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Monday, June 11, 2012

Beef Flank Pot Roast with Chestnut Stuffing

It's that time of the year when chestnuts start to make their seasonal appearance in the markets and at the green grocers. Winter time, for me, never passes with a fair share of stews and slow cooked meals. So the idea to combine a cheap cut of beef with the chestnutty goodness was right up winter's alley. In brief, take one beef flank fill with a seasoned stuffing and slow roast in an oven for majority of a cold afternoon. Too easy! Well the most tedious part is roasting and hulling the chestnuts so get some help doing this...I did! 
Use a sharp knife to mark an X on the chestnuts then place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a gentle simmer then remove chestnuts from water drain and then place in a ovenproof tray and roast in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool then remove the hard outer shell and they are ready to use. 

1 x 1.25kg Beef flank, fat and sinew trimmed
Salt and Pepper to season

Olive Oil
2 x large Onions, quartered
1 x whole Garlic bulb, halved
3 x Carrots
6-8 x Potatoes

1 x Bay leaf
1 cup x Red Wine
2 cups x Chicken Stock
25g x Butter
2 cloves x Garlic, crushed
1 cup x Breadcrumbs
1kg x Chestnuts, roasted and hulled then made into a paste
300g x Mushrooms, diced
½ cup x Chicken stock
1 tbsp x Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp x Peppercorns, ground
½ tsp x Salt
150g x Baby Spinach leaves
Unroll the beef flank and place on a board, use a sharp knife to even out the meat
Season well with salt and pepper and allow to stand while you prepare the stuffing      

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
In a heavy pan heat the butter and garlic
Toast the breadcrumbs in this mixture for 2 minutes
Now add the chestnut paste and the mushrooms
Add the Worcestershire sauce and the stock
Season with the pepper and add salt
Allow mixture to cook down to a thick, coarse consistency
Place the spinach leaves along the surface of the beef and then apply spoonfuls of the stuffing over the spinach

Roll the beef flank into a cylinder shape, making sure to roll against the grain so that it is easier to slice when cooked
Use kitchen twine to secure the roll and a toothpick on each end will help to keep the stuffing from spilling out

In a heavy dutch oven heat the olive oil and seal the beef flank roll on each side
Add the carrots to the base of the pot so that they act as a trivet for the beef flank roll

Scatter the onions and the garlic and add the bay leaf 

Place the beef onto the vegetables then add red wine and allow to burn off for a minute then add the stock

Cover the pot and place in the oven to slow cook for 3 hours, check every hour to ensure that there is some liquid remaining, add a little extra stock if necessary 
In the last hour add the potatoes and cover again and allow to roast   

The meat will be tender and soft and will fall away easily when sliced
Remove the beef and place on a serving dish along with the potatoes and carrots
Discard the bay leaf and using the back of a spoon, mash the onions and garlic into the remaining liquid
Pass through a sieve and reserve to use as a gravy
To serve slice the beef into thick circles and drizzle generously with the gravy 
Goes well with some nice crusty bread - as does all stewed and slow cooked dishes! 

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