Slow Food – Italian Pot Roast

What does Wikipedia say about the Slow Food movement? Here is a sample.

“Slow Food began in Italy with the founding of its forerunner organization, Arcigola, in 1986 to resist the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. In 1989, the founding Manifesto of the international Slow Food movement was signed in Paris, France by delegates from 15 countries. This was done not in part to protest against the restaurant chain, and primarily to protest against big international business interests.”

FYI – I’ve actually been to the McDonald’s in Rome at the foot of the Spanish Steps. I walked in to get a beverage (it was a hot day in Rome) and was amazed to find that they had a huge salad bar and sold wine. Only in Italy! However, I did not eat there. Why, when you have a city filled with some of the best food on the planet?

Some of the movement’s objectives include:

  • forming and sustaining seed banks to preserve heirloom varieties in cooperation with local food systems
  • developing an “Ark of Taste” for each ecoregion, where local culinary traditions and foods are celebrated
  • preserving and promoting local and traditional food products, along with their lore and preparation
  • educating consumers about the risks of fast food
  • educating citizens about the drawbacks of commercial agribusiness and factory farms
  • developing various political programs to preserve family farms
  • lobbying for the inclusion of organic farming concerns within agricultural policy
  • lobbying against government funding of genetic engineering
  • lobbying against the use of pesticides
  • teaching gardening skills to students and prisoners
  • encouraging ethical buying in local marketplaces

I don’t know about you, but these are objectives I can get behind. I am blessed to live in an area where family farms, orchards, and local food traditions are strong. Starting this blog was influenced by the farms and people in my little part of the world. I really do enjoy setting the table and serving up good home cooking to my family and friends, and I hope this blog helps you do the same.

Okay, but this blog is about recipes and I’ve got one for you today that will absolutely knock your socks off! The Dude and I threw a small dinner party last night for a few friends. I wanted to make something that wouldn’t keep me tied to the kitchen while everyone else was enjoying appetizers, including my yummy red pepper tapenade. I happened to be watching the Cooking Channel yesterday and one of my favorite chefs, Michael Symon, was making an Italian pot roast. Slow food with BIG taste. Since I love pot roast, and this dish requires putting the roast in the oven for 3 hours and forgetting about it, I thought it would be a great dinner party dish. So, thanks to Michael Symon, here is a recipe that you will go back to again and again. The Dude tells me this dish falls into my top two. Not too shabby!

Italian Pot Roast

  • 3 pounds rump roast
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups your favorite tomato sauce for pasta, recipe for a delicious sauce follows
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 1 -1/2 pounds dried rigatoni
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Sprinkle the meat liberally with salt and pepper as much as 1 day in advance. (Cover and refrigerate it if doing so and take the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.) Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. When the oil is on the verge of smoking, sear the meat for about 2 minutes per side. Move the meat to the side (or remove it from the pot altogether if necessary), and add the carrots, celery root and onions. Brown the vegetables for about 3 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pot, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. Add the tomato sauce, 1 cup water and the bay leaves (and the pot roast if you removed it). Bring the liquid to a simmer and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 3 hours, basting the meat occasionally during cooking time. When almost ready to serve, make the rigatoni, if using. Boil in salted water according to package directions until al dente.Discard the bay leaves before serving. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and slice into bite-size pieces, or shred with 2 forks. Return the meat to the pot of sauce along with the drained rigatoni. Toss to coat, and serve.

Ready to serve. The pot roast literally falls apart and melts in your mouth! So good!

Ready to serve. The pot roast literally falls apart and melts in your mouth! So good!

Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Two 28-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
  • 2 pounds meaty beef bones
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 2 minutes. Add the salt and garlic and cook until everything is soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Squeeze the tomatoes one by one into the pan, pulverizing them by hand, and pour in their juice, too. Add the bones, wine, oregano, red pepper flakes, if using, black pepper and bay leaf. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to its lowest possible setting, and continue to cook for 8 hours. The sauce should reduce by about one-third.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Remove the bones and bay leaf. If not using right away, let the sauce cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months. Yield: 8 cups.


About Eileen Dominick Long

Diva, dog lover, and main squeeze to the Dude.
This entry was posted in Main Dishes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Slow Food – Italian Pot Roast

  1. YES!! Thank you, Eileen! I was searching for an Italian beef recipe. This isn’t exactly what I was looking for but I think this will fit the bill quite nicely. I’ll be making this for New Year’s Day evening meal. And also want to say how much I agree with and appreciate your post with the “objectives” you’ve shared. All I can say is, “ME TOO!!”

  2. A Table in the Sun says:

    I remember seeing a HUMONGOUS bowl of caprese salad in the window of McDonalds in Italy. Why can’t our American McDonald’s put out fresh food? (Not that I would go there…..)

  3. Justi says:

    Man does that look good!!! and so easy. I have been purchasing enamel cast iron pans and love them to do just this type of recipe.

    Salad bar and wine in McD’s….that would be great. Great food objectives. It is interesting that McD’s, around here, have started putting the calories for individual items and meals on their menu. Can’t speak for all but it makes me stop and think.

    I have been looking for farmer’s markets in my area. We have one but alot of “store” producers come here. Teej is always good at finding them when we travel. (Which we need to do soon.) Which means the car and room smell of veggies……note: she won’t let me get leeks again. LOL!

    Happy New Year to you and the Dude.

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