Almost everyone loves a good steak and great comfort foods. One of my favorite comfort foods is pot roast, an American classic; slow braised beef in a flavorful liquid. Why not merge the two using a cheaper cut of steak that will be tenderized by cooking low and slow. Add some vegetables; carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, potatoes and we have a dish almost anyone will love. And remember our braised soups post we could take any leftover braising liquid and make soup. I like to use half of the of the carrots, celery, onions and all of the mushrooms for the first part of the braise and add the rest to cook at the end so we have some veggies with texture. Let us maximize savory with tomato paste, Worchester sauce, oyster sauce and my secret weapon parmesan rind. Lets us practice proper culinary techniques, browning the beef in bacon fat, using a mirepoix and tomato paste then deglazing with red wine and beef broth.
2 - 4 medium sized chuck eye steaks
2 large onions diced
4 stalks celery diced
4 medium carrots diced
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 - 2 ounces fresh mushrooms
1/2 pounds baby potatoes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2-3 cups beef stock
parmesan rind (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
splash of sherry vinegar
1. Chop a small amount of bacon into strips (lardons). In a preheated large heavy bottomed skillet add a little olive oil and the lardons and saute to render the fat. Season the steak and sear in the hot oil on both sides. Remove the steaks, finely chop half of the mirepoix and saute. Add some tomato paste and brown. Deglaze with some red wine then add the stock. Add the mushrooms, spices, sauces, parmesan rind and herbs and cook on low heat until the steaks are tender.
2. When the steak is almost tender add the remaining mirepoix and the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are cooked and serve.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.