We have a refrigerator full of root vegetables from our farmer friend, Pavel. Since we vaguely recall agreeing to continue our farm share through the winter, we’ll most likely have even more daikon, black and/or watermelon radishes. With a pot roast recipe like this, we’re actually happy about it.
Like our beloved Hakurei turnips, these particular roots can be difficult to cook well, and Michelle hasn’t particularly wanted to explore them in their raw state past the occasional slices on a relish tray. After Steve had purchased many parts of beef from nearby Foxhollow Farm (taking advantage of a pre-holiday sale), Michelle was searching for a new pot roast recipe and came across this one in Braise, a cookbook by Daniel Boulud and Melissa Clark, most likely purchased on some half price table about five minutes after its 2006 publication. (The volume comes with some exceptional “advance praise” logrolling on the back cover from culinary legends/probable HarperCollins clients such as Thomas Keller, Nobu Matsuhisa and Eric Ripert.)
Impressed by the sheer number of Asian sauces called for, as well as the chance to rid ourselves of root vegetables, Michelle decided to give Boulud a go, modifying his (Clark’s?) call for “Chinese Barbecue Sauce” because we didn’t have any. Instead, Michelle knocked up a combination of hoisin, soy and a few other things, mixed in miso, red chili paste, ginger, garlic and such and put the beef on to braise with the watermelon radishes.
We were very happy with how this wild melange of sesame seeds, sauce and other stuff turned the roast into a salty, meaty and beefy slurry, and the radishes into soft pillows of spicy flavor buried in a bowl of rice. Add some stir-fried greens and you have an amazing meal that will leave you wishing there were more watermelon radishes around.
POT ROAST WITH WATERMELON RADISH AND MISO
(adapted from Daniel Boulud and Melissa Clark’s Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine)
- 1 TB hoisin sauce
- 1/2 TB soy sauce
- 1/2 TB black bean paste
- 1/2 TB brown sugar
- 2-1/2 TB red miso
- 2 tsp. red chili paste
- 1 TB ginger root, chopped fine
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 2 TB olive oil
- 2 lb. chuck roast (at room temperature)
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 TB black sesame seeds
- 3/4 c. water
- 1 lb. watermelon radishes, daikon or black radishes, trimmed and cut in large chunks
- 3 scallions, white and green parts, cut in 1″ pieces
- Additional chopped scallion greens for garnish
Preheat oven to 275°.
Mix together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, black bean paste, brown sugar, miso, chili paste, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add beef and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to a platter.
Add onion to pot and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.
Add sauce mixture to pan and cook, stirring, for another few minutes. Add sesame seeds, then water. Return beef to the pot, then add the radishes, pushing down into the sauce around the beef.
Bring liquid to a simmer, then cover pot and put in oven. Cook for about 2 hours, turning meat once midway through the cooking time. Then, add scallions and cook about 30 minutes more.
Serve sliced meat and radishes over rice, garnished with chopped scallion.