Want a chance to win this fabulous set of Le Creuset cookware?
Read on, because you can!
If I was to pick a cooking technique that I like the most, it would have to be braising. I love that long slow cooking that breaks meat down into deliciousness that just melts in your mouth. I also love that big pot bubbling on the stove that sends out those great smells, filling the house with the promise of a terrific dinner.
And for this one-pot wonder, there's only really one thing you need, a Dutch oven.
I'm really excited to be starting my own on-line store with Open Sky. If you haven't heard of it, here goes! I plan to bring you my personal favorite things that I'm going to scout from all over the world. I saw a few things when I was just in Morocco and a couple of weeks ago when I was at the Fancy Food Show, I found delicious honey in sexy glass jars from Spain, the most unbelievable chocolate and really fantastic hard-to-find ingredients, tools and cookware.
Speaking of cookware and braising, you can have your very own Dutch oven by registering to follow me on Open Sky. If you do, you will automatically be registered to win.
TUSCAN POT ROAST
Here's a little sneak preview of what I've been working on for the last several months,- my new book Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence that will be released in early fall. It's the companion to my new PBS TV series that just began airing a couple weeks ago.
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 pounds beef chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup full bodied red wine, Chianti or Cabernet
3 cups peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
Pour 3 cups boiling water over the mushroom and let stand until the water is cool.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy casserole over medium heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown the meat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized on both sides, 20 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften and turn golden, 15 minutes. Strain the porcini and reserve the liquid. Add the revived porcini mushrooms and the garlic to the pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the tomato paste, sugar, red wine, porcini soaking liquid and tomatoes. Increase the heat to high, add the tomato mixture and add the meat back into the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, turning the meat occasionally, until the meat is tender, 2 ½ to 3 hours. To see if the meat is tender, insert a knife or even a fork into the center of the meat. There should be no resistance and the meat should almost fall apart. If the sauce is too thick, add water ½ cup at a time.
Remove the meat from the pan and cover loosely with foil. Puree the sauce in a blender or a food mill until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the meat into ¼-inch slices and place on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce onto the top. Serve the remainder on the side in a small pitcher.