Baby, It's Cold Outside: Let's Braise! (7-Bone Pot Roast, Anyone?)

Certainly, I prefer a braiser for gorgeous roasts like my Beef-Coriander Plat Unique (one-dish meal), but you don’t need one to make this beauty.

Looking for great recipes for your braiser? Here’s how to make my amazing seven-bone pot roast recipe for a braiser….(you can also use a Dutch oven or very deep, wide skillet).

The other day my sister was flipping—er, I mean swiping—her way through my Braiser Cookbook, and she came upon this photo and said WOW! What cut is that? I haven’t seen that one for years.

Indeed, the famed seven-bone pot roast was a favorite of our Midwestern farm-wife grandmother. We must have had it at her table over 100 times. Cut from the chuck (or shoulder) like most good pot roasts, it’s a particularly succulent cut of beef thanks to all that marbling and connective tissue, which melts to tender richness during a long, slow braise.

These days, many  seven-bone roasts don’t have the bones—your butcher has taken them out for you. That’s OK—bones or no bones, it’s a great cut.

And so here it is—it’s one of my favorite ways with this roast. It combines Iowa heartiness with a little French/African elsewhere-ness. Enjoy.

Beef Plat Unique with Coriander and Cardamom from The Braiser Cookbook

This plat unique (one-dish meal) combines popular French ingredients (leeks, garlic, and wine) with coriander and cardamom, popular North African flavors, which bring a little exoticism and warm spiciness to the sauce. You can use any round potatoes for this dish, but I loved eye-catching appeal that the combination of purple, red, and yellow potatoes brought to the dish.

And remember–you don’t have to have a braiser to make this. See How to Braise without a Braiser.

1 2- to 2-1/2-pound 7-bone pot roast or beef chuck shoulder pot roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced, white and pale green parts only (about 3/4 cup)
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 pound round white, red, and/or purple potatoes, cut in half if larger than 1-1/2 inches in diameter
3/4 pound peeled carrots, left whole if thin (cut in half lengthwise if thicker than 3/4-inch)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Snipped fresh parsley

1. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 3-1/2-quart braiser over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the roast and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes (reduce the heat to medium if the meat browns too quickly). Transfer the meat to a plate.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and leek to the braiser. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, coriander, and cardamom; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of braiser. Return beef and any juices to the braiser. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

3. Add potatoes and carrots to the braiser. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour more or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Remove the meat, potatoes, and carrots from the braiser. Cover to keep warm.

4. At this point there should be at least 1 cup liquid in the braiser. If not, add enough beef broth to equal 1 cup. In a small bowl, work the butter and flour together to make a paste (a beurre manié). Add the beurre manié bit by bit to the pan liquid, stirring with a wire whisk to blend away any lumps. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly, then continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes more.

5. Pass the sauce with the meat and vegetables.

In addition to being a wonderful cook, my grandmother, Anna Cox Monthei, was a stellar photographer. My cousin Fred Monthei has collected many of her photos on a website, www.IowaFarmWife.com. They tell the story of rural life in the 20th century.

The farmhouse, built in 1907. The site of many wonderful 7-bone pot roasts over the years….(My grandmother lived to be 101).

 

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10 comments to Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Let’s Braise! (7-Bone Pot Roast, Anyone?)

  • Kathy Casey

    The picture of your house looks like the house I grew up in except the porch was on the other side. Also, it wasn’t a farmhouse. I think it was built about 1860. It was in town (400 people when everyone was safely tucked in bed). Thanks for the memories and loved the pot roast recipe.

  • I have to tell my sister you call it 7-bone. When she was first married she went to the market and asked the butcher for a 7-bone roast. The butcher laughed at her and said there is no such cut. She never went back to that market and never forgot it. I will say it is a shame to not have a bone in it since that gives it so much more flavor. My mother-in-law made this every Sunday if she was not making fried chicken or chicken and dumplings.

    Love the photos of your grandmother and her house.

    M~

  • Carren

    This looks delicious! I love a classic pot roast, but the addition of the cardamom and coriander sounds very interesting. I will definitely try this next time.

    Now, the pictures: Absolutely beautiful. I just took a look at your cousin’s website. I love it! Having grown up in Wisconsin (Racine) but now live in San Diego, I so much appreciate the beauty and richness of these photos. What a beautiful collection!

    I haven’t left a comment before, so let me now add what I’ve been wanting to say for aw while: have totally enjoyed reading your cookbook! I love the recipes and the stories that accompany them. And now how fun to get emails periodically (actually, now more regularly, which is great!) from your website. Thank you!

    Just downloaded the braising book too! 🙂

  • Wini

    So nice to hear from you, Carren. Lucky you! San Diego! In his bachelor years in the early 50s, my father and uncle owned a restaurant in rural Iowa. The brothers split up the business and my uncle moved to La Jolla and my Dad stayed here in Iowa. Sometimes I wish it would have been the other way around. I LOVE southern California.

    Thanks for writing–you give me incentive to post more often.

  • D Davis

    Ran across your post about a week ago and prepared it last night to have for lunch today. I used my slow cooker to braise it on low overnight for 8 hours (yes, pre-browned it on the stove as with the veggies) and it’s fork tender falling apart. I did increase the broth and wine to make more braising liquid and to have extra sauce for our large family lunch (and leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, yum!). Didn’t add the potatoes, though I will serve it with browned butter egg noodles (one starch choice over another). Right now it tastes absolute delicious! Can’t wait to have it when it’s all pulled together.

    • Wini

      Thanks for the report! It’s incredibly gratifying to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. I gotta say–browned butte egg noodles sound pretty darned amazing! Wow.

      Again, thanks for the report.

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