You're Fired

So I have been cautiously itching to ask: What do you all think of Donald Trump running for President? Helicopters, comb-overs and Rosie O'Donnell comments aside, I officially open the forum here. Yesterday morning, my yoga teacher spoke to allowing the newness of embracing change empower you. Food for thought. Congratulations to Kindred in Davidson for making Bon Appetit's coveted top ten list. I have said it before and will say it again, if you do not subscribe to this publication, get on it. Unequivocally one of the most beautiful and informative cooking manuscripts available. Adam Rapoport knows his trade. In other news, where has the summer gone? Is it just me or does time fly at an uncomfortably expedited rate the older we get?  It seems like just yesterday I was preparing for the excitement of summer ahead. Blazing days, fresh cut watermelon, cocktails on a Tuesday, the sound of steaks sizzling on the grill and enjoying light until 9.00 in the evening. Now school buses are again commanding the streets with authority, J.Crew has their merino sweaters out on display and I have already begun seeing commercials for Halloween costumes. Quite simply, there is no rest for the weary! 

Two evenings ago, I prepared the ultimate comfort dish. Partner-in-crime spent the weekend speaking to a savory pot roast. Perhaps more appropriate for Fall nights when a delicious chill settles at the back door, I modified this to be more summer appropriate. In lieu of preparing a thick, rich stock (very much appreciated for sticking to one's bones on a cold afternoon or night), I developed a lighter fare. Instead of transforming a bottle of red for braising, I used a low sodium, organic beef stock. In lieu of padding this with Yukon Golds, I bulked up my bounty with fennel that always lends a subtle licorice undertone, carrots that become sweet when roasted, a hearty onion and exactly one sweet potato. I did not pour this over noodles or crusty bread but rather whizzed up a cauliflower mash to accompany the lot. The beauty of such a dish is diversified. You can turn a cheap cut of meat into something sensational. Everything goes in your vessel yielding the ultimate one pot dish. Unless you are feeding neanderthals, you can almost always look forward to leftovers. We most certainly did. With this, I leave you to your Wednesday. Hoping it is a spectacular one indeed. Bon appetit.

One Stop Pot Roast


2.5 lb chuck - look for a nicely marbled piece (the fat will infuse your whole dish)
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 white onion - quartered
10 carrots - chopped in half
1 fennel - chopped
Fresh thyme and rosemary - a generous handful of sprigs
1 sweet potato - scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1 quart organic low sodium beef stock
Kosher salt
*Optional: Throw in a punnet of chopped mushrooms


1. Salt and pepper your meat. Set aside. Add extra virgin olive oil to Dutch oven over medium high heat. Throw in the garlic cloves and onions. Cook until slightly browned on the exterior. Transfer to another plate. Throw in the carrots. Cook until slightly browned on the exterior. Transfer to another plate. Now throw in the fennel. Cook until slightly browned on the exterior. Transfer to another plate. 

2. Now you want to brown your meat. Carefully place your meat in the Dutch oven and let it brown on each side. This should take approximately four to five minutes per side. If you need a bit longer, you need a bit longer. You want to get a nice brown crust. The point of this exercise is to seal your juices in. When complete, transfer to another plate.

3. Pour the stock into the Dutch oven. It will hiss at you. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Using a whisk or a wooden spoon, you want to stir the broth. You are basically getting all the delicious bits up from the bottom of the vessel into the broth that will braise your meat. This is called deglazing. You go Chef!

4. Turn off the heat and carefully add everything back to the pot. This includes the meat, carrots, fennel and sweet potato. Meat in the middle and vegetables all around. Put the bundle of herbs on top. Submerge them a bit so they can do their thing with the broth. Cover on and into the oven at 350 for 2.5 hours. You really cannot overcook this cut of meat. The longer the better. Once done, your meat should literally be falling apart.

I served ours in shallow bowls on top of Cauliflower Mash. Tastes almost just like potatoes and more South Beach Diet friendly. To prepare (a couple of ways): Option 1. Roughly chop a head of cauliflower, steam it for approximately ten minutes or until you can slip a fork in and out.  Throw the steamed cauliflower in the Cuisinart along with a pinch of kosher salt, cracks of fresh pepper, a dusting of fresh thyme leaves, the zest of a lemon and if you are being mindful of calories, a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil to bind and add texture. Option 2. Roughly chop a head of cauliflower, steam it for approximately ten minutes or until you can slip a fork in and out. Throw the steamed cauliflower in the Cuisinart along with half a can of lite coconut milk and a pinch of nutmeg. Puree until creamy.

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