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The Wordsmith's Forge - Recipe: "Jewish Crock Pot Roast"
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Recipe: "Jewish Crock Pot Roast"
We served this the other night along with latkes and challah.


Jewish Crock Pot Roast

Ingredients:

2 cups goose stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
lemon pepper


Directions:

Put 2 cups goose stock, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 4 tablespoons brown sugar into a large crock pot. Turn on the crock pot to Low.

Peel and chop the onion. Add the pieces to the crock pot. Cook for about an hour, until the onions begin to soften.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet to about 250ºF.

Put 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce into a gallon ziplock bag. Rinse a 3 lb. boneless beef chuck roast and pat it dry. Put the chuck roast into the bag, seal the bag, and rotate to cover the meat thoroughly with the juices. Remove the chuck roast, discarding the bag and leftover juices. Sprinkle the wet chuck roast generously with lemon pepper.

Place the chuck roast in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Flip it over and brown the other side. Turn off the skillet. Transfer the chuck roast to the crock pot. Spoon some of the goose stock and onions over the top of the roast.

Allow to cook for 3-4 hours, periodically spooning more goose stock and onions on top of the meat. The chuck roast is done when it shreds easily with a fork.


Notes:

This recipe was inspired by Jewish style pot roast recipes, in terms of the flavorings and the type of meat used. It's intended as a solitary main dish, rather than the more usual "meal in a pan," because we served it with latkes which were also cooked in goose fat. The results were quite gratifying.

Jewish pot roast is traditionally made with a cheap, tough, flavorful cut of meat. It can be brisket, chuck roast, or rump roast. It needs to be cooked for a long time at relatively low heat, in liquid, with enough acid to help break down the meat.

Notice the browning step -- this is different from most crock pot dishes where everything gets thrown into the same pot. Browning meat creates a chemical change that brings out rich flavor. This extra step is what puts this pot roast above the ordinary; it's not quite feast food, but it's a little more work and a fancier flavor than an everyday version would be. It winds up with a blend of savory, sweet, and tangy notes.

Goose stock makes the pot roast match better with vegetables cooked in goose fat. If you don't have goose stock, substitute chicken stock or broth. You can also substitute schmaltz (chicken fat) instead of goose fat. Because my goose stock already contained a good blend of herbs, I didn't need to add much extra in the way of herbs or spices.

Use a sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, rather than a hot variety. If it's large, you can take out part of it for something else -- in this case, we used about a quarter of the onion for the 4 tablespoons of shredded onion needed for the latkes.

Lemon pepper seared into the meat during the browning process helps lock in the flavor and juices. If you don't have lemon pepper, get a whole lemon instead of bottled lemon juice -- just zest it before you juice it, and mix the zest half and half with ground black pepper.

This recipe usually makes enough for leftovers. Shred the meat with a fork and use it in sandwiches, or add gravy and pour it over a starch such as noodles or rice.


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Comments
dichroic From: dichroic Date: November 2nd, 2010 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I started laughing at the goose stock. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a common ingredient for most of my ancestors.

In concept, you're right. Schmalz was saved and used, and if for some reason they'd had a goose they'd certainly have saved that fat and broth as well. I don't know about using broth to cook a roast in - I mean, traditionally, because of that poverty factor - but I suppose anyone who could afford a beef roast could afford to use broth to cook with instead of using it as soup to feed empty bellies. I make a Texas-style brisket using similar ideas, in a baking bag. For liquid, we use whatever's in the fridge - some BBQ sauce, maybe a bit of salsa, tomato sauce or even ketchup, lots of seasonings, with beer added to make enough liquid.

But the goose broth is still a bit funny.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 2nd, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Yeah, I know, chicken fat is the original; goose is an upgrade. I probably would've just used chicken broth if we hadn't planned to serve this with latkes. But goose fat is utterly decadent for frying things such as latkes, and I wanted the flavors to match.
bibliotechie From: bibliotechie Date: November 3rd, 2010 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Goose fat was common in Eastern Europe, especially for Jews where lard is not an option. Goose stock was harder to get as it is more perishable. (Schmaltz - rendered poultry fat- could last quite a while in cool weather. Goose is very fatty, and was raised in the Shetl for feathers, liver and fat.)

Worcestershire sauce is more problematic in that it contains anchovies. Fish and meat are not mixed or cooked together according to the laws of Kashrut (but may be eaten at the same meal unlike meat and dairy).
cissa From: cissa Date: November 5th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Goose fat and home-rendered lard are pretty similar in saturation, at least based on observation. Both are a kind of mushy solid at room temp.; goose is a bit looser. -Beef is very solid, and chicken/turkey are really liquid, for contrast.

Goose fat (and duck fat) is a treasure and a delight, and keeps a year or so if refrigerated in glass, and will make all potatoes cooked with it miraculous. :)

Personally, we use the goose stock from our Xmas goose for soup. I save goose meat trimmings to add in (frozen till the soup's ready), and it's pretty much the last farewell to the goose, except for the treasured fat.

For a brisket, etc., I'd probably start with low-sodium beef and/or chicken broth, if i didn't have my own beef and/or chicken broth (NO-sodium) on hand.
cissa From: cissa Date: November 5th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
In my experience, chicken and turkey fat are not good subs for goose/duck fat; they leave potatoes greasy and do not have the miraculous flavor/texture advantages of goose/duck fat. I do like to use pretty much any fat I encounter for cooking, but chicken and turkey are better for sauteing onions etc. in dishes that use turkey/chicken than for other things. Or even mashed potatoes. But NOT for sauteing/roasting potatoes per se. My guess is that they're too unsaturated.
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