Friday, September 23, 2011

Ro*Tel? Do Tell!

Today is the first day of Fall; and as a distinct chill fills the air, it's time to scour the pantry for some cans of Ro*Tel. According to their website, "Way back in the 1940's, Carl Roettele opened a small family canning plant in Elsa, Texas."  (That's deep in South Texas.) "Starting with the freshest, most flavorful tomatoes, he added chopped green chili peppers and a special blend of spices to create a sensational taste."  I've heard that Ro*Tel is a regional ingredient and may be hard for some to find. That's too bad, because this spicy concoction is just what you need to add excitement to your Fall dishes, like this Picante Pot Roast. This is a great dish that will happily sit on your stove for hours, and is great leftover and shredded to make awesome tacos. 

Picante Pot Roast

Serves 6-8.


1, 3-pound boneless chuck roast
3-4 garlic cloves, slivered
1-2 pickled jalapenos, slivered
Lone Star Dry Rub
2 tablespoons bacon drippings (save that bacon grease), or canola oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2, 10-ounce cans Ro*Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles (Original)
1/2-1 cup unsalted beef stock
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 1/2 medium yellow onions, sliced into rings
1-2 avocados, sliced just before serving
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


With a knife, cut little slits all over the roast and insert the slivers of garlic and jalapeno.  Rub the meat well with as much dry rub as will stick. Let sit at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight (that's what I do).  Remember to bring the roast close to room temperature before cooking (about 30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat the bacon drippings (or oil) over medium-high heat in a heavy lidded skillet or Dutch oven.  Dredge the meat in the flour, and brown it in the drippings or oil.  Turn down the heat to medium.  Pour in the onions, carrots, Ro*Tel (liquid and all), and 1/2 cup of the stock.  Bring just to a simmer, cover, and bake for 4 hours, turning the roast with tongs once or twice.

Check the meat after 3 hours, and add more stock if it is getting dry.  If it seems a little soupy, uncover it for the last 30 minutes of baking.  The meat should be falling-apart tender when done. Serve the meat and vegetables hot, with a few slices of avocado and a sprinkling of cilantro.

Adapted from Texas Home Cooking, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison.

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