Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday colors

Could there be anything more glorious than a blue sky on a fall Saturday morning?  No, I don't think so.  Forget cleaning house and washing clothes.  It just isn't right to stay inside.  Especially not when there is a breeze blowing and the temperature is around 65˚.  This kind of morning begs for a trip to the Durham Farmers' Market.  Here are some of today's sights.
Pumpkins galore
Sweet potatoes

Simple beauty everywhere
A great morning for strolling and working up an appetite. 
Breakfast at Mad Hatter Bakeshop and Café.
The Biscuit
(I think it looks like an octopus!)
Breakfast Burrito
After breakfast, a walk down Ninth Street, with a visit to The Regulator Bookshop.  (My book will be sold here as soon as I get it written...) 
Then the beginning of the Duke-Maryland field hockey game.
And finally, home to make Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast
Fall is my favorite season.

Perfect Pot Roast
10 servings

1 whole (4-5 pounds) chuck roast
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 whole onions
6 whole carrots
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 c. red wine (optional- you can use beef broth instead)
2 - 3 c. beef stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary

First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat.  This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else.  Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast. 
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Then add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter-olive oil split).
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel the carrots if you wish, but you don't have to).  When the oil in the pot is very hot, but not smoking, add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.  Throw the carrots into the same very hot pot and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.  Remove them to a plate.
If needed, add more olive oil to the very hot pot.  Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over.  Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2-3 cups).  Add in the onions and carrots, as well as the thyme and rosemary.  Put the lid on, then roast in a 275˚F oven for 3 hours (3 lb. roast) or 4 hours (4-5 lb. roast).
** My ovenproof pot is not large enough for all that, so I heated up the Crockpot (slow cooker), put it all in there and cooked it on high for about 4 hours.
Bon appétit, l'automne!

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