I’m pretty sure that there is a part of my brain–let’s call it the gastronomic lobe (GL)–that does nothing but think about what I’m going to eat next (and after that, and after that, and . . . ). No matter what else I’m doing — driving a car, kickboxing, talking to the boyfriend, publishing scholarly stuff on the internet (the day job) — the GL is chugging away, picking up inspiration, mulling the options, alighting on possibilities. Lest this sound dangerous or silly or just plain wrong, let me assure you that I’m an able multi-tasker, especially when I’m inspired by something–an ingredient, a flavor, a type of cuisine, or my sense of guilt about the many pounds of root vegetables that are sulking (huddled together, shivering, abandoned) in my crisper drawer. When I am inspired, from whatever source, I can write e-mail and plan my next meal at the same time. It’s true.
Case in point: the other day, thoughts of said root vegetables and horseradish were particularly active in the GL, and in the midst of checking my blog feeds and scheduling a meeting with colleagues, the notion of pot roast emerged. And with so much brainpower untapped and available, I made up the recipe myself.
Horseradish Pot Roast
Pot roast is one of the most flexible and forgiving dishes around. Substitute at will.
- Brown 2lbs. brisket, cut into 2 inch cubes, in olive oil in a large, deep pot (I used my5 qt. round French oven). Remove from pot onto plate.
- Smother 1/3 cup prepared horseradish on the beef. More if you’re feeling spicy, less if you’re not.
- In the pot, add 3 slices of bacon, chopped.
- When they begin to brown, add an onion, chopped. Cook on medium heat for about 10 mins, or until the onion soften.
- Add some chopped root vegetables – whatever you fancy or have on hand (or both). I added a stalk of celery, a carrot, lots of small white turnips, and some fingerling potatoes — all trimmed and cut into large-ish chunks. Parsnips would have been good, or celery root, or another kind of potato.
- Stir for a few minutes, and add a can of whole tomatoes (15 oz), chopped.
- Give this all a good stir, and add your horseradish-covered beef.
- Cook on the stove until it comes to a simmer, then place the pot, covered, in a 350F oven for one hour.
- Cook for another hour with the lid off.
- Taste for salt, serve, and start planning your next meal.