First, let me start off by saying, if you’ve been following the blog regularly, I am so very flattered. The feedback I have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive and I am so grateful to have just a handful of regular readers. Now that I got that off my chest, I’ll move on to share a recipe that I have been making for the last ten years thanks to my childhood hero,
Shaquille O’Neil Alton Brown. I think I watched more episodes of Good Eats (back when the Food Network actually had cooking shows) in my childhood than I watched The Simpsons.
I was recently inspired to make this dish again because of an email I received from the folks over at Lowcountry Olive Oil, a local Charleston shop situated in the historic Ansonborough district on 272 Meeting Street. The store started in 2011 as a farmers market based business, owned and operated by Laurie and Jason Benjamin. The shop now features over four dozen artisanal infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars and over half of these are infused right here in Charleston. Since they are made locally, they are regulated and certified by the SC Department of Agriculture (see: the nifty ‘Certified SC Product’ sticker) and are currently the only olive oil makers to have that certification in the state. At their store, you’ll find infused olive oil flavors ranging from traditional herbal notes (like basil and rosemary) to more robust and daring such as habanero-lime; you’ll also find the same variety in their delicious aged balsamic vinegars. When Jason reached out to me about collaborating on a dish or cocktail (say… a Bourbon Balsamic Mule?) using Lowcountry Olive Oil products, I couldn’t wait to get started! I met Jason at their Meeting Street location and sampled almost every flavor of olive oil and balsamic vinegar until I found the perfect compliment to this Pot Roast recipe, Bourbon Balsamic Vinegar and Black Truffle Garlic Olive Oil. After corresponding for a while, he and Laurie were gracious enough to let me interview them for the blog! The interview can be found here: An Interview with Lowcountry Olive Oil.
Let me start by saying, Lowcountry Olive Oil’s Bourbon Balsamic Vinegar is not your typical grocery store vinegar- it’s thicker and richer and has the consistency of real maple syrup. The flavors are also a huge surprise -where you’d usually find an extreme tartness, there is a sweetness similar to good blackberry jam and a smoky bourbon flavor with a hint of balsamic acidity. This is the perfect flavor profile and base for my pot roast and perhaps a cocktail. I also chose their Black Truffle Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Truffle oils are generally VERY strong but this was different – the flavor was only slightly earthy but still maintained the truffle characteristic. The overall mouthfeel of the olive oil was also very smooth and mellow and the garlic gave it a certain punch that will pair well with the roasted carrots and cabbage I’ll serve with the roast.
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes
Cook Time: 3.5 hours
Serving Size: Feeds 6-8 people
4 Pound bone-in beef chuck roast
1/2 Pound of smoked bacon (cut into 1/2″ cubes if unsliced, 1″ strips if sliced)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used the “Black Truffle Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil“)
1/3 Cup balsamic vinegar (I used the “Bourbon Balsamic Vinegar“)
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Cup golden raisins
1 Cup green olives
10 Crushed garlic cloves
1 Chopped yellow onion
1/2 Cup of chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Season your beef chuck roast with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy, this is a large piece of meat.
- Heat up your cast iron skillet on the stove on high. Once the pan is smoking, add the olive oil- notice it will ‘shimmer’ almost instantly.
- Place the chuck roast into the hot skillet to sear, being careful not to splatter any oil.
- In 2-3 minutes, lift a corner of the chuck roast to see if it is golden brown on the bottom, if so, flip it over to achieve the same amount browning on the other side. If it is only slightly brown, let it sear for another minute, then check again.
- Let this side brown for 2-3 minutes or until the same amount of browning has occurred on the other side, then pull it off the skillet and set it aside to rest.
- While the pan is still hot, turn the heat down to medium-high. Add the bacon and let it render down a bit (about 1 minute) – stirring so that the bacon does not burn.
- To the bacon, add the garlic, onions, olives, golden raisins.
- Sauté this mixture until the onions are translucent and caramelized, then turn the heat down to medium. Slowly add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until everything is incorporated.
- Let this mixture stew for about 2 minutes. While stirring, add the bourbon balsamic vinegar. Continue stirring.
- After about 2 more minutes, your mixture should have reduced down by at least 1/3 of the original volume. Add the seared chuck roast back in to the pan, ensuring the balsamic tomato mixture coats every single square inch of the roast.
- Top the mixture with parsley and cover (Pro-tip: cover your lid with aluminum foil for easy cleanup later). Place into the 350 degree oven for 3-4 hours or until a fork pushes easily into the meat.
- Once the roast is done, remove it from the oven and place on a large cutting board to rest. Now its time to make the sauce! Take what remaining meat and tomato juices and as Alton Brown affectionately calls it, “chunkies” (the roasted onions, olives, garlic and raisins) and place it into a sauce pan. Now take your immersion blender (or regular blender) and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- For presentation, I like to serve my pot roast right on the cutting board topped with fresh parsley. I then carve into it right before serving and top it with that delicious sweet and savory ‘gravy’. This roast is served with roasted carrots and cabbage, seasoned simply with the black truffle garlic olive oil, salt and pepper (cooked at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and tender).
Enjoy every bite of this rich, juicy, savory roast – the leftovers are also incredible!