Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Russian Pot Roast with Sour Cream-Dill Sauce

Here we are again with another dish of questionable national origins (remember my "Spanish" dish from last night?). I deemed this "Russian" pot roast because the combination of red meat, egg noodles, cabbage, and sour cream says Russian to me.

Regardless of its origins, this was a simple, satisfying dish. I don't do a lot of things on this blog that I would describe as "family friendly" (enjoying strange, spicy, and ethnic foods on a daily basis is one of the many perks of being child-free), but I think this is something kids would like - provided you leave the "green stuff" (dill) out of the sour cream topping. In fact, the cabbage is so unrecognizable after cooking with meat all day, no child of average intelligence would be able to pinpoint a single vegetable in this meal!

This meal really stoked my frugal side - the side of me that hates to throw anything away. I had an almost-completely-full jar of red cabbage kraut in the fridge from my reuben tartines a few days ago, and frankly, what was I going to do with that? Then came the sherry wine from my foray into Spanish cuisine, and - being the only wine I've ever not wanted to drink - it needed to be used for cooking. And then there was the sour cream, which, if not integrated into a specific meal, would surely get inhaled by me in a tortilla-chip-wielding, late-night attack.

So you see that I had no choice but to make this exact dish, and it all - miraculously - worked. It was really good! Savory, tangy, subtly sweet, and ridiculously low-maintenance. All I did was throw everything into the crockpot, boil some noodles, and mix up a quick sour cream sauce. If you don't have an overage of sherry (and why would you?), you could substitute regular white wine, or red wine, or just beef stock with a few dashes of vinegar. Hell, you could even use water, although you'd have to do a little more work to punch up the flavor. But if you're at all a fan of sauerkraut (sauerkraut people are, truly, my kind of people), make this dish ASAP! NOTE: red-meat-loving boyfriends will also swoon.


1 very lean top round roast, about 1 and 1/4 lbs.
vegetable oil
salt and pepper
about a cup (or more) jarred pickled red cabbage (this is like sauerkraut, only purple, found on the same shelf)
3/4 bottle sherry wine (not cooking sherry)
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
cooked egg noodles
1/2-3/4 c. lowfat sour cream
juice of 1/2 a lemon
handful fresh dill, chopped


Get a pan screaming hot. Drizzle in some vegetable oil. Brown the meat, seasoning with salt and pepper, on both sides. The browner the better.


In your slow cooker, put the sherry, onion, red cabbage, and lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper. When the meat is done browning, nestle it in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


Uncover the meat. Set a strainer over a pot and strain the meat and cabbage over the pot, catching the liquid in the pot. Return the meat and cabbage to the Crockpot and turn off the heat. Cover it. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Taste and adjust seasoning. Meanwhile, boil the egg noodles.


Return the cooking liquid to the Crockpot with the meat and cabbage. With two forks, tear the meat apart and mix together with the cabbage (mine was actually so tender that I just took a spoon to it, and it came apart very easily).


Mix the sour cream, dill, and lemon juice with a little salt and pepper. Serve the meat, cabbage, and cooking liquid over hot buttered egg noodles. Top with the sour cream sauce. Enjoy!

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