Friday, September 9, 2011

Slow Cooked Beef in Pomegranate Sauce with Rustic Mashed Potatoes

One of my favorite pairings is meat and fruit.  I eat them together all the time.  In this dish, I wanted to make a roast with a fruit that would hold up to it's robust flavor.  I found the perfect combination with pomegranate juice and dried cranberries.  Both are strong and tangy, which holds up well to the beef without overpowering it.  The result is a slightly sweet, lightened up roast that is perfect for the beginning of fall when the weather starts to cool down but you still want your food a little lighter because you aren't ready to let go of summer yet.  Okay, maybe I'm analyzing my food a bit too much, but I can tell you this:  I am going to find it difficult to make my roast any other way after this.  It's that good.

I paired this dish with some rustic mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce and a  Simple Cranberry Walnut Salad to bring out the sweetness of the cranberries in the beef.

Rich and hearty with a light, slightly sweet sauce.  I can't wait to eat the leftovers!

Roast Ingredients:
1 3lb beef chuck roast
sea salt
a splash of extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1c 100% pomegranate juice (I used POM wonderful)
1 14oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
1/4c balsamic vinegar
1/8c organic agave nectar or honey
3/4c craisins
a pinch of rosemary, a pinch of thyme, a pinch of cinnamon and a bay leaf

Rustic Potato Ingredients:
4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut into cubes
1/2c sour cream
1/2 stick butter (more to taste)
1/2c milk (approximate:  pour a little milk in at a time until you reach your desired consistancy)
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

1. Season the beef with salt.
2. Place a splash of olive oil at the bottom of a crock pot.  Add onions and garlic and stir until coated.  Place beef on top (If you have time and want a richer flavor, brown your beef in a skillet first in hot oil.  But if you are lazy like me, just plopping it on top is just fine).
3. In a bowl, mix together juice, tomatoes, vinegar, sweetener, craisins, and seasonings.  Pour over beef.
4. Cook on high about 6 hours or until beef is tender and can be pulled with a fork (the more you cook it, the more tender it gets so keep checking it after about 5 hours for your desired tenderness).
5. Meanwhile, boil potatoes in salted water until tender.  Drain and add sour cream, butter and a bit of milk.  With a handheld mixer, blend the potatoes, adding milk a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.
6. Serve beef, onions and cranberries with some sauce and mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

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