Philosophizing About Food With Francine: Chilly Autumn Air Signals It's Time for Pot Roast


by Francine Black

Pot roast or “boeuf a la mode!"

The famous food writer and and chef, James Beard, tells us that it was the French immigrants to New England who brought a cooking method known as “a l’etouffee." It was a method of slow braising especially for tenderizing the tougher cuts of meat. 

Later, the German immigrants who settled here in Pennsylvania brought another variation of slow cooking tough lean meat: tenderizing it by larding and marinating. This was known as “sauerbraten."

Both of those methods employed by wise and thrifty housewives of the past, produce marvelous meals of tender delicious slices of meat swimming in a beautiful broth. 

I’m sure every family has their favorite cut of meat and method of preparation. For me, a lean piece of top round does the trick. While the price of meat has gone sky high these days, the occasional sale puts it within reach. Chuck roast actually has even better flavor, but probably too much fat for the older folks.

Searing all sides and browning it in sliced onions, garlic, chopped fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs then liberally basting all in a good red wine in my le creuset Dutch oven makes a delicious meal. Cook time on very low heat is around 3 hours. 

Somewhere along the line I added coarsely chopped carrots and Yukon gold potato halves and fresh parsley.  Whatever your preference, this is sure to bring a smile to those gathered at your table!

High in the mountains above Bally, where the dense groves of treetops seem to touch the sky, is Francine Black, Boyertown’s own version of chef Julia Child. Her daily activities reflect the things she most values: family and friends, music, and lovingly prepared food.

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