I wrote about this recipe in the early days of this site, praising it's simplicity and deliciousness. However, I hadn't made it, didn't have pictures, and have been thinking about a few changes I would like to make.
So, for those of you following along, there will be a little deja vu going on today, but the changes are worth writing about and I think pictures makes everything better. Don't you?
Porter-Braised Beef with Yellow Potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 slices thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1 1.5 lb. roast, cut into 4 pieces (I used a chuck "mock tenderloin" roast)
1 Tsp salt
.5 Tsp pepper
fat pinch allspice
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cups canned crush tomatoes
1 12-oz. bottle of dark beer (I used Sierra Nevada Porter)
1.5 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme*
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary*
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5 inch chunks
*I used some garlic herb rub instead.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put bacon and oil in a large casserole and cook until bacon is crispy (I used a Le Cruset dutch oven on the stovetop for this recipe).
Season the beef with the salt, pepper, and allspice and sear in the bacon drippings and oil until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes a side (this will smoke up your kitchen, so use your overhead vent or crack a window). Remove from casserole and set aside.
Brown onions and garlic in casserole. Return beef and bacon to casserole. Don't mix into the onions, just pile the meat on top. This will leave you with the most buttery, caramalized onions you've ever tasted. Add tomatoes, beer, sugar, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a simmer. Cover casserole and place on the bottom rack of oven.
After 10 minutes, check to see if it's simmering, if not turn up 25 degrees. Cook until meat is falling apart, and the smell is driving you crazy, about 2 hours.
Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 30-40 minutes more. Serve hot.
Obviously this dish takes some time, so it is a great weekend dish, makes wonderful leftovers and freezes excellently. I served it with hot buttery rolls, and a green salad. Now that Spring is in sight, it was nice to make a hearty send-off to winter with this excellent braise.