There is something exceptional about porcini mushrooms. They aren’t your run of the mill button’s and much more interesting than cremini; although I do love a bowl of sautéed cremini’s.
Still, much more flavorful than shitake‘s and almost as intriguing as chanterelles or oyster mushrooms. I nearly swoon when I see the first of the fresh local chanterelles. I will plan my menu around those little lovelies just to have the excuse to use them while fresh and seasonal.
The porcini mushroom is often described as nutty, with a smooth texture and the distinctive aroma similar to sourdough. Rarely do we find them fresh here in the states but once they’re re-constituted in hot water, wine or broth, these flavorful mushrooms make the loveliest and quite delectable addition to many dishes.
I don’t often use porcini in the spring and summer. I always think to use them during Fall and Winter, when I typically braise more meats and poultry. But it’s been a busy spring with cool evenings and a slow braised (or slow cooked) pot roast seemed perfectly suited to this time of year. Honestly, there are days I just need pot roast for dinner.
Comforting to the soul, fragrant to the senses, and most delicious to the taste buds. It feels like a big hug on a plate. 🙂
Loads of Love,
Porcini and Rosemary Slow Braised Pot Roast
This recipe can be slow braised in a Dutch Oven or slow cooked in a Slow Cooker. Adjust the liquids as I’ve instructed below.
Serves 6 – 8
4-5lbs beef chuck roast
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 package dried porcini mushrooms (about 1-2 ounces)
Red wine (1/2 cup for slow cooker) (1 cup for Dutch Oven)
Beef broth (1/2 cup for slow cooker) (1 cup for Dutch Oven)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Serve over Creamy Polenta (recipe below)
If using a Dutch oven, pre-heat the oven to 325F. If using the slow cooker, pre-heat the slow cooker on high.
Re-constitute the porcini mushrooms by placing them in a bowl and covering them with very hot water. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, then drain and chop. Set aside.
Season the beef with salt and pepper.
Heat a large Dutch oven or skillet with a little oil and brown the beef on all sides. Transfer the beef to a platter or the slow cooker.
In the same Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic for a minute or two, adding the rosemary and porcini. Stir in the red wine and beef broth and pour over the beef in the slow cooker. Secure the slow cooker lid and turn the heat to low. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
Or, add the beef roast back to the Dutch Oven and cover with the lid. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for about 2-3 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
When the beef is done, transfer to a platter and slice or lightly shred.
To make the beef liquid thicker and saucier, pour the liquid in a sauce pan and reduce it until it thickens a bit. This will also concentrate the flavors of the sauce. This sauce will be more of an Au Jus.
For a thicker, more gravy like sauce, add a few spoonful’s of the hot liquid to a small bowl with a teaspoon of corn starch. Whisk together to make a little paste. Whisk this paste “slurry” into the simmering liquid. The sauce will eventually thicken, adding additional beef broth if necessary.
Adjust seasoning to taste. Strain the liquid with a mesh strainer and ladle over the beef.
Serve with Creamy Polenta and roasted Spring Asparagus for a beautiful and delicious meal.
3 cups milk
½ cup quick cooking polenta
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the milk in a 4-quart saucepan, stirring as you bring it to a boil. While stirring, add the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and continue to keep the polenta at a simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the polenta has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Lightly salt and pepper to taste.