Inexplicably, today is May 1. I know not where April went, or March, for that matter. But my sources tell me May is Beef Month, and that is worth celebrating.
Perhaps because May kicks off the summer grilling season, Beef Month seems particularly appropriate right now. We do our share of grilling, too, but I also tried this new beef roast recipe the other night. My son has declared it a winner. I love that it's still your classic beef, potatoes and carrots that my family likes, but with a few techniques and ingredients - we're talking bacon - to really amp up the flavor. Your house will smell amazing, too. I'll include it below, too.
In other beef news, there's an exciting development for Illinois beef enthusiasts: the Illinois Cattlewomen group has been revitalized and has kicked off their membership drive. Shelia Stannard is Director of Industry Programs for the Illinois Beef Association, and is also an avid cattlewoman herself and secretary of the new group. Shelia says their short-term goals are to promote beef and build relationships. They were encouraged by the American National CattleWomen to reorganize; if you're outside Illinois, many states already have a Cattlewomen's group you can join. ANCW has three goals: beef promotion, youth development and legislative outreach.
To that end, Illinois Cattlewomen will partner with ANCW and Sam's Club in May to help consumers learn more about cuts of beef, and share their cattle stories with consumers. They'll help hand out taste tests at Sam's Clubs in Rockford, Peoria, Normal, Springfield, Decatur and Champaign, on May 9 and 10. And hopefully answer lots and lots of questions. In the future, they'll also be working more closely with Ag in the Classroom and the Illinois Farm Families program, and are planning social events in conjunction with the summer beef tour and the Illinois State Fair.
If you're interested in joining the Illinois Cattlewomen, contact Shelia at (217)787-4280 or Sara Prescott at (815) 228-0336. Check out their Facebook page, too, and mark your calendars for June 18 at 4 p.m., for their next meeting during the IBA Summer Conference.
And if you're interested in a new recipe for the chuck roasts in your freezer, give this one a try. You won't regret it. It's got bacon. But maybe I mentioned that already.
Garlic-Bacon Pot Roast
- 3 pounds beef chuck pot roast
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 14.5 ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 10 small red and/or yellow new potatoes, quartered
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Trim fat from meat; season with salt and pepper. In a 6-quart Dutch oven brown roast on all sides in hot oil over medium-high heat. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add bacon to oil in Dutch oven. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer half of the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; cover and chill until serving. Add onion and garlic to Dutch oven. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until onion is tender and starting to brown. Return roast to Dutch oven. Add broth, the 2 tablespoons thyme, and the rosemary. Bring to boiling. Cover; transfer to oven. Bake for 1 3/4 hours. Add carrots and potatoes. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender.
3. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter; cover to keep warm. Skim fat from liquid; strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Return strained liquid to Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve sauce with meat and vegetables. Sprinkle with reserved bacon and thyme sprigs.