Holy %$&#

Truth: I poured liquid fat down the kitchen sink on Sunday night. My mother must be so ashamed in reading this. Clearly, my head was not screwed on properly. I suppose I had hoped that no one would notice. Call it heat of the moment. Regardless of what you do call it, I executed a big time party foul. A lot was going on in the kitchen. It was uncomfortably warm. A certain someone was listening to their beloved Bob Marley wailing on Spotify and asking if I needed any help. I was browning three pounds of ground organic beef for a recipe that yielded a lot of aux jus. Instead of exercising intelligence and reserving the fat for later disposal, I just poured it down the sink and turned on the water. Insert cringe here. An hour or so later with dinner in the oven, partner-in-crime and I were washing up dishes and getting our ducks in a row. On went the disposal and within seconds, it was as if a tide of warm water washed onto the shore. I first noticed that my socks were wet. Well not just wet but rather saturated. A few vulgar mutters and soon our reality presented itself. The kitchen floor was covered with gallons of murky water containing all the food ends that should have gone in the rubbish but I instead put down the sink. 

Now it should be noted that we live in an old house, 1950s to be exact. Our plumbing works terrifically but needs to be handled with care. Insert second cringe here. Our floor looked as if an elephant had tossed its peanuts. Water speckled with chunks of carrots, celery, fennel, beets, lemon rinds, apple cores and some other inexplicable, unidentifiable goodies. Matthew went to work on the pipe and asked if fat had gone down the sink. Shoulder shrug. I smiled a very guilty albeit sheepish grin, which further exacerbated the situation. Note to self, a flooded kitchen is never a laughing matter. The beef fat had coagulated into a waxy mess and was all over his hands, arms and sweater. Six beach towels and a good old fashioned mop later, our kitchen returned to normalcy but not without some unsavory language, greasy hands and good old fashioned elbow grease to boot. Matthew saved the day in the plumbing department and I was reminded of a valuable lesson: never ever dispose of fat, grease or anything of the likes down your precious sink.

Below please find a recipe that also yields a bit of fat, which should be discarded of accordingly. This is a lovely one pot dish, comfort food at its best. Great for feeding a family or wowing a new beau and perfect for the cold nights many of us are experiencing. For those of you cursing or admiring the snow, stay warm and happy eating. 

Pot Roast
Adapted from The Kitchn


3 lb beef chuck - be sure to get beef chuck as this cut is ideal for braising
4 slices of bacon - chopped (we buy the Costco brand)
3 large white or yellow onions - chopped
10 large carrots - cut into quarters
3 cloves of garlic - chopped
2.25 cups of organic, low sodium beef stock (we buy Pacific Natural Foods Organic)
Bundle of fresh thyme
1 TBS quality maple syrup
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of sour cream
1-2 TBS horseradish (some like it hot so we go for 2)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt
Fresh pepper

Do Your Thing

1. In a small bowl, mix two cups of beef stock with your maple syrup, mustard, balsamic, red pepper flakes, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, a generous pinch of salt and a couple of cracks of fresh pepper. Mix until blended. Set aside.

2. Salt and pepper your meat. In your Dutch oven, cook your bacon on medium heat. Once this is done, spoon off most of the fat (accordingly please). Now add your chuck to brown it on all sides. Collectively, the browning of your meat should take around 15 - 20 minutes. You want to get a nice dark sear on all sides. 

3. Transfer your meat to another plate (bacon stays in the Dutch oven) and throw in your onions. Give them a bit stir with a wooden spoon and allow to become soft and golden. Once aromatic, add 0.25 cups of beef stock to the mix. Let it hiss and wear an apron (not a cream colored cashmere sweater as this one did). Take your wooden spoon and scrape the gorgeous bits off the bottom of the pan. 

4. Now add your meat back to the pan along with the small bowl of goodies from step 1. In go the carrots. Another pinch of kosher salt. Throw in some sprigs of thyme. Put your lid on and let the mix braise in the oven at 375 for approximately three hours. Once complete, season to taste and dig in.

5. No roast is complete without horseradish cream sauce. I pulled an almost finished container of sour cream out of the fridge and added 2 TBS horseradish, the juice of 1/2 a lemon and pinch of salt. Give a generous stir and serve alongside your grub. It was a casual "please let it snow" dinner so I actually served the sour cream in the container. Do not do this if you are entertaining. Serve your roast alongside egg noodles, mashed potatoes, a crusty baguette for dipping or as we did, boiled new potatoes drizzled with olive oil. I would have preferred to have made my cauliflower mash but our Cuisinart went RIP on Saturday so stay tuned. 

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