Last week I attended a cooking class called “Indulge the Heart,” and indulge I did – but in a healthy way. The Heart Hospital of Texas in conjunction with the Texas Beef Council showed us all how to make a delicious date-night meal from a healthy lean cut of beef. Chef Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House in Dallas, Texas and cardiologist Dr. Paul Coffeen enlightened the group on the health benefits of beef and shared healthy tips for cooking it up. I’ve never been shy about my love of lean beef and the role it plays in my training and recovery diet, it’s also no surprise that I get around in beef-circles and I already knew these two beef experts – I’d say they were preaching to the choir!
Our menu included an Italian Post Roast with Sweet Peppers, Olives & Capers from the Healthy Beef Cookbook – it was superb! Not at all like the stringy meat and mushy carrot pot roasts that I remember from my childhood (not that MY mom ever cooked one like that). It’s hard to believe I’ve never actually cooked a pot roast myself, but the chef and doctor sure sold me on the idea and inspired me to come up with my own recipe. Plus, when I saw that Angus Chuck Roast was on special for $2.97 a pound at Sam’s Club, I couldn’t resist. For us fitness types, it’s reassuring to know that pot roast today is a much leaner hunk of meat than it was back in the day. A three-ounce serving has just 5.7 grams total fat (1.8 grams saturated fat) and falls in the middle of the 29 lean cuts of beef.
So, are you hanging on the edge of your seat wondering what I did with the beef and how I ending up with leftovers that were transformed into an equally delicious meal? Here’s the skinny – I came up with the recipe Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms following the master idea from Chef Chamberlain. However, since I can never stick to a recipe and didn’t have any red wine (which his recipe called for), I took my meal in a whole ‘nutha direction. When I was plating the meal, I realized that I should have made a “sopping substance” for the sauce — brown rice, noodles, polenta, riced cauliflower or something!
In any event, the recipe made quite a lot of sauce by design – the meat needs to be completely covered up with liquid to braise properly. While we polished off the beef that night, I still had a stockpot more than half full of sweet-savory, umami-packed sauce. I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it away so I stuck it in the fridge! So what happened the next day was genius, if I do say so myself. I added a can of petite-dice tomatoes, a can full of water, a pound of cooked ground beef and a handful of bow-tie noodles to the pot, heated it up until the pasta was cooked – and, viola, a rich (but not fattening), ultra flavorful soup! No chintzy leftovers here; this salvaged meal made a large amount of hearty soup that fed the entire family with refills! So what would you name this soup? I need a name, let me know in the comments below!!
Pomegranate-Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Bella Mushrooms Recipe
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 boneless beef chuck shoulder pot roast (approx. 2 lbs)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 8-ounce carton of baby bella mushrooms, sliced (use your favorite variety)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 ½ cups pomegranate juice (make sure actual juice – not “cocktail”)
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with juice
- 2 cups beef broth (from can, paste or fresh)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
- ¼ cup water
In large stock pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until hot. Place beef in pot and brown evenly on both sides. Remove from pot and season with salt and pepper.
In same pot, add onion and mushrooms and sauté for approximately 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute.
Add pomegranate juice to deglaze the pan, stirring until simmering and crusty beef bits have come off the bottom of pot and become incorporated in the sauce.
Add tomatoes, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper; stir to incorporate.
Return roast to the pot and bring everything to a boil; reduce heat and cover pot with tight-fitting lid. Continue to simmer for approximately 2 hours or until fork tender.
Add sliced carrots and continue to simmer. Stir arrowroot powder into 1/4 cup water to create a slurry. Pour slurry into pot and stir for a couple minutes until sauce is thickened; take care not to overheat.
Remove bay leaves and serve over rice, noodles, polenta or riced cauliflower.
Serves 6 to 8.