Dinner zen – roastless roast

Roastless roast
Roastless roast

This isn’t going to appeal to meat lovers, but fortunately for me I’m not married to one.  In the winter, when I want a nice, cozy meal but don’t feel like wrestling with a bloody piece of meat, I make roastless roast.  It is a healthy way to eat some winter veggies with a rich taste.  This recipe uses bacon and chicken broth for a rich, meaty flavor, but those ingredients can be removed (use veggie broth instead) for vegans or vegetarians.

Roastless Roast

Ingredients:

4 strips of bacon
1 cup of chicken broth
1 medium head of cabbage (I prefer to use purple cabbage)
4 or 5 baby red or yukon gold potatoes
1 large onion
3 large carrots
2 or 3 sprigs of thyme, or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried, ground sage
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Bay leaf
1/4 cup red wine or dark beer (if desired)

Method:

In a dutch oven, cook the bacon until it is brown and crispy.  Set aside on a paper towel.  (NOTE: if you want to make this a tastier and less healthy dish, reserve some of the bacon drippings for the pan and the broth.  Or else throw the bacon grease away, goody-two-shoes.)  Reserve the bacon juices (or don’t) and add the broth and spices.  I highly recommend you use either the wine or beer to enrich the flavor if possible.  Reduce the liquid until it becomes thick and rich in the pan.

This bacon-herb broth is the shiiznit.

Cut the head of cabbage into 2 or 4 pieces and arrange them in the bottom of your dutch oven.  Cut the potatoes in half, cut the carrots into large sections, and cut the whole onion into 4 pieces and arrange them around the cabbage pieces.  In a separate bowl combine the reduced chicken broth/bacon/spices/boozy concoction into a thick, heady broth.  Drizzle the broth over the vegetables.

Place a piece of aluminium foil over the top of the dutch oven, and then put the lid on top of the foil, folding the edges of the foil up over the lid to create a seal.  Cook at 350 degrees for about 50 to 90 minutes (depending how how hearty your veggies are, this make take more or less time).  Serve with the creamy mustard sauce (below).

Creamy Mustard Sauce for Roastless Roast

Ingredients:
Sour cream
Horseradish paste
Mustard
Pinch of salt (if desired)

Method:

All of these ingredients should be added according to what you prefer (and how much heat you can stand).  The horseradish will sneak up on you, so I recommend you add a little bit of each ingredient slowly and quit when you think it starts to taste good.  Mix well and keep n the fridge until you are ready for it.  Will keep for up to a week, refrigerated.  This sauce also tastes fantastic on roast, made with an actual pot roast, as a veggie dip (not a low fat dip), as a dip for potato chips (the food of the angels), or slathered on top of broiled fish.  Or all by itself.

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