Milanese Pot Roast

Scrumptious Milanese Pot Roast*

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a Taste section in the Thursday newspaper that reviews great restaurants in the Twin Cities (and I don’t think there’s another city in the USA with better restaurants).  That’s where they also print great recipes.  It’s the section I always pull out and save.

A few weeks ago there was an easy to do crock pot recipe perfect to put together when time is of the essence.  Time was not of the essence that particular day but I decided to make it, anyway!

It was so delicious that it seems only fair to share.

Milanese Pot Roast
Adapted from Star Tribune/Taste/Recipes

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 (3 to 4 lb.) boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and pepper to taste

1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can chopped tomatoes, drained
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided

1 c. dry white wine
2 bay leaves

3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

1)  Heat the oil until hot in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat (I love my cast iron skillet for this).  Season the beef generously with the salt and pepper and sear in the oil, turning once or twice, until very browned on all sides.  This should take 10 or 15 minutes.

2)  Place the chopped vegetables (onion, carrot, celery and tonatoes) and just 3 of cloves of chopped garlic int he bottom of the crock pot.  Put the browned roast on top of the vegetables.

3) Deglaze the skillet with half of the wine by bringing it to a boil and scraping the skillet to dissolve any browned bits.

Pour this over the beef roast along with the reminder of the wine and top with the bay leaves.

Cover and cook 8 to 10 hours on the low heat setting or until beef is fork tender.  (I set my crock pot on high heat for a couple of hours and then turned it to low…took about 3 more hours).

Meanwhile, stir together the last clove of garlic (chopped), the parsley and the grated lemon peel.  You will have about 1/4 cup of gremolata.

Remove the beef to a large platter and cover with foil to keep it warm. Divide the pot roast into about 8 portions.

Purée about half of the sauce in a blender to thicken.  Stir it back into the crock pot along with about half of the parsley mixture.

(You could also use an immersion blender to puree the sauce right in the crock pot.  )

Stir about half the parsley mixture into the sauce and spoon the sauce over each portion.  Garnish with the remaining parsley mixture.

I served this with whipped potatoes but The Star Tribune also suggests serving this with polenta.  I’m sure that would be excellent and maybe one day I’ll do that.

Taste also suggests this:
“Mix any leftover parsley gremolata with mayo and slice the cold beef to make a memorable sandwich the next day.”   We’ll have to try that the next time I prepare this recipe.  And I WILL be preparing this recipe, again.

As an aside…I only had one bottle of white wine at the time.  It was a white table wine that was given to us by Jen’s partner, Doug Talalla, a very fine artist.  He’s a commercial artist and a fine artist.  (I’m a huge fan.)

Doug had a show at his art gallery and he and Jennie purchased lots of  “Two Buck Chuck” varieties to serve to the guests.  This was left over and since Jen and Doug don’t drink, they gave it all away!  

So Green Fin is what I used in this recipe.  I must admit that I served a little to myself, as well…not too bad, actually.  I don’t remember what varieties made up the blend but it was reminiscent of a Riesling, in my humble opinion.

I follow Jason’s Wine Blog  and he has a very fine review of Green Fin.  It’s made entirely of organic white grapes…read the post at his link for more info.

So there you have it…a fine recipe and a few useful links.  I am preparing this recipe again, tomorrow.  We’re at our daughter’s house in Kansas until Saturday.  I noticed a lovely pot roast in her refrigerator and offered to make dinner, tomorrow!

*Note:  I’ll be shooting a photo of the finished roast tomorrow, too.  Then I’ll replace the shot at the beginning of the post which happens to be courtesy of Flickr photographer Stu Spivack

Almond Triangles

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This recipe appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune a couple of years ago just before Christmas.  It was the grand prize winner in an annual contest the newspaper sponsors each year looking for unique holiday cookie recipes.  I wish I could think of the name of the winner…she deserves all the credit for this gem of a recipe.
I fully intended to make them as a Christmas cookie but through clever procrastination and getting ready to leave for our trip, I didn’t.   Clever procrastination because the recipe looks kinda time consuming…it’s not a recipe to throw together at the last minute.  It’s not a difficult recipe, though.  If it looked difficult I might have just thought, “Well, this looks yummy!” and that would have been the end of that.
So I tossed the newspaper page in with the recipe books I wanted to bring.  Thank goodness!  I made them a few days ago during a really, really rainy day.  Good decision!
I think they need a day to “cure” or whatever you want to call it.  They’re better the next day.  The winner of the contest said that they freeze well which is fortunate because if I don’t stick the rest of them in the freezer I will eat them all.
These buttery, rich cookies would be fabulous to give as a gift in a pretty tin or cookie box.  Not just for the holidays, either.  An any time gift.
NOTE:  I recommend reading the entire recipe before starting.  I almost beat all four sticks of the butter at once which would have been a disaster.  Also, when I added the almonds I was convinced that there were waaaay too many almonds and you could probably get by with a few less.  But, in the long run, there really weren’t too many.
Here’s the recipe:
Almond Triangles
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3/4 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 lb. (about 5-1/4 cups) sliced almonds
Carefully line a 10- by 15-inch jellyroll pan (or rimmed cookie sheet) with aluminum foil, shiny side up.
To prepare dough:  In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 1 cup (2 sticks) of the butter until creamy, about 1 minute.  Gradually add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add egg, almond extract and salt, and beat until thoroughly combined.  Reduce speed to low, add flour and mix until just incorporated.
Press dough evenly into pan and push dough up sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Using a fork, prick dough in 20 to 24 places all across the dough and bake 10 minues.  Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To prepare topping:  In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, honey, remaining 1 cup (2 sticks) of the butter and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
Increase heat to medium-high, bring mixture to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat and stir in cream.  Stir in almonds.
Spread almond mixture evenly over crust.  Return pan to oven and bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool  While bars are still slightly warm, cut into triangles.