Happy Thanksgiving! This year instead of doing the usual turkey David and I thought we’d change it up a bit. We had been eye-balling Michael Symon’s porter-braised pot roast for so long we thought, hey, why not? It was so amazingly delicious that we talked my parents into making it for our family Thanksgiving. David said to tell you that it’s so good “you should make it every week”. The dark porter just deepens the rich flavor of the beef and the lemon zest and mint that you add at the end gives it a fresh note that cuts through the richness. We served the roast with Yukon gold mashed potatoes with a bit of white cheddar mixed in. If you can’t think of having Thanksgiving without a turkey, this one is my favorite along with the gravy.
adapted from: Michael Symon’s Carnivore
1 (5-pound) chuck blade roast, silver skin removed
1 pound slab pancetta, cut into large dice (or substitute slab bacon)
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
10 shallots, peeled
5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 teaspoons coriander seeds (or 1 teaspoon powder)
2 bay leaves
2 cups apple cider
4 (12-ounce) bottles of porter (recommended: Founders Porter)
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn, for garnish
grated zest of 2 lemons, for garnish
Season the roast liberally with salt (3 tablespoons), wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
An hour before cooking, remove the roast from the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the pancetta over medium heat until slightly crispy and fully rendered. Remove pancetta and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan. Dry the roast with a paper towel and begin to brown it in the pancetta fat for 2 minutes per side. When browned on all sides, remove the meat and set aside.
Add the carrots, shallots, garlic, and a pinch of salt to the pot and cook until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Add the thyme, coriander, and bay leaves and continue to sweat for one minute. Deglaze the pot with the apple cider, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. This gives the dish more depth and richness. Add the beer and bring to a simmer.
Return the roast to the pot along with the pancetta. The liquid should be about ¾ of the way up the meat. Baste the meat with the liquid, place the lid on, and place in the oven. Baste every hour. The roast should be done after 3 or 4 hours. Contrary to other types of meat, the longer the roast spends in the oven in its cooking liquid, the more tender it becomes.
Remove from the oven and skim off the excess fat.
Carefully move the roast to a large platter. Spoon the vegetables and sauce on top, discard the bay leaves and thyme, and garnish with the mint and lemon zest.
*I served the roast with white cheddar mashed potatoes. (Yukon golds mashed with butter and cream and some shredded sharp, white cheddar.)
- Make a gravy with some of the leftover cooking liquid. In small ramekins place roast meat, gravy, carrots, and shallots. Top with leftover mashed potatoes and heat for an easy version of Shepherd’s Pie. (The next time we make the gravy I am going to use it to make poutine. )
- Gently reheat roast in some of the cooking liquid. Serve inside crispy corn tortillas (fried into taco shells in peanut or other high temp cooking oil) serve with pico de gallo.
- On a sandwich with horseradish sauce.