Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Frosted Cookies

 

Valentine's Day Frosted Gingerbread Cookies
Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Frosted Cookies

Mary Kate and I try occasionally to think up recipes with holiday themes. Valentine’s Day is a somewhat of struggle for me, as I’m generally a bit cynical of the whole thing and not a very sentimental person. But I’ve been craving cookies for a while, and I’d gotten myself some cookie cutters (these and these) with an Amazon gift card I’d gotten for Christmas (thanks Mom!) and I was itching to give them a test drive.  Now granted, the Gingerdead Men cookie cutters aren’t much in the theme of Valentine’s Day, but they were too funny for me not to try out. I took them to work and they were a huge hit with people who have no allergies and can eat gluten, so I think they’re pretty awesome.

Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Frosted Cookies

I started with a recipe from Cara Reed’s Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking book, which is an excellent resource.  However, due to my cocktail of allergies, I generally use her book as a starting point to experiment as I generally have to change quite a bit. This time, I had to change the flour mix as I seem to be having issues with potatoes and rice  and I suspect I may be allergic (sigh, shaking fist at the sky). I can’t use vegan shortening or vegan butter due to my corn and coconut allergies. I also can’t use flax as I’m allergic to it. I also wanted to kick up the spices a bit.

To start, you’ll need to make the Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free Flour Mix:

Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free Flour Mix
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Servings Prep Time
9 cups 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 cups 15 minutes
Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free Flour Mix
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
9 cups 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 cups 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Measure all ingredients and place in a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients until well combined. Place in an air tight storage container and use in baking recipes.
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Once your flour mix is done, we can move onto the cookies.

Cookie Dough:

  • 1/2 cup of cold lard, cold vegetable shortening, or vegan butter (vegan butter and vegetable shortening are not generally safe for those allergic to corn)
  • 2 1/2 cups of Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free flour mix and a bit extra for rolling the dough
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of molasses (Plantation Molasses is the brand most tolerated by those allergic to corn)
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground chia seed
  • 3 Tablespoons of aquafaba
Pink Royal Icing:
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of  vanilla extract  (Here’s a bunch of recipes for vanilla extract, make sure to use safe alcohol if corn or wheat are an issue for you. I used a vodka made only from potatoes,  be careful as some vodkas may also use grain or corn.)
  • 1 Tablespoon of aquafaba
  • 1 teaspoon of beet puree (To make puree, either use canned or fresh cooked beets and puree them in a blender with a bit of cooking liquid)

In a large bowl, whisk together the Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free flour mix, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, until completely combined and set aside. In a small bowl, mix chia and aquafaba together until combined, and set aside.

Using a stand mixer, beat the cold lard, cold vegetable shortening, or vegan butter on medium to high speed until softened. Add molasses, sugar, chia and aquafaba mixture, and half of the flour mixture and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then add the remaining flour mixture and beat it in slowly until combined.

Using a stand mixer, beat the cold lard, cold vegetable shortening, or vegan butter on medium to high speed until softened. Add molasses, sugar, chia and aquafaba mixture, and half of the flour mixture and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then add the remaining flour mixture and beat it in slowly until combined.

When dough is chilled, preheat oven to 375ºF, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your rolling surface. Lightly flour the parchment paper with some Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free flour mix, flatten the dough ball and flip it to be covered with some of the flour.

Flattened, floured doughball
Flattened, floured doughball

Add another piece of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough between the pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 of an inch thickness.

Dough being rolled between two pieces of parchment
Dough being rolled between two pieces of parchment

If you don’t roll the cookies thin enough, they will spread.

Dough rolled out
Dough rolled out

Cut shapes with a cookie cutter and place them 1 inch apart on the parchment covered baking sheet.

Cookies on cookie sheet (placed much too closely, beware!)
Cookies on cookie sheet (placed much too closely, beware!)

Bake 7-13 minutes (range is for a metal sheet pan to Pampered Chef stoneware, you need more time for stoneware) until the edges are lightly browned.

Cookies placed too closely and rolled too thick - A friend noted it looked like a cave made of hearts collapsing on the men, haha!
Cookies placed too closely and rolled too thick – A friend noted it looked like a cave made of hearts collapsing on the men, haha!

Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring them to a wire rack.

Cookies cooling on rack
Cookies cooling on rack

When they are cool, it’s time to frost them.  To make the Pink Royal Icing, place the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, aquafaba, and beet puree in a bowl and using a stand or electric mixer, beat ingredients until completely combined. If frosting is not firm enough, add additional powdered sugar by the teaspoon until it is.

Pink Royal Icing
Pink Royal Icing

Place the frosting in a cake decorator and frost as you wish. Enjoy!

Valentine's Day Gingerbread Frosted Cookies
Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Frosted Cookies
Valentine's Day Gingerbread Frosted Cookies
Print Recipe
Cookies for your sweetheart!
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7-13 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7-13 minutes 3 hours
Valentine's Day Gingerbread Frosted Cookies
Print Recipe
Cookies for your sweetheart!
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7-13 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7-13 minutes 3 hours
Ingredients
Cookie Dough
Pink Royal Icing
Servings: dozen
Instructions
Making Cookies
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free flour mix, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, until completely combined and set aside. In a small bowl, mix chia and aquafaba together until combined, and set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat the cold lard, cold vegetable shortening, or vegan butter on medium to high speed until softened. Add molasses, sugar, chia and aquafaba mixture, and half of the flour mixture and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then add the remaining flour mixture and beat it in slowly until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half and create two balls. Either wrap in saran wrap or place in a bowl and cover, and then place in the fridge and chill the dough for at least three hours, I prefer overnight.
  4. When dough is chilled, preheat oven to 375ºF, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Place piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your rolling surface. Lightly flour the parchment paper with some Gluten-free, Rice-free, Potato-free flour mix, flatten the dough ball and flip it to be covered with some of the flour, and add another piece of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough between the pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 of an inch thickness. If you don't roll the cookies thin enough, they will spread. Cut shapes with a cookie cutter and place them 1 inch apart on the parchment covered baking sheet.
  6. Bake 7-13 minutes (range is for a metal sheet pan to Pampered Chef stoneware, you need more time for stoneware) until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring them to a wire rack.
Making Frosting
  1. Place powdered sugar, vanilla extract, aquafaba, and beet puree in a bowl and using a stand or electric mixer, beat ingredients until completely combined. If frosting is not firm enough, add additional powdered sugar by the teaspoon until it is.
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2016-02-05 Fabulous Food Allergy Friday

Kiwi investigating the underside of her cage
Kiwi investigating the underside of her cage

Hi all! It’s been unseasonably warm in New Hampshire which is making me (Denise) paranoid that we’re about to get slammed with snow despite the groundhog’s predictions for an early spring.

Snacksafely.com had an article on the FDA’s recent Allergenic Products Advisory Committee meeting to discuss progress toward effective Allergy Immunotherapy (AIT). Contained in the article were links to the meeting materials: one on Clinical Development of Allergen Immunotherapies for the Treatment of Food Allergy and one on Prevention of Respiratory Allergic Diseases with Allergen Immunotherapy.

Monday is Chinese New Year — 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey. Chinese used to be one of my go-to cuisines when I was just dairy-free, but it’s a little harder with gluten and soy issues. Still, it is kind of exciting to read about “new” American Chinese cuisine.

Also, it is citrus season again — check out 23 citrus recipes from The Kitchn. Not all of them are allergy-friendly, but a good number of them seem adaptable.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites

 

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites
Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites

I’d write something eloquent about this, but doesn’t the recipe title tell you everything? My friend Corinne of spare cake made these for me a few years ago, and my guess is that she didn’t make the recipe up. It’s not even much of a recipe — just an amazing technique that you need to know for your next gathering (or blizzard day in).

If your allergies prevent you from eating commercial bacon or frozen tater tots, fear not. We have you covered with DIY bacon and a few versions of potato bites. (If you are making your own, I’d suggest cooking the tots about half way through before wrapping them in bacon).

Enjoy.

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites
Print Recipe
This is a great appetizer for the next sporting event or movie night or other gathering where clean fingers aren't a priority (so do not make this for a gaming night!). Plan on maybe a half-dozen potato bites per person, fewer if you have other hearty appetizers. I always cook some extra potatoes just because you can never have extra potatoes.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites
Print Recipe
This is a great appetizer for the next sporting event or movie night or other gathering where clean fingers aren't a priority (so do not make this for a gaming night!). Plan on maybe a half-dozen potato bites per person, fewer if you have other hearty appetizers. I always cook some extra potatoes just because you can never have extra potatoes.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 420ºF.
  2. Take frozen tots out of oven OR make and pre-bake DIY tater tots (bake for half the time in the recipe linked above).
  3. Line a sheet pan with slightly crumpled foil (this will act as a bit of a "rack" for the bacon). Lay strips of bacon out, close, but not touching or overlapping. Bake for about 10 minutes -- bacon should start getting some color, but will not yet be crispy. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  4. If using frozen tots that aren't thawed yet (and most won't in 10 minutes), bake for 10 minutes.
  5. When tots are cool enough to touch, wrap each tot in half a strip of bacon, overlapping on one side and stick a toothpick through the overlapped part and out the other side.
  6. Place back on baking sheet (not the greasy foil one!) and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until bacon is crisp and potatoes are cooked through (usually brown on the ends).
  7. Eat with dipping sauce of your choice. Ketchup is good, but cashew ranch would also be a good choice.
    Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites
Recipe Notes

420ºF

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2016-01-29 Fabulous Food Allergy Friday

The New England Center at University of New Hampshire (now a dorm)
The New England Center at University of New Hampshire (now a dorm)

Think not snow. It will clear up. Eventually.

What’s up for this weekend? Maybe some new flavors. I cannot wait to try this no-knead gluten-free bread recipe. And I’m intrigued by this kimchi fried forbidden rice (obviously without the egg on top).

This video of a 3D printed model of a yeast cell got posted in one of my fermenting groups. It’s kind of cool to see what the little wee beasties in my cider, kombucha, and sourdough starter look like. 

I (Denise) ordered my seeds and some strawberry plants from Johnny’s Selected Seeds this past week. I ordered this past Friday and the order, with the exception of the plants, was here on Monday. Considering the size of the order (there were four of us ordering together), it’s pretty impressive.  If you’re thinking about starting your seeds early because you’re impatient, consider this post first.  I think I’m going to push the dates I start ahead a couple weeks from last year’s dates, because I had some spindly, light starved plants last year.

Hope you all have a good weekend, think of spring!

Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy

Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy
Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy

My mother made cube steak sometimes when we were kids, but wasn’t one for sauces, so I wasn’t introduced to white pepper gravy until I began ordering it at diners. I liked nothing better than going to a greasy spoon diner after a night out with friends if we’d been imbibing, or as a recovery measure the morning after when I was in college and law school. I love diner food, and was disappointed in the lack of good diners in New Hampshire when I moved here. Now that the food allergy apocalypse has hit, even the mediocre diners here are off limits.  But this recipe takes care of those diner food cravings for me.

Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy

Chicken Fried Steak Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cube steaks
  • 1/4 cup of sorghum flour
  • 1/4  cup of garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning (see recipe in link, I have to use homemade) 
  • 2 Tablespoons of aquafaba (you’ll need 4 Tablespoons if you make 2 cube steaks)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of bacon fat, lard, or other safe for you cooking oil.

White Pepper Gravy Ingredients:

  • Drippings from frying Chicken Fried Steak
  • 1/4 cup of sorghum flour
  • 1 cup of cashew milk  or other safe for you non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water depending on how thick you like your gravy
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper (you may want to add more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt ( you may want to add more or less to taste)

Chicken Fried Steak Instructions:

Place 1/4 cup of sorghum flour, 1/4 cup of garbanzo bean flour, and the Montreal Steak Seasoning in a large shallow dish that will allow you to coat the cube steak easily.

Sorghum flour, garbanzo bean flour, and Montreal Steak Seasoning
Sorghum flour, garbanzo bean flour, and Montreal Steak Seasoning

Mix the sorghum flour, garbanzo bean flour and Montreal Steak Seasoning together until they are well combined.  Place the aquafaba in another large shallow dish that will  allow you to coat the cube steak easily.

Aquafaba
Aquafaba

Place your bacon fat, lard, or safe oil in a skillet, and place the skillet on a burner over medium heat.

While your fat/oil heats, take your cube steak and coat it in the aquafaba.

Cube steak coated in aquafaba
Cube steak coated in aquafaba

Then dredge the cube steak in the flour mixture.

Cube steak after first dredge in flour mixture
Cube steak after first dredge in flour mixture

Place the cube steak in the aquafaba again and recoat it, and then re-dredge the cube steak in the flour mixture.

Cube steak after second dredge in flour mixture
Cube steak after second dredge in flour mixture

Once your fat/oil is hot, place the steak in the skillet.

Cube steak cooking in skillet
Cube steak cooking in skillet

Cook for 3-5 minutes each side (depending on how hot your burner is), making sure the internal temperature reaches 160ºF, and until the coating is a lovely golden brown.

Cube steak with golden brown coating
Cube steak with golden brown coating

White Pepper Gravy Instructions:

Remove the skillet that you cooked the Chicken Fried Steak from the heat and to allow it to cool down a bit.

Mix 1/4 cup of sorghum flour with cashew milk, 1/4 cup of the water (you can add more later if the gravy’s too thick), black pepper and salt, together in a mixing bowl, until well combined.

Place the skillet back on the burner with the drippings from cooking the Chicken Fried Steak still in it.  Pour the flour and cashew milk mixture over the drippings, while whisking constantly over low heat, until the gravy thickens.

White Pepper Gravy after it thickens
White Pepper Gravy after it thickens

Add more water if the gravy is too thick, whisking to incorporate the water, and add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.  Spoon over your Chicken Fried Steak and enjoy!

Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy
Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy
Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy
Print Recipe
A great dish for when you miss diner food.
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Chicken Fried Steak with White Pepper Gravy
Print Recipe
A great dish for when you miss diner food.
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Chicken Fried Steak Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Chicken Fried Steak
  1. For Chicken Fried Steak, place 1/4 cup of sorghum flour, 1/4 cup of garbanzo bean flour, and the Montreal Steak Seasoning in a large shallow dish that will allow you to coat the cube steak easily. Mix the sorghum flour, garbanzo bean flour and Montreal Steak Seasoning together until they are well combined. Place the aquafaba in another large shallow dish that will allow you to coat the cube steak easily.
  2. Place your bacon fat, lard, or safe oil in a skillet, and place the skillet on a burner over medium heat. While your fat/oil heats, take your cube steak and coat it in the aquafaba. Then dredge the cube steak in the flour mixture. Place the cube steak in the aquafaba again and recoat it, and then re-dredge the cube steak in the flour mixture. Once your fat/oil is hot, place the steak in the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes each side (depending on how hot your burner is), making sure the internal temperature reaches 160ºF, and until the coating is a lovely golden brown.
White Pepper Gravy
  1. Remove the skillet that you cooked the Chicken Fried Steak from the heat and to allow it to cool down a bit. Mix 1/4 cup of sorghum flour with cashew milk, 1/4 cup of the water (you can add more later if the gravy's too thick), black pepper and salt, together in a mixing bowl, until well combined. Place the skillet back on the burner with the drippings from cooking the Chicken Fried Steak still in it. Pour the flour and cashew milk mixture over the drippings, while whisking constantly over low heat, until the gravy thickens. Add more water if the gravy is too thick, whisking to incorporate the water, and add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Spoon over your Chicken Fried Steak and enjoy!
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2016-1-22 Fabulous Food Allergy Friday

Dragon themed side board/buffet thing Denise desperately wanted at a consignment store but couldn't afford
Dragon themed side board/buffet thing Denise desperately wanted at a consignment store but couldn’t afford

When you have an immune system that’s continually deciding that foods you’ve eaten most of your life are the enemy (I just lost pomegranates and nectarines in the last few weeks, lovely), you keep an eye out for immunology articles. Mental Floss had this article which suggests that the appendix actually has an immune function, and that it might be to keep your gut bacteria in balance. This is relevant as there’s been some studies that hint that gut bacteria, or lack thereof, may be related to the development of food allergies.  Too bad I (Denise) lost my appendix at 17. 

Allergic Living had some coverage on adult onset food allergies, which was very nice to see. 

Since it’s citrus season again, the grapefruit is excellent. I’d love to say I’ve been doing interesting things with it, but it’s morning, and I just eat it with sugar on top (sometimes, bruleed sugar with the kitchen torch, but still). But do an internet search on grapefruit and you’ll see that it has entries on many medical websites. Grapefruit interacts with TONS of drugs, including some allergy medicines. So read up, and beware. So glad none of my drugs are on that list! Enjoy safely.

Not food or allergy-related, but the NY Public Library has just put a lot more catalog offerings online. Apartment Therapy suggests adding some art to your house.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Cider Pot Roast

Cider Pot Roast plated with carrots, onions, and mashed potatoes
Cider Pot Roast

While I know there are people out there who dream of steak dinners, prime rib, or some other fancy cut of cow, my all-time favorite beef dinner is a good pot roast. I’ve been wanting to post a pot roast dinner to the blog for years now, but I hadn’t figured out how to get the right flavor and texture.

Pot roast should be falling apart, fork-tender meat. The onions and carrots should be flavorful, and the braising liquid should be able to be a gravy with no added flavor, only thickening (and I almost never bother).  I have made countless pot roasts that have not met this bar. I’ve tried gluten-free beer, wines, beef and chicken broth, and seasoned water. Eh.  Everything was edible, but nothing was great.

This time, I tried hard apple cider, Farnum Hill Dooryard Cider, in fact, which is local to New Hampshire. I’m not sure how easy it might be to find elsewhere, but it is gluten-free and safe for me. This cider tends towards dryness, rather than sweetness, which is ideal for this application. See what you can find, and make sure you taste it before cooking with it.

When I tasted this, I ended up going in a slightly different direction with herbs. I did try this with the more traditional thyme, and it was good, but oregano and apple cider was the winning combination for me. Another good reason to taste your ingredients!

Cider pot roast prep
Preparing pot roast for baking. Keen eyes may pick up that this is the thyme-covered roast, not the oregano in the recipe. You’d be correct — this photo just turned out much better.

The beef is browned before baking, and it’s cooked with browned onions and carrots, and served over simple smashed potatoes. The recipe lists 3 carrots, but honestly, add as many as your casserole or Dutch oven will hold, as they are amazing. If you prefer to enrich your potatoes with safe margarine and non-dairy milk, feel free — I think they soak up more pan juices without those, though. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Cider Pot Roast
Print Recipe
This is the pot roast of my childhood -- tender meat that you don't need a knife to eat, slathered in onions, best served over mashed potatoes. In this recipe, I found that hard cider made a good gluten-free substitution for beer.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 3 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
2.5 hours 2.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 3 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
2.5 hours 2.5 hours
Cider Pot Roast
Print Recipe
This is the pot roast of my childhood -- tender meat that you don't need a knife to eat, slathered in onions, best served over mashed potatoes. In this recipe, I found that hard cider made a good gluten-free substitution for beer.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 3 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
2.5 hours 2.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 3 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
2.5 hours 2.5 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Turn your oven on at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. If you have a stove-top to oven-safe dutch oven or other casserole, this is a good recipe to use it. I do not, so I start out in a skillet, and then transfer to a lidded casserole dish. Either way, heat your pan over medium heat, and add the oil or fat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the onions, frying until they start to brown. When they are all translucent and/or browning (15-20 minutes, stir regularly), remove from the pan. If you're using a casserole for the baking, transfer them directly there (I advise you lightly grease the dish AND lid).
  4. Turn up the heat just a bit (medium-high). Salt and pepper all sides of your roast liberally, and use freshly ground pepper if you can. Then brown each side. You don't have to brown the short sides, but it tastes better if you do. Plan on 3-5 minutes per side.
  5. Now either add the browned beef to your greased casserole dish that has onions at the bottom, or add the onions back to the pot (but not on top of the beef). Add your carrots around the sides of the beef.
  6. Sprinkle the oregano over the top of the dish. Then add the cider and water along the side. I like to have the herbs bake to the top of the meat, so don't wash them off with the cider.
  7. Cover and bake the pot roast for 2-3 hours. Two and a half is a good estimate, as it gives the meat time to braise and for all the fibers in the meat to break apart. Check on it at 2 hours for two things -- using a meat thermometer, see if it's done (170F/77C for well done, and this is pot roast), and then see if the meat is tender. Cook longer if needed. You can definitely turn off the oven and let the casserole continue in the pre-heated oven for the last 30 minutes, provided that the meat has reached its internal temperature.
  8. For the potatoes, I prefer the simplest preparation -- cook whole potatoes in salted water until a knife stuck through the center shows they are done. Then drain and smash, adding nothing. These are the perfect potatoes for absorbing other flavors, as the texture is a bit fluffier than traditional mashed potatoes. But make the potatoes you love.
  9. Serve meat and onions and carrots over potatoes, with plenty of the juice from the pan.
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