A few weeks ago I was in Connecticut visiting my parents and my mother made a “Greek Pot Roast” (I have no idea what made it “Greek” but that is what the cookbook said.) It was good. I’m not a huge pot roast fan, so I fairly indifferent, but it was good.
She insisted I bring a serving back to Boston and I obliged, still indifferent. It hung out in my fridge for a day or two but after a long work day, I decided to give in and heat it up.
With a crusty piece of fresh warm bread — Oh my god. There was nothing better.
Stewed beef just tastes better the next day. I don’t know why. (I’m sure Alton Brown does.) But it just DOES.
So when I spotted one gorgeous top round roast hanging out in the butcher’s department at the grocer yesterday, I knew it was fate. I had to do something with it.
I first ate my creation for dinner, in a bowl, with a few pieces of crusty bread to soak up the tangy tomato sauce. I threw in some whole garlic cloves during the braise and as I learned from my milk chicken, they turned to butter and were easy to spread over the bread. Delicious.
Today, I decided to make a sandwich on a soft torpedo roll with melted provolone cheese. As anticipated, it was even more delicious the second day. A fork and knife kind of a sandwich, for sure. And I barely made a dent in the massive amount of beef I have left. Not that I’m complaining.
Italian braised shredded beef
1 — 4 lb. top round roast, trimmed of fat
1 — 28 oz. can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 — 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
10-12 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 can low sodium pitted black olives, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 white onion, minced
2 sprigs of rosemary
Cracked black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Liberally salt and pepper roast, rub on Italian seasoning. Heat EVOO in a Dutch over over high heat. As soon as it smokes, add your roast, sear on each side for 4-5 minutes each.
Remove roast and drain out most of the fat and oil, leaving behind approx. 1 Tbs. Lower heat, add onions, and cook until lightly browned.
Add tomatoes (and all their juices), garlic, olives, and bell pepper in with onions. Stir.
Place roast over vegetables and spoon sauce over the top. Tuck in rosemary.
Roast, covered, for 3.5 hours. Remove and test roast to see if it shreds easily with a fork. If not, cook for another 30 minutes.
Shred meat with forks and mix with sauce. Raise heat to 325 and cook for an addition 30 minutes.
I spooned mine over rolls and added some cheese. Perfection, right?
Not yet. Something’s missing…
Crushed red pepper! Of course! Mmm… Next time, I would add a few shakes during the braising process so the spice melds in with the roast.
Tomorrow I might mix my massive amount of leftovers with orzo and stuff some beautiful bell peppers. Bake them with a crispy Parmesan topping. Oh, the mind reels.
But for now, there’s this. Enjoy!