Pot Roast

DSC_0034I love how this pot roast turns out. I do not love scrubbing the dutch oven after, though, so this is a special treat in our house.

Lightly flour the sides of a pot roast. I like to get one that’s 3-4 lbs. because it fits well in my dutch oven. Choose a cut that fits your cookware! After you flour both sides, sprinkle a hefty amount of salt and then crack some pepper on each side. Lightly brown each side of the roast (about 5 minutes over medium-high heat) and remove to a plate. Lower the heat to medium-low.

Make thick cuts of 4 yellow onions so you have some chunky rings. Caramelize these in your dutch oven in about 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. You’ll get some of the flavor from the beef on the onions and have fewer pieces to clean. Once the onions are translucent, add 4 cloves of minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn the stove off.

Scrape the onions to lie across the bottom, sprinkle lightly with salt, and place your roast on top. Using a small can of tomato paste and a butter knife, ice the roast as you would a cake. Add two paste-cans worth of water or beef stock to the dutch oven. This won’t cover your roast, but should cover the onions to help keep them from burning. If two cans isn’t enough to get the liquid up to the roast line, add more. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Place one quartered carrot into the onion mix where there’s space.

Place the dutch oven lid on and put into a 350 degree oven. Cook approximately 1.5 hours, checking every 30-45 minutes and adding water/broth as needed. Remove the roast, slice, and put back into the dutch oven. Push the roast into the liquid. If the roast is not 3/4 covered with liquid, add more. Replace the lid. Cook another 1.5 hours, checking your liquid levels regularly. If you don’t want to slice it, don’t- just keep checking your liquid levels and cook for about 3 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or something else starchy and delicious for sopping up that flavor.

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Shepherd’s Pie-rogi


This recipe is a bit of a love letter to my parents. My dad’s family has deep Polish roots, my mother’s has deep English roots. Both countries are mocked for their culinary traditions, but I’ve always found the food to be pretty tasty and always comforting. Seemed only natural to combine them!

For the dough:

Combine 3 cups flour, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 cup warm water. When the flour is fully incorporated, the dough should not feel wet or sticky. If your dough feels wet or sticky, add a bit more flour a tablespoon at a time. When the dough is fully incorporated, knead using your hands for about 8 minutes. Let rest in a bowl at room temperature for about an hour.

For the filling:

Brown 1 pound of ground beef. Traditionally, Shepherd’s pie uses lamb but it’s not something I regularly buy. I go with beef and most folks can’t tell the difference. After the beef is browned, add 1/2 diced white onion, 1 Russet potato, peeled, cubed and boiled in salted water until soft, 1 cup frozen peas, 2 large carrots, shredded, 2 cloves minced garlic, 6 ounces tomato paste, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

When the filling has cooled, roll out the dough fairly thinly. Use a 3″ cookie cutter to cut rounds of dough. Dollop a tablespoon of filling on one side, then fold over and crimp together using your fingers. When your perogies are all folded and crimped, drop into boiling salted water. Boil for five minutes after they rise to the surface, then remove from the water. Finally, lightly pan fry them in 3 tablespoons of oil or butter. Alternatively, lightly brush with olive oil and air-fry until golden brown. The combination of boiling and frying creates a chewy but crispy texture and it’s the best of both worlds.

Blistered Carrots with Labneh


Wash a bunch of carrots. I used rainbow carrots but regular orange ones are great. Don’t peel them. If you find that your carrots have a big size difference, consider slicing the largest ones in halves or in quarters. Preheat your oven to 450. Or, if you’re making three ingredient roast chicken, wait until the last fifteen minutes of your cook time to begin cooking your carrots.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, drop your carrots in and allow them to cook about a minute before flipping them and searing on the other side. Then, place skillet into the oven and cook at 450 for 20 minutes. If you’ve done the math and realized that this will take you past the time your chicken will be cooked, that’s on purpose. Your chicken needs time to rest before you carve it, giving you time to finish your carrots.

Remove your carrots from the oven and plate. Spread a quarter cup of labneh over them, and drizzle your favorite olive oil + herb sauce. For some of you, this will be pesto. I went with yogurt dip seasoning (dried basil, dried mint, taragon, garlic flakes, onion flakes, pepper and salt) rehydrated in a bit of olive oil. If you have a pine nut sensitivity, blend together 1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup olive oil, two cloves of garlic and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt together and use that to top your labneh.

Serve hot. Serves two.

If you cant find labneh, you should know that it’s basically just strained Greek yogurt. You can use regular Greek yogurt or strain it yourself in some cheese cloth.

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