Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pot Roast Studded with Almonds and Bacon

I realize that lately I've just gotten lazy. The effort to put up recipes has gotten higher as there's more going on. So that means the bar to appear on here is higher. A delicious gorgonzola cream sauce gets passed over because the beets in the sauce make it look like Pepto-Bismol. There's also no co-worker sniff test anymore to save a recipe from languishing away. With that in mind, we move on from a month of curries to a bit more variety. I had a bit of difficulty with this recipe trying to work out how the bacon and almonds should be fit into the meat. I decided not to work about that little detail. The meat in this turned out incredibly tender and moist. I expected the sauce to have more kick, but it's fairly mild with the meat. It's a good, hearty meal for fall. Note that the original calls for parboiling the potatoes and peeling them, I think you can safely skip that if your potatoes are small enough.

One year ago: Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Two years ago: Blue Cheese and Red Potato Tart
Three years ago: Asparagus, Oka, Pine Nuts, and Lemon Pasta

Pot Roast Studded with Almonds and Bacon (adapted slightly from Essential Cuisines of Mexico)

3 lb brisket (I made a half recipe using crossrib)
1 1/2 tbsp slivered almonds
8 ounces (225g) bacon, cut into small pieces
3 large ancho chiles, seeds and veins removed
1 1/2 tbsp mild vinegar
3 whole cloves, crushed
1/2 inch piece cinnamon stick, crushed
4 peppercorns, crushed
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 sprigs fresh marjoram
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp lard or vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs small potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Pierce meat all over with a knife and insert almonds and bacon. (If that doesn't work, you can keep the almonds and bacon aside to add to the sauce later.)
3. Toast chiles lightly. Cover with hot water and let soak for 10 minutes.
4. Put vinegar and 3/4 cup water in blender. Add spices, herbs, and garlic and blend. Add chiles and blend until smooth.
5. Heat lard in a Dutch oven and when hot sear meat on all sides. Remove and set aside. Drain off fat, leaving only 2 tbsp.
6. Add sauce to pan and let cook for 5 minutes (if the bacon and almonds wouldn't stay in the meat, add them not). Add salt to taste.
7. Return meat to pan and baste with sauce. I added another 3/4 cup water or so and highly recommend you do the same. Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours.
8. Add potatoes to Dutch oven and if needed more water. Cook in oven until meat is very tender and potatoes are cooked through, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
9. Serve with sauce poured over meat.

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