How GRIT Launches a Cookbook

Reader Contribution by Brandy Ernzen
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Here at GRIT, we don’t need much of an excuse to belly up to a well-stocked table. So what do we do when we launch a cookbook filled with down-home, tasty comfort-in-every-bite recipes? We host an officewide potluck that shows off the offerings found in GRIT’s Comfort Food Cookbook!

Coworkers from our editorial, customer care, ad sales and marketing departments brought in everything from Irish Honey Pot Roast to German Potato Salad to Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Needless to say, variety was the name of the game today.

The GRIT Staff in line for our Comfort Food Cookbook potluck.

And who doesn’t love a little friendly competition when it comes to cooking and baking? We awarded three prizes: the Big Kahuna Award, chosen by our general manager; the Editor’s Pick, selected by GRIT Managing Editor Caleb Regan; and a People’s Choice Award voted on by employees.

We’ve provided these award-winning recipes for you to try at home, plus a bonus recipe. So, when you’re trying to decide what to take to your next potluck, check these out. For even more crowd-pleasing goodies – like Barbecued Baked Beans, Southern Fried Chicken, and Applesauce Doughnuts, order your copy of GRIT’s Comfort Food Cookbook today!

Big Kahuna Award & Editor’s Choice Award

Sweet and Smoky Slow Beef Stew
Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds beef stew meat
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups tomato salsa
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons smoked paprika

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches and cook until browned. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker, mixing to combine. Cook on High for 6 to 8 hours, until beef is fall-apart tender.

People’s Choice Award

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Serves 9

1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 ccups sliced fresh strawberries (about 1 pound)
3 ccups rhubarb, diced (about 5 stalks or 1 pound)

3/4 cup all-pupose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, cut into small chunks

Heat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix the white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, strawberries and rhubarb. Let it sit for a few minutes to draw out the juices, and then mix well again. Pour into an 8×8-inch baking dish.

To make the topping, put the remaining ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Pour the crumbly mixture on top of the fruit, and spread it out evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crispy and golden.

Bonus Recipe

Irish Honey Pot Roast
Serves 8 to 10

1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4- to 5-pound pot roast, 7-blade, rump
2 tablespoons olive oil
14 ounces beef broth
1/2 cup honey
1 cup Irish ale or apple cider
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 ccups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped parsnips
2 cups chopped potatoes
2 cups chopped leeks
1/2 cup cold water

Heat oven to 375 F.

In a medium blow, combine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the roast through the flour mixture, coating all sides. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the roast and sear on all sides. Then sear and brown the top and bottom of the roast, about 4 to 5 minutes each. Add broth, honey, ale, garlic and thyme. Cover and roast in the oven for 1 ½ hours.

Add the vegetables. Cover and cook for an additional hour, or until the meat is fork tender. Remove the meat and vegetables to a platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

Add cold water to the reserved flour mixture; whisk into the juices in the Dutch oven. Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a boil. Continue to cook stirring constantly, until gravy is thickened. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve with meat and vegetables.

If desired, you may cook the roast in a slow cooker. Follow directions above through browning of the pot roast. Place the vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker and place the meat on top, cutting as necessary to fit. Add the remaining ingredients, except water. Cover and cook on Low to 8 to 10 hours. Prepare gravy as directed above.

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