In an interview a few months ago, someone asked Obama to respond to the criticism that he'd tackled too many things at once--the economy, healthcare, regulation of Wall Street, climate change. He said, "Well, what would you have me leave out? No one ever said this job was going to be easy."
I think of that a lot these days. Not that I'm trying to compare myself to Obama, mind you. The issues I'm trying to tackle are deepening (or at least maintaining) my relationships; attracting more consulting work; and keeping the kitchen table clear. But often I look up from my pile of deadlines and think, "Real life is hard to keep up with." And at the moment, I'm not seeing any initiatives I can abandon, especially the ones called Parenting and Paying the Bills.
Enter the filibuster-proof pot roast. The resolution no one can oppose. You can't burn this unless you leave town for a week with the oven on. And the cheaper the cut of meat, the better. You'll probably have to go to the store for the roast and red wine (at least the wine around here doesn't last long), but I'll bet you've got onions, garlic, and a can of tomatoes sitting around. I got home from work yesterday, threw this in the oven, picked the kids up and took them out for ice cream, and came home to dinner. Don't ask me about the rest of my to-do list, though. That will have to wait until the Senate is back in session.
Pot Roast with Tomato Gravy
I don't know if I've ever seen Yancey so transfixed by something I've made. He's a meat and potatoes guy at heart. I served this with herbed mashed potatoes and crispy, pan-fried broccoli.
1 3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 c. + 3 Tb. red wine
2 Tb. flour
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained
lots of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add pot roast, browning both sides for about 3 minutes each. Remove roast from pan and set on a plate.
Add 3/4 red wine to pot to deglaze it. Scrape browned bits from the bottom and let it bubble up a bit. Add onions and garlic, and saute until softening, about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine flour and 3 Tb. red wine. Add to pan along with drained tomatoes, salt and pepper, and stir.
Place roast atop tomato mixture, put a tightly fitting lid on your Dutch oven, and bake for about 2 1/2 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork.