Things here in town are, well, a shade off of normal. My kids are climbing the walls because trick-or-treat has been postponed AGAIN. My parents are still huddling by the light of their fireplace by night and filling the dumpster with the water-damaged remains of their basement and first floor by day. My sister passed through town today on her way to a ten day SILENT retreat, and I almost wanted to jump in the car and go with her! Oh, and we have about 4 or 5 inches of snow on top of the sand and silt left in Sandy’s wake, and those flakes keep falling down.
We are fortunate. While our family members have lost a few refrigerators, a furnace, and assorted “stuff,” it is after all just stuff and we are all fine, healthy with a good roof over our heads–more than many in our community can say. We are fine. Mom and Dad are fine. We have the support of real and virtual communities, and charitable organizations like the Red Cross. To this end, I am posting my take on the traditional comfort dinner of Pot Roast as a contribution to #FBS4Sandy, a blogging event from Barb of Creative Culinary and Jenn of JennCuisine. Take comfort in your family, your friends, your faith and of course your food, and if you see fit, comfort those in need with a donation to one of the organizations listed here.
- Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and other forms of support to hurricane victims. You can donate directly to the Red Cross You can also text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Salvation Army is providing food, shelter, and support to victims.
- Feeding America is providing food, water and supplies to those who need it as part of their disaster relief program.
Give all you can, help all you can, and feed whomever you can! This recipe is great for a crowd.
This is best with a larger (4lb-plus) brisket, but any cut suitable for pot roast will be great–chuck roast, round, what have you. It’s a family favorite! My mom always kept the recipe inside the kitchen cabinet, and at my wedding shower way back when, one of her gifts to me was a large covered dutch oven holding a small copy of the recipe along with instructions “to be kept in kitchen cabinet!”
½ c ketchup (I use Trader Joe’s)
½ c prepared bbq sauce
¼ c cider vinegar
½ c H2O (please note that my mom tends to write recipes with chemical symbols, H2O and NaCl being the most common, but I have also seen NaHCO3. Seriously.)
½ c packed brown sugar
4 smashed cloves of garlic
cayenne or hot sauce to taste.
Slice an onion or two into the bottom of a large covered baking dish or dutch oven. Place roast right on top, no browning required. Throw in a bay leaf and dump the sauce mixture over all. Bake, covered, at 325F (mom does NOT convert recipes to Centigrade, but she DOES pronounce it “sahn-i-grade.” Oh you krazy medical professionals!) 3 to 4 hours depending on size, until meat is fall-apart tender.
For our comfort-food dinner, I served the roast over creamy, piquant cheddar jalapeno grits with sauteed spinach on the side. People, pot roast is not beautiful. Grits are not inherently photogenic. This is not a plate that will win any beauty contests. But when you look at it next to the photos of my hometown of Fairfield after Sandy and Athena finished chewing us up and spitting us out, it will do.
Keep the faith, Fairfield.