This is an extraordinary pot roast. I was thinking about our trip to Portugal and remembering some of the fabulous meals we enjoyed, hence the Port, the oranges and the cherries. This seemed like just the thing to use for our Zoom dinner with friends to celebrate getting the vaccine. Everything is relative and one has to find joy in the little things.Let’s just get right to it! I purchased a nice hunk of chuck. Placed it in a resealable bag, along with some sour cherry wine I purchased from a Ukrainian market (but I found something that looks comparable here). It looked interesting, so I bought it. I just knew it would come in handy one day. Today is the day! Okay, two days ago was the day! I added bay leaves, dried minced garlic and a half dozen whole allspice berries. Then in the fridge for a little rest. I turned it every morning and then at night. Today, I got out the Instant Pot,
dried the meat and browned it. I strained the marinade, pitching out the allspice berries, but keeping the garlic and bay leaves. To the that, I added 1/2 cup of Port and 1/2 cup red wine…so I have about two cups now. When the meat was browned, I removed it and sat it aside.
I added a sliced onion, 3 or 4 strips of orange peel, half the bay leaves and a handful of dried sour cherries. Oh, you should smell the aroma right now! Then, I plopped the roast on top of that mixture, added onion wedges, sprigs of fresh thyme, a sprig of fresh rosemary, the remaining strips of orange zest, and the strained marinade/Port/red wine mixture. Pour the wine mixture around the meat. Plop the top on, and seal the top. Set the pressure cooker on HIGH and the timer for 35 minutes. When it finishes,
let the pressure come down naturally. I do this ahead and just let it stand for an hour or two, until I’m ready to serve. If there’s too much fat, skim off the fat as best you can. But, remember, that fat has a heap of flavor and will make the gravy richer tasting. I always leave at least 2-3 tablespoons. Just before I’m ready to serve, I turn on the SAUTÉ feature to HIGH and add the ketchup and the arrowroot slurry to thicken the gravy. As you know, The Goddess is a huge fan…I mean H-U-G-E fan of gravy or any sauce…mmmm! Let it simmer until the gravy thickens and the meat is slightly reheated. It comes together in about 6-8 minutes and life is great! I made potato pancakes, from a new recipe I will not be sharing with you. I wasn’t happy with it and I’m not interested in “fixing” it! I also served roasted cabbage wedges, broccoli and radishes; I tossed them with olive oil and garlic granules, then roasted them. The cabbage was a tiny head of cabbage sold just that way, at Trader Joe’s®. They were cute, but not all that “sweet”. But, the meat was heavenly. I decided to go rustic and just pushed the veggies to the side, place a hunk of the meat in the skillet, topped it with some of the sauce and slid the potato pancakes along side. Onto the table and dinner is served!!!
Braised Beef with Port, Red Wine, Dried Cherries and Orange
- 1 4-pound boneless chuck roast (at least 1 1/2-inches thick)
- 3/4 cup sour cherry wine (a Cab or merlot is also nice)
- 6-8 whole allspice berries
- 2 tablespoons dry minced garlic
- 4-6 bay leaves
- Reserved marinade, strained
- 1/2 cup tawny or ruby Port
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (I used sour cherry wine)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, one sliced, one cut into wedges from top to bottom*
- 1 handful dried sour cherries (or prunes, figs, etc.)
- Zest of one orange removed in strips with a potato peeler, about 6-8 strips
- 1 3-inch sprig fresh rosemary
- 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
- To Finish:
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2-3 teaspoons arrowroot
- 2 tablespoons water
Place the hunk of meat in a resealable bag. Toss in the dry stuff and pour in the sour cherry wine. Carefully squeeze as much air as possible from the bag, and seal it up tight. I usually put the bag in a bowl just in case it leaks. Turn it twice a day, for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to prepare the meat, remove it from the fridge. Take the meat out of the bag, and reserve the marinade. Strain the marinade, toss the allspice berries, but keep the garlic and bay leaves. Add 1/2 cup of Port and 1/2 cup red wine; you will have about two cups. Set aside.
Dry the meat well; I use paper toweling. Add 2 the olive oil to the Instant Pot™, set to SAUTÉ. Brown the meat on ALL sides; set aside.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat; add the sliced onion, 3 or 4 strips of orange peel, 3 of the bay leaves and a handful of dried sour cherries. Place the roast on top, add the onion wedges, fresh thyme and rosemary, and the remaining strips of orange zest. Pour the strained marinade/Port/red wine mixture around the meat. Place the top on, and seal the top. Turn the valve to “SEALING”, set the pressure cooker on HIGH and the timer for 35 minutes. When time elapses, let the pressure come down naturally.
I like to do this a couple of hours before serving and just let the pot sit on the counter. When I’m ready to serve, carefully remove the meat; set it aside. You may want to skim all but the about 2-3 tablespoons of fat from the liquid. How much fat there is, will depend on how fatty the meat is/was. Remove the bay leaves (pitch them) and the orange zest (I keep these in the sauce). Stir in the ketchup and turn the SAUTÉ feature to HIGH. Once the sauce boils, stir in the arrowroot slurry. Cook until thickened, then return the meat to the insert, and simmer for a couple of minutes to warm it through. This isn’t absolutely necessary, as the gravy will be piping hot. The sauce/meat comes together in about 4-6 minutes.
Remove the meat from the pot and slice or simple break into chunks. Serve with polenta, mashed potatoes or rice and some of the sauce/gravy over the meat and anything else you wish to. I sometimes garnish with additional julienned bits of orange zest or chopped parsley or cilantro.
Braised Beef with Port, Red Wine, Dried Cherries and Orange Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2021. All rights reserved.