Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Blessed Cook, I Am

I told you about a good friend of mine who died recently. Well, her daughter called me recently asking me to cook her family dinner just to relieve the stress of cleaning out her mother's house and doing other things to get everything in order. Of course, I said I would but I was not able to do so for several days. Anyway, when I got around to it, what I thought of was to cook something I hadn't made since I was in my twenties -  Exotic Pot Roast. I remember making it and sharing the recipe for a fund-raising cookbook. But, I couldn't find the recipe the day I made the roast. know me, I winged it. Well, today, I found the recipe and there were only four (in my opinion--nutmeg, chocolate, oregano and wine) essential ingredients I left out. Wow!!! I am blessed. I am publishing the original recipe here, sans meat tenderizer. I made it with pork loin and omitted the wine, chocolate, nutmeg, oregano, almonds and grated orange peel. I was afraid of adding the chocolate because I didn't remember the proportion. And I used about 1/2 cup of orange juice, not because I remembered that element from the original recipe; I was just trying to add a sweet, exotic element. I also used tomato paste (small can)instead of tomato sauce and beef broth which the pork simmered in a crock pot all day.

It was awesome, even if I have to say so myself. Her husband made a special effort to tell me how much he enjoyed it and her oldest son (3 years old) asked me what was in the sauce. You gotta love kids who appreciate food!!

Exotic Pot Roast

4 lbs. boned and rolled rump or top round of beef
3 T. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 t. salt
2 cans ( 8-oz. each) tomato sauce
1/2 c. dry red wine
1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 t. chili powder
1 t. grated orange peel
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. crushed oregano
1 can (1 lb. ) onions
1 can (1 lb. ) carrots
1/4 c. blanched, slivered almonds

Brown meat on all sides in hot oil in heavy kettle or Dutch oven. Pour off excess oil. Add garlic and chopped onion; sprinkle with salt.
Combine tomato sauce, wine, chocolate, chili powder, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oregano; pour over meat.
Cover; simmer until meat is tender-- about 3 hours.
Drain onions and carrots; add to sauce in kettle. Cover; simmer until vegetables are heated through.
Place meat in center of platter; surround with vegetables in sauce. Sprinkle with almonds. Makes 6-8 servings.

I made this with pork tenderloin (I think about 3 - 4 pounds). The vegetables were all fresh so adjust accordingly. I also added fresh green beans because I simply cannot abide not eating green vegetables every day.

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