Pot Roast With Cranberries Print Email

1 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 2-pound piece tenderloin, or 3-pound piece chuck or brisket
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sherry vinegar or good wine vinegar
1 12-ounce bag cranberries
1 orange
Cayenne to taste

Put butter or oil in a casserole or skillet with a lid, and turn heat to medium-high. Put sugar on a plate, and dredge meat in it on all sides; reserve remaining sugar. When butter foam subsides or oil is hot, brown meat on all sides, seasoning it with salt and pepper as it browns.

When meat is nicely browned, add vinegar, and cook a minute, stirring, then add cranberries and remaining sugar, and stir. Strip zest from orange (you can do it in broad strips, with a small knife or vegetable peeler), and add it to pot; juice orange, and add juice also, along with a pinch of cayenne. Turn heat to low, and cover pan; mixture should bubble but not furiously.

Cook, turning meat and stirring about every 30 minutes. Tenderloin will be medium-rare in about 1 hour, or when its internal temperature is 125 to 130 degrees; cook it longer if you want it more done. Chuck or brisket will take 2 hours or longer; it is done when tender. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat, and let roast rest for a few minutes, then carve and serve, with sauce. Yield 4 to 6 servings. Time 1 1/4 hours, or more. Source: The New York Times

Notes: A cut that cooks faster, like tenderloin, works perfectly here, and it reduces the usually lengthy cooking time to just over an hour, especially if you cook the meat medium-rare, which in itself is a nice touch. The only disadvantage is that tenderloin is much more expensive than brisket, but there is so much less shrinkage that it's not as painful as you might think. In fact, two pounds of tenderloin will serve four or even six quite nicely; you would need more than that with brisket or chuck.