Behind My Red Door

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Little woolies with comfort food on a cold winter's day!

Brrr - it's been pretty cold here in Central MA and we are fixin to have a big ol snowstorm dump on us later today. We are having record snowfalls already in my neck of the woods. I have to visit the dental surgeon a bit later so hopefully we get home before the first flakes fly! Staying in to stay warm gave me a chance to finish my wool pillows that I showed in my last post and I made a third one as well. I also took some wool strips I had and rolled some rag balls and changed out the cubbies on the big red shelf in my living room. Out with the dried sunflowers and yarrow, and in with the wool! I love the way this looks now. I already had the little crow pillow and the pinwheel is the third one I made.
The little sheep and heart pillows came out great too. There is something about wool in the winter months- it just seems right!

Winter in New England is the right time to make some hearty meals as well. My son Jay made one that I just had to try. My DIL is one lucky gal for many reasons but particularly because Jay loves to cook and he is not afraid to try something new. He watches The Food Network and researches online. On his Christmas wish list was a Dutch Oven. A Dutch oven is a thick-walled pot with a tight-fitting lid. Modern Dutch ovens are designed for use on the cook top or in the oven and are typically smooth-bottomed. They are well suited for long, slow cooking, such as in making roasts, stews, and casseroles. Last week put his new Dutch Oven to use and made a pot roast recipe he adapted from the Food Network. He raved about it and I knew I just had to try it, with a few minor adaptations.

You will need a 3 -4 lb chuck roast, 2 large onions quartered, one bag of carrots (look for larger carrots) , 3-4 stalks of celery cut in thirds, one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of good red wine - I used a Merlot, 1 head of garlic - I slivered mine, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Jay also added fresh mushrooms and used parsnips instead of celery. This my friends is the makings of a feast!

I used just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the oven. Then I got it smoking hot.
Pat the roast dry with paper towels then salt and pepper the roast and sear it well on both sides. You want a nice brown crust. This is one of those times when you will wish you had a TV crew to come along and clean up when you are done because the oil will be spattering everything, including you!
At this point, I carefully drained off the excess oil. I placed the veggies around the roast, then poured the tomatoes and wine around everything. Looks and smells good already!
Put the tight fitting cover on and simmer for 3 hours. If your lid really is tight fitting, you are done until 3 hours is up. If you suspect the liquid might escape a bit, check it once or twice.
After 3 hours, it looks like this!
Take the roast out and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing it across the grain.
Just as Jay did, I served it with rice to soak up the wonderful sauce. Served with a glass of the Merlot, it was a wonderful hearty meal that hit the spot after being outside in the cold shoveling the snow. DH gave it 5 ****** and we will enjoyed a second meal from it and I'll be making a soup tomorrow from the extra veggies, sauce and meat!
I also wanted to thank Jennifer, over at Country Acre Primitives for awarding me the lemonade Award again! Jennifer is new to blogging so please go on over and make her welcome!

I need to get myself ready for my appointment and possible surgery so I will stop here and wish you all a wonderful weekend. Whether you are enjoying warm days or cold and snowy ones like us, I hope you are finding something good in your day. I know I am!!
Edited to add update - no dental surgery, no answer either - just a wait and see...UGH!!!

Until next time - hugs, Linda