Monday, October 25, 2010

Fresh and Honest New England Cooking

Once a month I have dinner with three of my girlfriends from graduate school. Each month we choose a different restaurant. There are only two rules. First, the restaurant has to be new to everyone. Second, the restaurant's name has to start with the next letter in the alphabet from the month before. We call it ABC dinner, and it's been going on for 3 years. 

For our first round, we chose Henrietta's Table for H Dinner. It became a huge favorite. As soon as I could go back, I brought Alex. The food is fantastic. The ingredients are locally grown. The atmosphere is cozy. The service is wonderful. We love it so much that we had our wedding dinner in their private room. 

Before the wedding, on our sixth and last dating anniversary, Alex took me to dinner and bought me the Henrietta's Table Cookbook. It has every recipe on the menu and more. For Sunday dinner, I decided to attempt my favorite meal at Henrietta's Table: pot roast, mashed potatoes, and brussels sprouts. It didn't come out quite as delicious as it would have if Chef Peter Davis had made it, but it was pretty tasty.

Henrietta's Table Pot Roast (from Fresh & Honest by Peter Davis)
Serves 6 (to 10)
  • 1 four pound piece of beef chuck
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red wine (I used Ravenswood Red Zinfandel)
  • 3 cups Veal or Oxtail stock (I used beef stock)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chuck with salt and pepper.

Place a heavy bottom pot on the stove over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons oil and brown the chuck on all sides. Remove the chuck from the pot and set aside.

Add 3 cloves of garlic, 2 carrots chopped, 3 celery sticks chopped, and 1 medium onion chopped and brown well.

Pour 1 cup of red wine into the pot and reduce by half.

Add the meat, 3 cups of stock, 2 bay leaves, and 2 sprigs of thyme into the pot, and bring to a boil.

Place the uncovered pot into the oven. Cook the roast for 2.5 hours, turning every half hour. If the sauce reduces too much and becomes too thick, add 1 cup of water. Remove the pot roast from the oven when it is fork-tender. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.

Skim the fat off the top of the sauce. Puree the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Slice the meat across the grain, top with sauce, and serve!

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