Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pot Roast Patio Fries

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a few hours catching up with some former students of mine, who are now all grown up and making their way in the world as professional women!  (Sniff, Sniff!)  At one point, sitting out on that restaurant patio, we were offered some fries with "debris" gravy and cheese sauce on them.  Perhaps this debris gravy is something that we only have down here in the south.  So if you're  not a southerner, it may be a bit hard to describe.  It's a beef based gravy with ends, pieces, and trimmings from the other meat they've cooked and simmered for hours.  Even though it sounds like something that you should dispose of, it ends up being incredibly rich and yummy!  That plate of fries did NOT last long at our table; and I promised them I would try to find a way for the "home sect" to recreate this great appetizer! 

Well who has hours and hours to make debris gravy?  Ummmm... no one, unless you are a restaurant chef!  But one thing we DO quite frequently have, is leftover beef pot roast!  Ah HA!!!  Since I like to slow cook my pot roast until it is so tender that it is falling apart anyway, this will be the perfect "debris" and gravy for my fries.  All that I will need is to make a quick cheese sauce to go with it.  This will be great for having friends over on your OWN patio, or sitting right there on the couch watching a game!  

I mean, what guy is going to turn down chunks of tender, juicy roast over big crispy steak fries smothered in a cheesy sauce... especially when accompanied by a cold beverage?!!!  Right?!  And to think - this was made from leftovers!

Print this Recipe!

Ingredients:  
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp AP flour
  • 2 1/2 cup milk
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Gouda
  • 1/2 cup provolone
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar
  • frozen, battered wedge fries
  • left over beef pot roast
  • optional garnishes
    • sliced green onions
    • prepared horseradish sauce


Step-by-Step:
You probably want to get your fries going first as they take the longest.  Okay, shake your head if you want to, but I'm using a bag of frozen, battered wedge fries.  The big, thick, seasoned ones.  They will take a while.  I put them on parchment paper so I wouldn't have issues with them sticking or having to spray the pan, or anything like that.  I just love parchment paper.  And I had scrubbing pans - so that works well for me.

I started by making a quick bechamel just by cooking together the butter and flour for about a minute.  Does this sound suspiciously like making a roux?  You got it!  Except we will keep it blond.
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp AP flour
Whisk or stir in the milk and bring to a boil. 
2 1/2 cup milk
Cook until thick and bubbly, about 4 - 5 minutes.  
Add in the cheeses and adjust the seasonings.  Let say that you could probably use just about whatever cheeses you have on hand.  I wanted something sharp in there, and something smooth and melty.  That was about the extent of my criteria.  
  • 1/2 cup Gouda
  • 1/2 cup provolone
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar
My sauce was pretty mild.  If you want it "sharper" I'm sure you know how to handle that, right?  Want it spicier?  Go for it...maybe a pepper jack?!   You could also add a pinch of cayenne or paprika here, or perhaps a bit of garlic powder. 
Heat up the amount of roast (with some gravy) you think you'll need.   I had bits of roasted red peppers and carrot pieces in mine.  But hey.. that was all part of the fun! 
leftover beef pot roast
Alright.... the timer on the oven is going off.  Let's build our patio fries now.  Yep, I use a timer for everything.  EVERY -  THING!!!!  My family makes fun of me.  So what?!  There's only so much multitasking my brain can handle.  And I like things to come out when they are supposed to come out! 

Here are the hot and crispy seasoned wedges....
baked, battered wedge fries
I'm adding some hot and juicy roast that I've chopped into bite-sized pieces, with "some" juice.  I don't necessarily want the fries soggy... just some juice.   How much roast?  As much as you want! 
Now some of that hot, gooey cheese sauce!
Now on top of mine ONLY, I'm going to add just a tad bit of prepared deli style horseradish sauce.  I'm blaming this one on my stepdad, who enjoys a bit of horseradish sauce with his roast beef.  Just a bit, or else it could be over powering.  But the right amount can definitely wake it up!!  (You have to know your audience on this one.)
zesty, deli style horseradish sauce (optional)
And finally, I'm garnishing it with a handful of freshly sliced green onions.  Fresh and crunchy and green to balance out all that creamy richness.
fresh, sliced green onion
I was absolutely, fully prepared to segregate the food for my little ones; and I did hear this from my 6 year old:  "No way am I going to eat my roast and that cheese on my perfectly good fries!"   I implored him to just put a little "dab" of the cheese sauce on the side of the fries and try dipping it... that went pretty well.  Then maybe see how it MIGHT taste if you added in a bite of meat with it.... hey, that might be okay!  So guess who ended up eating a healthy portion of this?  You guessed it!  And my 14 year old and I had a field day with it!

Here's a close up.  The fries are crunchy on the outside, buttery soft on the inside.  Gooey, rich cheese sauce.  Fresh green onions.  Hot, tender roast.  That's a lot'a YUM!!!!  
Listen, I fully understand that we will not be able to file this under any of the "eating healthy" categories.  But balance, my dear friends, is essential in your lives.  You gotta have some fun and find some time to get out there and relax with your friends.  It's just as important as training for that 5K, or working on that portfolio for work.  

So the next time you are wondering what the heck to do with the leftovers from that huge pot roast you just made, dig out that bag of frozen fries and this recipe.  Call some friends over... and sit around on the patio enjoying each other!  Or maybe you could even get away with calling it dinner after your kid's ballgame?!  Hey, it's meat and potatoes, right?!

I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!

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Written Method:  
Get your fries going first as they take the longest on parchment paper so you won't have to spray the pan or anything like that.  Start by making a quick bechamel by cooking together the butter and flour for about a minute.  Whisk or stir in the milk and bring to a boil. Cook until thick and bubbly, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Add in the cheeses and adjust the seasonings.  If you want it "sharper" I'm sure you know how to handle that, right?  Want it spicier?  Go for it... maybe a pepper jack?!   You could also add a pinch of cayenne or paprika here, or perhaps a bit of garlic powder. 

Heat up the amount of roast (with some gravy) you think you'll need.  Let's build our patio fries now.  Here are the hot and crispy seasoned wedges + hot roast chopped into bite-sized pieces with "some" juice + that hot, gooey cheese sauce!  Optional - you can add a tad bit of prepared deli style horseradish sauce.   Just a bit, or else it could be over powering.  But the right amount can definitely wake it up!!  (You have to know your audience on this one.)  And finally, garnish it with a handful of freshly sliced green onions. 

2 comments:

  1. Delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  2. These look so yummy! I have to make a pot roast soon so I can try this.

    ReplyDelete

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