Thursday, May 15, 2008
Lebanese Style Roast with Gravy - الروستو مع الصلصة
Serves a crowd!
About a 3 pound roast (Lamb or beef)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1-2 big onions chopped
10 cloves of garlic, peeled only
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into medium cubes
1 celery stick, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks, 2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of allspice
1/3 cup of wine (optional)
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
The vegetables need to be medium sized and not small or finely chopped because they need to cook with the roast and this will keep them from browning quickly and falling apart. And my technique is that I allow one minute between every ingredient, I don't like to dump everything all at once. So in a pot, add the oil, onions, potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, celery and garlic add half the amount of salt and black pepper and cook for few minutes then add the roast, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.(I usually rub the roast with a bit of salt and black pepper and let it sit for few minutes before I cook it). Once you've added the roast you want it to brown from all sides and absorb all the flavors. Here you can add the wine. Turn the roast every now and then until the sides are browned then you add 2 to 3 cups of water. Once you've added the water, add the rest of the spices, bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and let it cook slowly. It would probably take about 2 hours maybe more depending on the meat.
Once the roast is cooked take it out of the pot and transfer into the cutting board. Now to obtain the gravy just put everything left in the pot in the mixer for a couple of minutes. I personally leave everything in the pot, take out the cinnamon sticks and the bay leaves and use the handy mixer for few minutes until all the chunks are gone. You'll obtain a thick gravy because of the potato and vegetables so no need to thicken it. After I obtain the gravy, I let it simmer for few minutes and then serve it with the roast.
Tips on how to serve this roast:
1- You can leave it as a whole on the cutting board and when it's time to eat, cut and serve with the gravy on the side.
2- Slice and put back in the sauce or gravy and simmer for few minutes and serve (I recommend this)
3- Slice some and serve on the side as cold cuts and put the rest in the gravy for variety.
4- Serve the roast with Basmati rice and nuts as shown in the photo or serve it with mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables.
PS: Cooking the Basmati and toasting the nuts can be found in my previous recipes like the Chicken with rice recipe for example.