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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Beef Roast & Beef Manhattan

Beef Manhattan is one of those looked-down-upon dishes because you typically see it in cafeterias and hospitals.  Really, it shouldn't be overlooked.  It's a great way to repurpose leftover roasted beef.  The first day after we have roasted beef, there's an excited flurry of roast beef sandwiches for lunch, then...it sits.  Beef Manhattan revives and reinterests the dinner-time audience ;)

If you don't want to use Russian dressing (because, really, it is a bizarre form of salad dressing that's far better suited to marinades than dressing salad IMHO), use an equal amount of ketchup with liberal dashes of salt, pepper and garlic powder with a splash of red wine vinegar.  If you do use Russian dressing but wonder what else to do with it, I recommend this freeze-ahead chicken dish.

To make the gravy for Beef Manhattan, I used a red wine reduction to happy up the stock.  If you'd prefer to skip the wine, use 1 tbsp tomato paste and brown it very well (5-ish minutes over medium heat without oil) in the saucepan instead.

If you're planning well in advance, you can make the gravy without the cooking juices from the beef and freeze it.  When you're ready to serve the second-round Beef Manhattan, thaw the gravy, warm it to bubbling, add the reserved juices and chopped beef and simmer until it's a good consistency.

You can serve Beef Manhattan over bread (white or whole wheat) or over mashed potatoes.  If you're looking for a lower-carb version, serve over pureed cauliflower.

Crockpot Beef Roast
Makes 4-6 servings plus leftovers for 2nd dish

4 lb. rump roast
1/2 cup Russian dressing
1 cup water

Pour dressing over roast and marinate overnight (freeze if desired, thaw before cooking).  Put roast in crockpot, add water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Slice and serve with a little of the cooking juices.

Save leftovers (about 1 1/2 lbs plus 1/2 cup juices) for next meal.

Beef Manhattan
Makes 4-6 servings

1/3 cup red wine or 1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cup broth (beef or veggie, homemade or no salt)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs leftover roasted beef, chopped + 1/2 cup juices
slices of bread, mashed potatoes, pureed cauliflower

If you are using wine, pour it into a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until the wine is syrupy and reduced to about 1 1/2 tbsp (don't play chicken with it for too long though, or it will burn...I screw up so you don't have to).  Otherwise, brown tomato paste in dry saucepan until well browned (same admonition applies).

Quickly drop in butter to cool pan when browning/reduction has been achieved, and whisk-whisk-whisk.   Whisk in flour and cook over medium heat 1 minute.

Whisk in broth and beef juices slowly.  Raise heat to medium-high until it bubbles, then reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in chopped beef.  Ladle over bread, potatoes or cauliflower.  
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