So, this is my great grandmother’s recipe. Mabel was her name. She died when I was very small, but my favorite second hand story about her is this:
One morning Mabel was making a batch of cookies, and while they baked, decided to take a shower. She lost track of the time and smelled burning, jumped out of the shower buck naked and ran into the kitchen to pull the cookies out of the oven. Upon opening the oven and bending over to pull out the cookies, Mabel (naked and – it should be noted- rather well endowed up top) burned her boobs on the oven. Ahh Mabel.
By all accounts, she was a great lady. This recipe is hers, and it’s called Highball Pot Roast because it has a slug of bourbon in it, and because you do all the measuring in a highball glass. I made Highball Pot Roast just now for the first time ever, and it has been a few years at least since I’ve eaten it. I’ve made a lot of other pot roasts (particularly in the last two years, seeing as Dom is not opposed to a meat heavy meal) and I have no idea why. This one is better than any other pot roast, ever – suck it, Julia Child and your famous beef bourguinon- I’ve made a whole bunch and this is the most satisfying. The beef gets really tender through the longish cooking time, and the accompanying sauce/juices are rich, a little tangy, sweet and dense. My mom makes this with noodles or rice, but I made it with mashed potatoes and I think it’s the best way, because you don’t lose any of the delicious juice.
Highball Pot Roast
2-3 lb of pot roast, a fattier cut (The recipe calls for English cut, but my store didn’t have that, so I used a top round, a big one, because I believe in leftovers.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 brown sugar
1 1/2 cups Canada Dry Ginger Ale (or more ginger ale, you want the meat to be almost covered in the dutch oven)
a shot or so of bourbon
salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Take the roast out of the package and pat it dry with paper towels, then liberally salt and pepper it. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil on medium high heat, and sear the roast. Sear the first side for a 2 minutes, flip and sear the other for 3 minutes. In the meantime, whisk together all the other ingredients in another bowl. After you’ve seared the second side, pour in the sauce. Loosely cover, and simmer on low heat for 3 hours.
After three hours, fetch the meat and remove it to a plate, and turn the sauce up to high heat. Sprinkle in a little flour to thicken, whisking to combine, and let it boil for a few more minutes. Cut the beef into chunks, (though cut is a strong word, it falls apart) and serve with the sauce on top of mashed potatoes. I served it with carrots, cooked in a little butter and black pepper.
I made a CRAPload of pot roast just now, because I feel the best about my life when I look in my fridge and there are at least 2 kinds of leftovers I want to eat in there. Here are some ideas I had for how to use up the beef: shredded beef tacos with a purple cabbage slaw, shredded beef sandwiches on crusty bread with spicy mustard, sharp cheddar cheese and bread and butter pickles, shredded beef enchiladas, shredded beef with greens, blue cheese, cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette.