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Baker. Cook. Gardener. Animal Lover.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pot Roast To Sunday Gravy

Remember the other day when I boarded myself up in the house and put some pot roast in the crock pot? Well, as the day rolled on so did my mood. I went from an old fashion in Vermont kinda day into a North Beach in San Francisco kinda day. I just love the old Italian neighborhood of North Beach in The City. All the old restaurants and deli's. My favorite deli..I think everyones favorite is called Molinaris. It has been there forever. My Auntie Erma and Uncle Leo lived in North Beach when I was a little girl. They lived in a section called The Marina. It is down by Fishermans Wharf. And could Auntie Erma ever cook. She was originally from Genoa, Italy. Came over on a boat. We used to get to go visit her when we got really lucky and got to go to the San Francisco Zoo.We would take the train from Los Gatos which was about a 40 minute ride. Me and my brother Mark and our cousins. We loved that so much. What a special treat that was. And when visiting Auntie Erma we would go with her to North Beach to Molinaris for cheese and bread and raviolis. The raviolis were Lucca brand. And they would sit in the box on a bed of flour. And when you took the box to the counter the man would tie string around it. I thought that was so fancy. I don't know why that struck me as fancy...but it did. So the other day, I got that "North Beach" feeling. When we visit there now, I always imagine what it would be like to live there. I picture myself usptairs in one of those tiny apartments that sits over a coffeehouse. The places were the people sit outside and sip espresso and read the Chronicle. I would think to myself, I could do that. I could live that life. I could live in North Beach. So on an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, I took myself there. I got out my Rao's cookbook and turned the pot roast into Sunday gravy. And served it over pasta. I used the last of my summer tomatoes in the sauce. And John and I had dinner in North Beach that night....


Adapted from Rao's Cookbook

1 pound piece of lean beef, such as eye of round. ( I used pot roast )
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 35 ounce cans imported San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes, hand crushed
Salt and pepper

1.Saute the meat in the oilve oil till brown. Add in garlic. When garlic turns brown discard it.
2.Combine tomato paste and water, stir. Add to the meat.
3. Add in San Marzano tomatoes
4.Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Let simmer 3 to 4 hours adding water as needed so there is always some liquid.
6. Serve over pasta
7. Top with grated parmesan

To be perfectly honest here, I just cooked a pot roast in a crock pot with Lipton Onion soup all day and added red wine thoughout the day when the pot got dry. About the last 20 minutes I added fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped.


  1. I've only been to Calif once (on business in San Diego) and hope to go back someday to look around for myself. The smaller towns you write about are exactly what I enjoy - places and people who still hold on to their roots. This is where you feel the "warmth" of America.
    You have described your childhood visits so well, I can picture them! Reading about your Aunt Erma, anyone could substitute visiting an aunt of their own and a visit to the local bakery or meat store. Thanks for taking us along! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip!

  2. I'm voting for the Palermo Deli. Remember the pasta we bought there (after Liguria Bakery
    foccacia was securley locked in the car) and the olive oil? I froze that pasta and it saved my bacon for Christmas Eve dinner. Sure would be good under a big ladle full of this gravy.
    Maybe this Christmas Eve?

    Donkey in a deli

  3. Mmmm. You always have such a big influence over what I plan to cook each week. I thinking a pot roast is on the menu for Wednesday night.

  4. Just found your blog, beautiful. I am living in Mexico City and am surrounded by fabulous produce and delish Mexican food. However at the grocery stores I feel super uninspired because everything is so different and the general selection is just geared towards mexican food. Some of your recipes have inspired me to try to cook again like I used to.
    PS, I LOVE Sharon Lovejoy, too!


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