Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vacation, Coffee Braised Pot Roast.

Big surprise, Matt has already had the film developed from his camera, with a little nudging from me to take this or that picture. His picture of me next to the bed still doesn't really convey the height, primarily because I am wearing shoes; guess I should have taken them off before being photographed. It really doesn't look that high at all does it? But I can assure you when I had bare feet it was difficult to climb into. Another thing I was thinking about this morning, since we were there last time, a small dishwasher has been installed. For years I have been kidding with people who 'washed' their dishes before they washed their dishes (in the dishwasher) now I have found out why some people do that. This little sucker was not as efficient as the Whirlpool I had in our NC home. Once or twice we had to re-wash things which I never had to do before, so I guess that's why people do it. On the Wednesday which was Sept. 23, we went to our friend's house and then in one vehicle to the Ruddy Duck on the waterside in Morehead City. When we got there we were surprised to find it was the same place that had once been called Blue Peter's, another species of duck; we had gone there for our 25th anniversary some few years ago. It has changed hands a couple of times since and is not quite such haute cuisine as it was then, but the food is very good, nonetheless. The original idea had been to sail in our friend's boat and tie up alongside the restaurant but because of the anticipated bad weather we didn't. I had a spinach salad with egg and cheese which was very good, then there was a chicken salad served in a large tortilla made into a bowl shape. Looked huge. Matt had a crab cake sandwich, new one on us and I can't remember the fourth dish. Afterwards we went to the day docks and parked by the water sitting in the sun whilst our friend went to get his boat. In the picture you can see the fire and rescue boat and in the background Morehead docks. We boarded the Fast Forward and went for a short trip around the island. It was fun, beautiful day, bit of a breeze, nice way to spend an hour or two. Pity we couldn't have done some sailing. Hurricane Fred's remnants had totally passed by early in the morning. Following are some pictures taken from the boat as we were sailing around. One of the Ruddy Duck from the water side. Shows where we could have docked for lunch. We have a family joke, our last name being Wake, all over the waterways there are postings saying No Wake or No Wake Zone or something similar. (A wake being the rough water left behind by a passing boat and if the boat is travelling fast enough, it can cause a lot of damage). I have mentioned before, we had a boat which we called Wake's Own. So when we passed a sign, we both took pictures of it. You have to blow it up a bit to read it. I used this as my wallpaper for a while then I changed it to a picture of the Morehead Bridge over to the island at Atlantic Beach. There is a similar bridge the other end of the island but we like the view better, its full of little islands, unfortunately I have never been in a position to take a decent photo from that bridge and these days there is no way I could walk to the top to do so. Apart from the fact I think it would be somewhat dangerous. Having enjoyed our little trip around the island, we were dropped off at the day docks again and then waited for our friend to moor his boat and come ashore in his skiff when we would pick him up. I saw a street sign that amused me so we had to take a picture. We went back to their place and had a drink and a load of snacky things, really good for me. My blood sugars are running high at the moment anyway, trouble is I am on vacation. We borrowed Mama Mia from them and having watched Jeopardy, had a bit of supper (we weren't hungry) we watched the movie. I was disappointed after the raving people have been doing and Matt didn't think much of it at all. Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions From EatingWell: Fall 2004, October 1998, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004) This recipe is reminiscent of a pot roast made with onion-soup mix, but the flavors are true and pure--and nobody misses the excess sodium. 10 servings Ingredients * 1 4-pound beef chuck roast, (see Ingredient note), trimmed of fat * 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste * Freshly ground pepper, to taste * 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided * 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups) * 4 cloves garlic, minced * 1 teaspoon dried thyme * 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee * 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar * 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 300°F. 2. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning from time to time, until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in coffee and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pot and spoon some onions over it. Cover and transfer to the oven. 4. Braise the beef in the oven until fork-tender but not falling apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer beef to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, skim fat from the braising liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, until the gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season with pepper. Carve the beef and serve with gravy. Slow-Cooker Variation: In Step 2, transfer the browned beef to a slow cooker. In Step 3, use just 1/2 cup coffee. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker. In Step 4, cover and cook until beef is tender, 4 1/2 to 5 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. In Step 5, pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and continue as directed. Tips & Notes * Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. * Ingredient Note: Although it is not the leanest cut of beef, chuck is still our choice for pot roast because it doesn't dry out during braising. You will find pockets of fat as you carve it, but they are easy to remove. Have a great day.


  1. What a wonderful thing a digital camera is!

    High beds, oh la la! When I was a child in Africa the farmers used to put their beds on wooden blocks or bricks to keep mice from being able to jump onto the beds at night. Once my parents, my sister and I spent a weekend on a farm and when we saw the blocks we knew that the farmhouse had mice though the farmer and his wife denied that this was so. But that night my sister and I spent in my father's car!

  2. Can't say I blame you Marilyn. I'm not scared of mice, but I don't particularly want them running around my bed at night.