for another 30 mins.
  • Uncover the pot, leave it in the oven for another 30 mins and baste the meat every 10 mins. The meat forms a shiny coat and the sauce reduces considerably and becomes syrupy. Keeping the meat in the sauce while reducing it intensifies the flavor of the sauce.
  • When done. Remove the meat and set it on a cutting board to rest for atleast 5 mins before you cut into it. This allows its juices to get reabsorbed back into the meat instead of spilling out when you cut into it.
  • Ladle out sauce and veggies over the meat. Enjoy with caution - you might just end up stuffing yourself!

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