Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipes: Stout Beer Pot Roast with Carrots and Gravy

Author's Note:

So last week was certainly interesting.  Gall stones and jaundice followed by a 24 hour cooking and baking marathon (yes, i literally spent 24 hours cooking this past weekend) .  Please forgive me, but today's post a simple  re-hashing of a very classic recipe for pot roast.  But this isn't Julia or Ina's roast, this is the recipe I used for the first dish I prepared at The Nook Tavern, in Huntsville, Ala. 

Eat good food.  Drink good beer.  And above all, stay classy.

Stout Beer Pot Roast with Carrots and Gravy
BY: Samuel Parks (March 2011)

Stout Pot Roast, as featured at the Nook Tavern on Dec. 17, 2011
A Sunday evening meal that goes down almost as smoothly as the beer recommendation!  Cooked with a dry stout beer, such as Guinness Extra Stout, this pot roast features a complexity of flavors unrivaled by its cousin cooked with snooty French wine.  The malty characteristics of the stout offer a supple backdrop for a symphony of beef and mixed vegetables slowly braised in a delicious grave. 

Beer Pairing Recommendation:
Complimentary-Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock
Contrasting-Mojo Double Rising India Pale Ale (IPA)


1 boneless beef chuck roast (4 to 5 pounds should be sufficient for approximately 8 people)*
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Yellow corn meal
Smoked Paprika (to taste)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)**
2 cups chopped parsnips (approximately 4 parsnips)
15-20 Pearl onions (cut in half)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (approximately 2 leeks)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups dry stout beer (such as Guinness Extra Stout)
2 tablespoons bourbon (such as Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam)
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh sage
(Coincidentally, all of these herbs may be found in the ‘Poultry Blend’ in the fresh herb section at most Kroger supermarkets)
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature


1.      Pat the beef dry with a paper towel.
2.      Season the roast with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper (make sure to generously massage the spices into the meat).
3.      Dredge the whole roast in flour, corn meal, and paprika (I find that mixture of approximately 1 to 3 parts corn meal to flour works the best).  
4.      In a large deep pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until well browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. Remove the roast from the pan.
5.      Add 2 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon fat if you have it on hand) to the pan.
6.      Add the carrots, onions, parsnips, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium heat (COVERED) for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender but not browned.
7.      Add the beer and bourbon and bring to a boil.
8.      Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
9.      Tie the fresh herbs together and add to the pot.
10.  Transfer the mixture to the crock pot.
11.  Put the roast into the crock pot
12.  Cook until fork tender (approximately 8-10 hours)
13.  Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard.
14.  Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce.
15.  Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender and puree until smooth.
16.  Place butter and cornstarch in a small bowl and mash until a paste has formed.
17.  Add the butter mixture to the pureed sauce and mix until well combined.
18.  Pour the puree back into the pot and return the sauce to a simmer.
19.  Cook until thickened.
20.  Taste for seasoning, and slice the meat.

*Make sure to tightly truss your roast into as uniform and compact a shape as possible. Most de-boned chuck roasts will be trimmed so that their overall shape is uneven and “floppy.” Trussing helps to ensure an even and uniform cooking time.

**For the original preparation of this recipe, diced carrots were used. Two, 2 lb bags of mini/ baby carrots would probably work better with the gravy than the diced version.

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