Beef up the Holidays

The holiday season conjures up images of hot beverages, gifts, sweets and for many, a rare chance for the family to gather around the table, so why not make the most of it and change things up this year? Beef can be the ultimate holiday meal, and when paired with delicious winter vegetables and the right wine, it can be much more memorable than the typical turkey.Beef_Cut_01

Why not give the following recipe from Epicurious a try to churn out a tasty roast and hearty winter winter vegetables.

You’ll need the following:

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 4-lb boneless chuck roast, tied
  • 6 ounces bacon, cut into ¼ inch-thick slices, then into 2 inch squares
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • ½ cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 12 small shallots, peeled
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 large carrots (about a pound) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium parsnips (about 12 ounces) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350°F and mix first 6 ingredients into a bowl, then rub all over the roast.

Cook bacon in a large oven-proof pot until browned and slightly crispy, then transfer bacon to paper towels and drain. Pour all but 2 table spoons of drippings out of the pot, increase the heat to medium-high and brown beef on all sides, or around 12 minutes total. Transfer the beef to a plate, add the red wine to the pot and bring to a boil while scraping up any browned bits of deliciousness from the bottom of the pan. Continue to boil until the liquid reduces by about ½ cup, which should take around 5 minutes. Add the broth, drop the bacon back in and then place the beef on top. Place the onions, shallots, garlic and bay leaves around the beef.

Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour. Turn the beef over, stir the onions and then  cover and roast for another hour, adding water ¼ cup at a time if the pot dries out. Transfer the beef to a plate, and add carrots, parsnips and celery to pot, making sure to stir them. Place the beef back on top and then roast for another 45 minutes. Once finished, transfer beef to a platter, spoon off any fat from the surface of the sauce and season to taste, pouring over the beef before serving.

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