Thursday, August 2, 2012

Traditional Yankee Pot Roast

If one thing's for sure, it's that food is intricately linked to culture. Perhaps this is why becoming vegan can seem daunting, with the assumption that treasured family recipes or traditions will be lost. And perhaps in turn that's why I am so often drawn towards "veganizing" old classics, recreating the scents, flavors, textures, and traditions, without harming animals in the process.

As a born-and-bred New England girl, the word "Yankee" jumped out at me in the title of this recipe.  A "Yankee" pot roast harks back to the New England boiled dinner - meat with vegetables added in about halfway through cooking, making for a hearty, one-pot meal.  With a little help from Match beef, you can easily make this classic vegan. Prefer your tradition with southern roots? Try my take on Real Texas Chili.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 30 ounces Match beef, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 cups vegan beef broth (prepared from Not Beef bouillon)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Annie's Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 1 and 1/4 pounds small red potatoes
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional for garnish)
1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the Match beef, and add to the pan.  Cook for 8 minutes, turning over about halfway through.  Remove the beef from the pan.

2. Add the onions to the pan and saute for 8 minutes, until browned.  The onions will work up a nice sweat during this time, and help dislodge any browned bits of beef that stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Return the beef to the pan.

3. In a bowl, combine the broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce; pour over the beef.  Add the tomatoes, and bring to a simmer.

4. Peel the carrots and cut into 1-inch pieces.  Add the carrots and potatoes to the pan.  Cover and transfer to the oven, and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice.

Note: if your veggies are still a little tough out of the oven, remove the beef from the pan and simmer the remaining mixture over the stove-top for an additional 10 minutes or so.

Slice the beef into 3 ounce portions and ladle the vegetables over each portion to serve. A dusting of fresh parsley makes a lovely garnish in terms of both taste and color.

Nutrition Info:
10 servings (3 ounces beef, 1/2 cup vegetables), Calories 290 

Tasting Notes:
This was so wonderful; the savory broth had a nice kick from the Worcestershire sauce, and the Match beef was cooked perfectly.  As I mentioned, I gave the vegetables an extra 10 minute simmer over the stove-top, at which point they, too, were perfect - tender but with a nice crispness. There was a touch too much black pepper.  Use 2 teaspoons instead and this should be perfect.


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