I’d ruled this recipe out a few times for a couple reasons, the first being that it serves 6-8 and I’m usually only cooking for two, and second because it contains mushrooms.
For whatever reason, I decided to go ahead and try this one day last week – mushrooms and all. There were some challenges finding the right cut of meat (details below) but all in all, it turned out to be a pretty tasty dish – and indeed, very similar to a dish I’d eaten in Tuscany. Served this with egg noodles.
I was tempted to just skip the mushrooms altogether, but my partner does like them, so for his sake and the sake of following the recipe as closely as possible, I decided to include them. I did not find dried portobellos (didn’t really try very hard) so I randomly chose champignons noirs. Known in English by the rather unappetizing name of cloud ear fungus, I found their flavor to be very mild, without that typical mushroomy flavor, and therefore tolerable. Still ended up picking most of them off of my plate though.
As I mentioned, I was making this for only two people and ended up with a couple days of leftovers. I was worried that reheating this would dry the meat out, but instead it seemed a bit more tender after sitting in the tomato sauce.
The Raw Materials*
|What the Recipe Called For||What I Used||Where From|
|1/3 cup olive oil||Oilio Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Dirk|
|1 2 1/2- to 3-pound bottom-round pot roast||2 1/4 lb ezeltje||Slagerij Veldt|
|2 large onions, quartered||6 small Vers! biologische uien||Dirk|
|2 celery stalks, thinly sliced (2 cups)||2 stalks Bioke biologische bleekselderij||Dirk|
|2 large carrots, thinly sliced (2 cups)||2 Bioke biologische wortelen||Dirk|
|3 garlic cloves, minced||bio knoflook||Dirk|
|1 6-ounce can tomato paste||140 gram can 1 de Beste tomatenpuree||Dirk|
|1 cup dry red wine||1 de Beste biologische huiswijn||Dirk|
|1 1/2-ounce package dried mushrooms (such as portobello)||.75 ounces Sabarot champignons noirs||Nuri Genco|
|1 tablespoon kosher salt||Salina zout||Dirk|
|1 teaspoon dried oregano||Silvo oregano||Dirk|
|1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved||2 400-gram cans 1 de Beste gepelde tomaten||Dirk|
Modifications and Substitutions (Netherlands)
Since standard cuts of meat are different here than in the U.S. as are often the ways of describing them, its rarely a matter of just finding a translation. I spent some time online trying to figure out what the Dutch equivalent of bottom-round pot roast would be. I found no useful information and just printed out a diagram of various cuts of meat and showed that to the butcher along with how I planned to prepare it. In the end, it was suggested I use what is called ezeltje. I asked him to write it down so I’d know what to ask for next time. When I arrived home, I Googled the word and my search results included images of donkeys. I then started to panic a bit wondering how I managed to end up with donkey meat. After a minute I realized there were also some recipe results and was relieved to see that the word also describes this particular cut of beef; the U.S. equivalent is called tri-tip. Whew!
The meat itself worked out well enough though I’m still not sure it was quite the right cut that this recipe was calling for. I’ve since found this chart and this diagram which may come in handy next time.
I could not find dried mushrooms at Dirk, but since I never buy mushrooms – dried or otherwise – it could just be that I wasn’t looking in the right place. I’d seen them before at Nuri Genco and randomly chose champignons noirs as there were no portobellos.
Would I Make it Again?
Yes. Maybe without the mushrooms next time.
Get the recipe for Tuscan Pot Roast.