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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Italian Pot Roast

This is my very favourite dish. My mum is my inspiration for this & I am amazed I can make it taste as good as her! My mum is a truly fabulous cook & can make anything. Mum makes the best pastry too & I have been bought up with no money but the most fabulous food & desserts. Mum has traveled the world in her later years & always bought back recipes from foreign lands. When everyone around me was eating meat & veg I was being treated to curry that blew your head off, this in the days when take away food was the chippie down the road or the pie, mash & liquor shop. I will never forget the curry where we were all jumping around as mum had used tbls instead of tsp! There was only ever two dishes she bought back which I really didn't like, a baked cheesecake from somewhere & a cataplana from Portugal, ughh to both of them!
I wish I had photos of the amazing black forrest gateaux she became renound for it was as tall as a skyscraper & was a moist creamy deliciousness. Mum also used to make me my favourite strawberry tarts, I so miss her fabulous cooking.

This dish is so blooming easy but people think it must be very difficult to make because it is so fantastic, to me this was mums signature dish & now it is mine. It's a definite dinner party dish, you don't need to be up to your ears in the kitchen for two days to impress :)
So this dish is made with Beef but I also use Pork & Goat The photo's here are with pork.

The relevant size joint of beef
1/2 cup Brandy or Rakia
1/2 a cup Red wine
Oxo cube
Peppers Red & Green chopped
Onion chopped (I omit these as I'm intolerant)
2 Cloves of Garlic
Ginger 1 tsp or fresh
Few fennel seeds
Place the beef in a casserole dish & add the brandy, wine, oxo, onion, garic, peppers, ginger, mushrooms & fennel seeds.
Marrinade the meat, covered, overnight. Baste occasionally & turn the beef half way through.  
Add water till it is 1/3 way up meatc.
Cover & cook in med - low  oven for 4 hours or more, turn halfway through
Check on gravy so it doesn't dry out & if it needs replenishing remember add water but also a little wine.
Take meat out & carve separately.
Thicken gravy with cornflour & pour over the plated meat, I use the term loosely as its so tender. Do NOT cook this all day as you will just cook out all the flavour of the meat!
If you are watching your weight you can serve without thickening as I do, but for dinner parties I always thicken it.
This can also be cooked on the hob... Place in stock pot instead Bring to the boil then simmer
slowly for two hours or more.

Serve..... best with roast potatoes & seasonal veg but can also be served with mash potato or rice.

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