Absent Landlord Pot Roast

  • February 11th, 2019
  • By Dale Dolson and Rob McGregor

There are so many great things happening at Cowbell Brewing, it’s hard to believe that we are in our second year of operation. With our Greener Pastures Community Fund nearing a milestone of $250,000, and celebrating Flagship February with our first beer, Absent Landlord, our culinary adventure this month takes us back to our roots. February can be a chilling month, and this year has been no exception. Temperatures of -20C have been regularly recorded and the bite of the winter wind is ever present.

So what better way to fend off the winter chill than to cook with that famous first beer. In our household, we tend to lean more toward the comfort style recipes through the winter. Those recipes which the mere thought of, helps to warm the soul. There is nothing better than to fire up the oven with a one-pot dinner that will fill the house with a warm and savoury aroma like the ones that you used to love at your grandmother’s house. It could be stew, a home made soup, a roasted chicken, or one of our favourites... a savoury pot roast of beef.

The great thing about a pot roast is that there is no need for an expensive cut of beef. The lesser desired cuts work best here. In our case, we chose an eye of the round roast which is very lean, tends to be tough, and can be dry and flavourless if not handled properly. What better way to deal with these tendencies than with a can of Absent Landlord as our braising liquid.

Ordinarily when we are working on one of Cowbell’s recipes, we’ll have company over and get everyone in on the act. Having a hospitality industry background, we love to entertain, and it’s fun to hear the critique from our guests. But the very mention of pot roast, brought the response…”Don’t invite anyone, we’ll eat that all by ourselves!” and we did!

Ingredient List:

2-3 lb braising roast of beef... eye of the round worked fine.

Vegetable selection... potatoes, carrots, celery, turnip, sweet potatoes and shallots, were our choice.

Spices... thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and 3 bay leaves in the braising liquid.

We started with a 2-3 lb braising roast of beef, which we rubbed with our favourite seasonings of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried rosemary, thyme and olive oil.

We then chilled the roast overnight in order to allow the seasonings to do their magic on the meat.

The next day, we seared the roast in a cast iron skillet in order to caramelize the exterior and seal the juices in. Once it was browned to our liking, we placed it in our cast Dutch oven, with 3 cloves of garlic, 3 bay leaves, 12 ounces of beef stock and a 16 ounce can of Absent Landlord beer. We then covered the roast and put it in the oven at 325 degrees for about 3 hours or until fork tender. We then lifted the roast out of the pot and covered it with foil.

The glory of something like pot roast is that you can create as you go. The more you cook in the pot, the better the overall dinner will be. A quick search of our refrigerator, scored us some great vegetables to cook alongside. A sweet potato, some turnip, carrots, mini potatoes, celery and shallots rounded out our vegetable selection. We were anticipating a wonderful gravy, having added this assortment to the mix. All the vegetables were added to the pot, covered and placed back in the oven for 30 minutes, then the roast back was added into the pot and covered it for another half hour or until the vegetables were tender.

We then removed everything but the liquid from the pot and set about making a gravy that was to die for. It didn’t take much. Our Absent Landlord beer was very much present in this undertaking! The vegetables had given off their flavours well and we only had to thicken it slightly with a roux of flour and water, then season with salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of soya sauce to add depth to the flavour and colour. We then placed it all on one a tray together, and set it on the table for the two of us to dive into... and dive we did!

It was wonderful! The meat was fork tender, accented by a rich savoury “Absent Landlord” gravy and a bold assortment of vegetables. We were glad not to have dinner guests that evening, as we did eat all of it ourselves. We wanted the leftover meat for a great beef sandwich the next day! A roast like this needs to be well cooked and is not for those loving rare beef. The big plus however, is the deep and delicious flavour and fork tenderness that only braising can provide.

So give this a try with our famous Absent Landlord beer, but think twice about inviting company because, trust us, you won’t want to share one morsel of this soul pleasing recipe!