There’s a restaurant in Seattle that we used to go to called Buddy’s Homesick Café (in the Greenwood neighborhood). It was when fifties-styled diners were all in vogue and this one had Kathy Casey connected with it. It was a fun place to be—it just felt comfortable. My favorite meal there was a scrumptious pot roast, probably the best I’ve ever had, that made you immediately feel as if you had gone home. It’s Kathy Casey’s recipe and here it is. If you make it, you won’t be sorry—comfort food at its best.
Cranberry Pot Roast
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3½ pounds boneless chuck roast
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 unpeeled orange, quartered
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon thyme
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
Garlic Whipped Potatoes with Parsnips
2½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
10 garlic cloves
¼ cup butter
¾ cup whole milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley, minced, for garnish
¼ cup butter
¼ cup reserved seasoned flour
4 cups reserved pot roast cooking liquid
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine the flour, salt and pepper; rub into the surface of the meat, coating it well. (Reserve leftover flour for the gravy.) Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the roast well on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, for a total cooking time of 6-7 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so. Pour in the wine and boil it while scraping up the cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Add next 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3 hours, or until fork tender. Add onions and carrots and cook for another ½ hour.
To make the potatoes: about 25 minutes before the meat will be done, place the potatoes, parsnips , garlic and salt in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cover the saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes, parsnips and garlic are tender. While the potatoes are cooking, combine in a small pan over medium heat, the milk, pepper and butter. Heat until the butter is melted and the milk is warm. Drain off the water from the potatoes, parsnips and garlic and mash or whip in the pot while adding the hot milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the roast to a cutting board and cut it into thick slices, reserving the cooking liquid. Arrange the slices on a serving dish and keep warm.
To make gravy: melt the butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the reserved seasoned flour into the butter. Cook for 1 minute, then vigorously whisk in the reserved cooking liquid. Cook, whisking often, until thickened and free of lumps. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Arrange the carrots and onions around the slices of roast (discard the orange pieces.) Pour some of the gravy over the slices and pass the rest in a sauceboat along with the whipped potatoes. Serves 6