Pot Roast in Red Wine Sauce with Potato Pancakes
Pot Roast Warmed and Potato Pancakes lightly fried on the gas top stove after losing power the first day of the storm.
With the Weather Tracker veering its initial central landing site of Hurricane Sandy, thoughts and prayers fixed on the homes of friends and family in New Jersey, especially the shore points, New York, and on the other side of us in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Never had they anticipated the surrounding suburbs of Philadelphia totaling millions of homes being without Power for days and children missing school for nearly a week.
Magnificent old trees easily uprooted as easily as pulling an annual out of a flower bed at summers end landed on power lines, strewn across main driving roads, train tracks interrupting everyday transportation services.
Nearly every traffic light was un-serviceable and generators were running at major intersections to construct some assembled flow of traffic order nearly five days later.
Even banks issued paper receipts as Tellers sat behind their long stone service areas in the dark dressed in coats and gloves.
With no control over the forces of nature, on the first evening I settled in to the developing rainstorm occurring outside with a crackling wood fire and prepared a Pot Roast with Red Wine Sauce and good old fashioned mashed potatoes, my favorite comfort food.
My grandson, the J-Dude and I also enjoyed roasting giant marshmallows in the fireplace, yum.
Preparing foods ahead of time presented to be one good fortune for there was only the gas range top serviceable for cooking as power service was lost on the first evening.
I warmed the Pot Roast for a late lunch the following day and chopped up onions and parsley with an added egg yolk to the mashed potatoes and fried crispy golden potato pancakes.
The lovely luncheon even seemed very elegant under the circumstances and was something to feel spirited about as the rain continued pounding and inside the house became colder and colder.
Moreover, with no “D” Batteries left at any store in our area, our trusty lantern that formerly lit the whole back of the house dimmed into an essential night light replaced by lit candles once the real darkness arrived early evening.
After about two and a half days, the romanticism of cooking and living without Power really began taking its toll.
The best stroke of Good Luck was that the very large local pub in our area was OPEN! Half Price Wings with celery and Blue Cheese Dip at Whelihan’s never looked so wonderful and welcoming! Light and Warmth, never more appreciated.
Almost everyone living in the community showed up at one point or another, in required attire for the evening: unshaven men and un-made up women all but a few wearing assortments of layered sweat shirts and pants with tons of kids all over the place.
The entire Staff were so welcoming and helpful. The Kitchen somehow managed to produce endless food all delivered to patrons piping hot and consistently well beyond expectation.
Under the circumstances, I felt like I was eating at a five star restaurant. Looking around the Pub it seemed everyone was close to eating five-course meals and new rounds of chicken wings to entertain families and extend the visit. The Golden Vault of Wings at Whelihan’s seemed endless.
On Day- Three after a trip to the super Wal-Mart that was also without power, my grandson and I were just a number of hundreds of cars driving through the parking lot hoping to replace batteries.
We then randomly took to wandering around an open Lowes for about an hour and a half just killing time, seriously dazed, and hoping that the scheduled truck delivering batteries in the evening would miraculously show up eight hours earlier.
Upon our arrival home the neighborhood children awaited eager to entertain themselves simply sharing company with each other. Then mere hours later, it happened, a sound, what was it? There was light, there was a television flicking on the same channel left days earlier. Power restored! Alleluia!
Halloween would actually occur in this community on its designated evening in mere hours. I began cooking a dish to share in our annual Halloween gathering with neighbors following the Trick or Treat celebration.
I will share the Braised Veal Shoulder Chop with baby onions, tomatoes and Kalamata olives shortly to catch up on being without any internet this week.
Thoughts and Prayers continue for those who are still living with the challenges brought on by this devastating storm! Good Bye and Good Riddens Sandy!
Pot Roast in Red Wine Sauce with Potato Pancakes, a final Supper before Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc
- For the Pot Roast:
- 3-4 pound beef pot roast, seasoned on both sides with a pinch each of coarse kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cups cup beef stock
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more according to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- For the Mashed Potatoes for Potato Pancakes:
- 3 pounds red potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, then quartered
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, or more to taste
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- For Potato Pancakes:
- 3-5 cups day old mashed potatoes (mashed potato recipe above)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil for frying potato pancakes
- For the Roast:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Season the beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Heat a large cast iron enameled pan
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter
- Sear the seasoned beef on both sides in the olive oil and butter then lower temperature continuing to brown all over, around 10 minutes, transfer beef to a platter
- Add another tablespoon each of olive oil and butter to the pan
- Scrape in the thinly sliced onions and crushed garlic, cook on low heat until onions are softened, around five minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan from any browned bits from the meat
- Spoon in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir well into the onion and garlic mixture cooking, around a minute
- Return the beef to the pan, increase the heat temperature to medium high
- Pour in the red wine reducing to about half
- Add in beef broth, stir
- Simmer meat on very low heat around two hours, or longer until meat is easily separated with a fork
- Cut meat into 3 -4 inch pieces then top with the sauce
- For the Mashed Potatoes:
- Beat egg yolk and heavy cream together in a small glass bowl, reserve
- Drop quartered potatoes into a large pot of salted water and cook until fork tender all through
- Drain potatoes and return back to the pot over very low heat to dry potatoes a bit, stir constantly until slightly dried, around three minutes
- Beat potatoes with a mixer, then add in the salt and butter, continue beating
- Pour in the heavy cream with beaten egg yolk mixture, continue beating until soft and fluffy
- Check seasoning, adjust to taste
- For Potato Pancakes:
- Add the day old mashed potatoes into a large glass bowl
- Stir in the chopped onion and parsley, check seasoning, adjusting to taste
- Stir in the beaten egg yolk for binding
- Form potato mixture into round shaped patties
- Heat nonstick sauté pan, add in olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan
- Fry potato pancakes on medium heat until golden brown on both sides and hot in the center , around five minutes