Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pot Roast w/ Lentils, and Grass Fed Beef

What makes pot roast different than beef stew? Well, if you ask me the ingredients are basically the same, but the flavor of pot roast comes from red wine, and tomato.

beef, 2-3 lb. chuck roast or any other braising cut recommended by your butcher
onion, 1 lg
carrot, 2-3 diced
celery, 2-3 diced
garlic, of course
tomatoes, 6-8 fresh, peeled and diced, or 1 can
tomato paste, 2tbl.
red wine, 1-1/2 c.
water or stock, 4-6 c.
S & P

optional seasoning, dried or fresh


I don't care for potatoes, so I decided to try lentils. I used three different kinds, because I had them, but if I was using only one kind I would use the brown or green. Red lentils tend to break down, losing their shape, and the look of our food, like the flavor is part of the eating experience, IMO. Lentils don't take long to cook in the PC, so I cooked the roast for 20 min. released he pressure, added the lentils, brought the pressure back up for an additon 10 min., turned off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally.

Traditional pot roast can take 2-3 1/2 hours in the oven, but in the PC you can have it all done in about an hours time, prep and all.

Pot Roast w/ Lentils

Brown all sides of beef in oil, and remove.

Add diced onion, carrot, celery, saute until onions are translucent, 5-10 min. add garlic in the last minute.

Add any seasoning and deglaze the pot with red wine.

Add tomatoes (juice and all), and tomato paste.

Add beef, and enough water or stock to cover veggies and about half way up the roast (4-6 c.), and 1 tsp salt.

Cover and lock PC, bring pressure to high, cook for 20 min. Quick release pressure (follow PC intructions), add 2 cups of dried lentils, cover, bring pressure back to high. cook additional 10 min., turn off heat and let the pressure come down naturally.

I liked this recipe so much I'll be making it again today!


Common grades of beef available at markets these days are basically.....

Hormone and antibiotic injected corn fed beef.

Hormone and antibiotic injected, organic corn fed beef.

No hormone or antibiotic injected, organic corn fed beef.

No hormone or antibiotic injected, grass fed beef (I'm assuming organic grass feed)

The first ime I made this recipe, last week, I chose to buy a "grass fed" beef chuck roast @ $7.99lb., that ended up costing me almost $20 for a roast just over 2lbs. The meat was disappointedly lacking in flavor, I can only assume it was because it's leaner, and I was also disappointed that the option of a roast with a bone wasn't available. Why did I chose grass fed?

I believe we should buy the best quality of foods we can afford. At this time in my life, I can afford the highest grade of meat, and taking into consideration how little meat I eat, it's still cost effective. BUT, I don't understand why I can't get "bone-in" cuts of grass fed beef. All of the cuts available at Whole Foods come to the store already boned out. I haven't yet found the answer why. So for the sake of flavor, and the option of bone-in cuts of meat, I have to decide whether or not the fact that a "corn fed" cow is something can feel good about, afterall I've lived 45 years on corn fed beef! Hormone and antibiotic free meat is the most important quality to me right now.

One thing I know I'm fine about is eating meat, and I won't get into a debate on why, there's no need. And I'm not going to try and educate anyone on all of the differences btween corn fed and grass fed, because I, myself, am still learning. So if anyone is interested in becoming more aware if the differences that are important to them, then there is plenty of information regarding this subject, online or in books. I'll continue to learn as I go......and make my choices accordingly.


Teresa said...

Have you asked the butchers at Whole Foods about bone-in cuts? They may well get meat in that way but then trim them in-house because most shoppers may prefer the convenience. Or they can certainly special-order bone-in cuts for you. I've found the guys at my WF meat counter to be very accommodating of my requests.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Like I mentioned in the blog post, the grass fed beef comes to Whole Foods already boned out. The first thing I did was ask the meat cutters for any bone in cuts of grass fed beef. I was informed they couldn't get any, why? They didn't have an answer.

Diana said...

I made this with a left over buffalo roast I had in the freezer--it turned out great! I don't have a pc, so did the old fashioned slow roasting in the oven--I wonder how game meat would be in a pressure cooker??? I find that very slow, low heat cooking works best for game. I found that out the hard way! I had to toss a few "expensive" cuts away due to just way to tough to eat. Ever cook game in a pc?

Tracy Reifkind said...


You have to get a pressure cooker, especially where you live! As much home cooking as you already do, I. know once you try it you'll be hooked.

Chili's are my favorite meals to prepare during the fall and winter months, and I know you already make chili on a regular basis.

Any "braising" cuts of meat are amazing in the pressure cooker.

Didn't you send me information about ordering elk? Can you give that to me again? I think I want to try some.

Diana said...

I will drop you an email regarding the elk meat!

cathy b said...

This looks awesome, and I'm going now to buy the ingredients. I will try to use my PC more instead of it collecting dust. I'm sad to see the other blog stop but I feel happy for you. I'm a little selfish that we will have this to look at because for me it was never about exercise but about food.


Andrew DiPalma said...

Loved your post - thanks for the information.
No doubt that we should all be eating grass fed beef.

I always order from La Cense http://www.lacensebeef.com I've tried many companies and local farmers, and they are hands down my favorite - great to work with, and the product is always shipped right to my door in the most amazing packaging - keeping the meat very fresh.

I also just joined http://www.grassfedparty.com for those of you interested- it's an online social community for sustainable agriculture and grass fed beef. It's really great, and definitely worth checking out.

Great post - we all need to know what we're eating

Fafa said...

OMG... this was amazing. Excellent. I still love my pressure cooker just as you told me I would. The lentils and pot roast have excellent flavor and took just under an hour to do start to finish. Yum!! Thanks for the great advice.... and keep the great recipes coming. You are the best!!!

Jen said...

I'm going "shopping" on your blog for recipes... and going to make this now. Thanks for keeping all of this great information on your blog for me to use! xox