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Local Chef’s Book Focuses on Kosher Slow Cooking


Chef Laura Frankel is the executive chef at Wolfgang Puck's Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.

She has also been a force behind elevating the kosher fine dining movement. Her latest book, Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, modernizes slow cooking and helps simplify both holiday dishes and everyday meals.

Frankel joins us on Chicago Tonight to discuss her book. Below, Frankel's receipe for pot roast.

Garlicky Pot Roast

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Something magical seems to happen when this dish cooks for a long time—the meat becomes fragrant and the garlic becomes caramelized and sweet. The “gravy” that results is so delicious that I often find one of my kids hanging around the kitchen with bread in hand to sop it up. The addition of the gingersnaps to the dish might seem odd, but they add a lot of flavor and help thicken the gravy.

The roast can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for three days, or frozen for one month. To reheat the pot roast, place the meat and gravy in a saucepan. Add enough chicken stock to moisten the meat, usually only about 1/4 cup. Cover and cook on low heat until heated through.

Ingredients for the marinade
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (about 4 large cloves)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for browning the roast
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 3- to 5-pound chuck roast, fat trimmed
Olive oil

Ingredients for the sauce
2 large Spanish onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dark beer such as Guinness or Aventinus
1 whole head of Roasted Garlic (page 212)
2 cups Essential Chicken Stock (page 207)
1 cup crumbled gingersnaps (about 15 small cookies; store-bought are fine)
1/4 cup tomato paste

Suggested Accompaniments
Simple Grits (page 146), mashed potatoes

Directions

1. Marinate the roast. In a bowl large enough to hold the roast, stir together the chopped garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, vinegar, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon each salt and pepper. Add the roast and turn it to coat on all sides. Cover the bowl and marinate for at least 3 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Remove the roast from the marinade and pat dry. Discard the marinade. Lightly season the roast with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, about 7 minutes per side. Set aside the roast but do not clean the pan.

3. Preheat a 6 1/2-quart slow cooker to high.

4. Make the sauce. Add the onions to the sauté pan and cook until brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the garlic is very fragrant and has softened slightly; do not let the garlic brown. Add the beer. Scrape up the browned bits (sucs; see page 7) with a wooden spoon or spatula. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker insert.

5. Place the roast and any collected juices in the insert. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and into the insert. Add the stock, gingersnaps, and tomato paste. Stir together. Cover and cook the roast on high for 7 to 8 hours, until it can be pierced easily with a fork.

6. Remove the roast from the cooker and keep warm. Strain the sauce before serving. Cut the roast into large chunks and serve hot with your choice of accompaniment. Pass the sauce.