FEATURED RECIPE

Carrot Pot Roast

Carrot Pot Roast
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Carrot Pot Roast

This is true comfort food. From its preparation to serving to eating, the carrot pot roast is a wholesome and highly aromatic dinner. It’s perfect for serving with a bottle of wine and sharing with friends. To achieve the right richness of texture and flavor, it’s essential to make the demi-glace. Be sure to serve this with plenty of crusty bread.

Roasted Vegetable Demi-Glace

A rich roasted-vegetable demi-glace has been sought after by chefs in restaurants, cooks at home, and even those in large-scale commercial operations. For several reasons, it’s an elusive concept. Vegetables tend to add sweetness to stocks, so reduced vegetable stocks tend to be very sweet. Vegetables also don’t have collagen, which plays a massive role in the mouthfeel of a final reduction. Our ultimate goal is a refine sauce that can stand up to any demi-glace comparison.

Here, we shave a bunch of vegetables and roast them for nearly an hour and a half, until almost dry and slightly bitter, and then steep them. Later, we strain, reduce, and thicken the mix with pectin to create the required mouthfeel. You will be am zed by its depth of flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegetable oil
  • 12 (2-ounce, or 60 g each) carrots, tops removed, roots scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces (90 g) pearl onions, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved 24 petite potatoes
  • 1 (2-ounce, or 60 g) leek, white part only, thinly sliced (save the greens for stock)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 cup (240 ml) Roasted Vegetable Demi-Glace (page 600, below)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter

Roasted Vegetable Demi-Glace

  • 1 large red onion
  • 5 large garlic cloves 
  • 1 leek
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 golden beet
  • 3 sunchokes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ½ cup (120 ml) tomato paste
  • ‍Vegetable oil
  • 8 cups (2 L) filtered water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) pectin powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Turn on the exhaust vent, if you have one.
  2. In a large skillet, heat a thin coating of vegetable o l until very hot. In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the salt and flour. Add the carrots to the skillet, and cook over high heat, turning occasionally, until they are deeply browned all over and even black in spots, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium ovenproof braising pan, about 10 inches in diameter.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium high and add more oil to the skillet, if needed.  
  4. Add the pearl onions and garlic, and cook until deeply browned and black in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer to the braising pan.
  6. With the heat still on medium high, add the potatoes to the skillet and cook until charred, about 12 minutes. Transfer to the braising pan. Add the leek to the skillet and also cook until charred, about 3½ minutes. Transfer the leek also to the braising pan.
  7. Add the wine to the skillet and cook, scraping up any browned and black bits from the bottom. Add the thyme and peppercorns, bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  8. Transfer the reduced wine to the braising pan. Add the demi-glace to the braising pan, then transfer the pan to the oven (uncovered) and cook until the carrots are fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove and discard the thyme and peppercorns.
  9. While the oven is still hot, heat four serving plates. Use a slotted spoon to divide the vegetables among the plates. Set the pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. When the liquid is just barely simmering, add the butter, slowly, whisking until melted. Spoon the liquid over the vegetables and serve.

FOR THE Roasted Vegetable Demi-Glace

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil.
  2. Using a mandoline slicer or other slicer, thinly shave all the vegetables, keeping the onion, garlic, and leek in a separate bowl from the others.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the tomato paste with just enough oil to loosen it to the consistency of pesto. Add the onion, garlic, and leek and toss, then spread the mixture on one side of one of the baking sheets.
  4. Drizzle some oil on the remaining vegetables and toss to coat well. Spread the vegetables on the remaining spaces on the 2 baking sheets.
  5. Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until the onion, garlic, and leek are well browned. Scrape the onion mixture into a stockpot. Continue roasting the remaining vegetables, stirring every 20 minutes, until they are very dark but not burnt, and are mostly dehydrated, about 40 minutes longer.
  6. Transfer the roasted vegetables to the stockpot. Add the water, bay leaves, and thyme; cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; whisk in the pectin. Return the stock to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until concentrated, viscous, and reduced to 4 cups. Stock can be refrigerated for up to 10 days or frozen for several months.*

*If some of these vegetables are unavailable to you have others aging in your refrigerator, substitute them. Just avoid red beets, purple carrots, leaves of any sort, starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes, or watery vegetables, like cucumbers.

From The Chef's Garden: A Modern Guide to Common and Unusual Vegetables—with Recipes by Farmer Lee Jones; with Kristin Donnelly, published on 4/20/2021 by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2021 by The Chef’s Garden, Inc.

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