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Old 10-16-2007, 10:02 AM
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Merlot Pot Roast with Horseradish Smashed Potatoes

1 tied fat-trimmed boned beef chuck roast (3 to 3½ pounds)
Fresh-ground pepper
1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
3 carrots (about ¼ pound each), rinsed and peeled
1 onion (½ pound), peeled and chopped
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
1/3 cup canned tomato paste
1½ Tbsp. cornstarch
Horseradish smashed potatoes (recipe follows)
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
Salt to taste

Rinse beef, pat dry, and sprinkle generously all over with fresh ground pepper. Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat. When hot, add beef and brown well on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Meanwhile, cut carrots into sticks, about 3/8-inch think and 2 inches long. In a 4½-quart or larger electric slow-cooker, combine carrots, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Set beef on vegetables; add drippings. In a small bowl, mix wine and tomato paste; pour over meat and vegetables. Cover and cook until beef is very tender when pierced, 8 to 9 hours on low, 5 to 6 hours on high. If possible, turn meat over halfway through cooking. With 2 slotted spoons, transfer meat to a platter; keep warm. Skim and discard any fat from cooking liquid. Turn cooker to high. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with 1½ Tbsp. water; pour into cooker and stir often until sauce is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift vegetables from cooker and arrange beside meat. Spoon horseradish smashed potatoes onto platter; sprinkle with parsley. Spoon sauce over meat. Slice meat and serve with vegetables, potatoes, and sauce, adding salt to taste.

Horseradish Smashed Potatoes:

Scrub and peel 3 to 3½ pounds russet potatoes; cut into 1½-inch chunks. Put them in a 4 to 5-quart pan with 2½ quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes mash easily when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. When potatoes are done, heat 1 to 1½ cups half-and-half (light cream) with 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine in a microwave on HIGH just until steaming (don’t boil), 1 to 3 minutes. While cream heats, drain potatoes and mash in pan with a mixer or potato masher until almost smooth. Add cream, a portion at a time, and mix until potatoes have the consistency desired. Stir in salt, pepper, and 1 to 2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish to taste. Mound beside Merlot pot roast or serve in a bowl.
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