March 18, 2013

Guinness Pot Roast

 Nothing says St. Patrick's Day quite like putting beer in all your food. I just opted to add it to my main dish, as I wanted to reserve some of my Guinness for drinking. I decided on a pot roast, since Costco had a good deal on a pair of them recently, I had one handy.

It's a fun St. Patty's Day twist on the usual slow cooker roast. Instead of just beef broth, you add a bottle of Guinness to the cooking liquid. If you don't have any Guinness on hand, you could certainly substitute any beer you like, but I would stick with dark beers like stouts and porters for their strong flavor.

For some crazy reason, it's still winter here around DC, despite being March. I intended to make this pot roast for St. Patrick's Day, regardless of what silliness the weather had in store. However, the clouds spent the better part of the morning dropping snow on us, so now the leftovers will make a nice hot lunch on this snowy afternoon.

Guinness Pot Roast
makes 4-6 servings, depending on roast size

What You'll Need:
2-3lb pot roast
small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, sliced
1 lb of small red potatoes, halved
12oz Guinness beer
2 cups beef broth, low sodium if possible
1 package onion soup mix
2 tsp thyme
2 Tbs coarse salt
2 Tbs cracked pepper
2 bay leaves

The Process:
   Heat up a skillet on medium heat with some olive oil and let it get nice and hot. Combine the coarse salt and pepper in a bowl and then rub the mixture over the surface of the roast. Sear each side of the roast for 3-4 minutes per side. Place into the crock.

   In the same skillet, cook your onions for 5-6 minutes until soft and then add the garlic. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Make sure to scrape the bottom for the burned bits from the roast. Add to the crock along with the carrots and potatoes.

   Put the onion soup mix, thyme, and bay leaves into the crock. Add the Guinness and beef broth over top and mix it up to combine the onion soup mix. The roast and vegetables should be almost completely covered. If not, add a little more broth or water. Cover the crock and cook on low for 6-7 hours, until the roast is fork tender and the potatoes are soft. Remove roast from the crock and let it rest, tented with foil, for 10-15 minutes before carving.

   If you prefer a thick broth, as I do, remove 2 cups of liquid from the crock and thicken it in your preferred method. I use arrowroot starch, but cornstarch or flour work just fine. Stir the thickened liquid back in with the rest of the liquid and vegetables while the roast is resting. Carve the roast, spoon vegetables and broth onto your plate, and serve.

   Don't forget to have some bread on hand to sop up the broth on your plate!

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