When I was asked if I would like to receive a copy of Cristina Ferrare's new cookbook Big Bowl of Love to review, I said YES! Cristina is host of the show Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love, on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) and her cookbook was photographed by Diane and Todd of White on Rice Couple. Who would say no?
When I received the book, I really felt the Big Bowl of Love title throughout the entire book. It's filled with over 150 recipes that are wonderful, very doable and beautifully photographed. I can feel the love she has poured into the recipes, the same recipes she makes for her family and friends. And the photographs are just gorgeous. The look, feel of the book, her writing and the recipes, just makes me want to hang out with her while she's cooking and sharing her food. Wouldn't that be cool?
I like how the book is organized with sections like Appetizers, Soups, Fish, Beef and Lamb. Every section starts with a little story with how she shares these recipes with her family or even a childhood memory.
What are the recipes I want to try from this book? I can't name them all but here are a few: Steak Bruschetta, White Bean Puree (Spread), Linguine with Clam Sauce, Risotto, Beef Noodle Bowl, Gyros (oh my!), Broiled Fish Tacos and more!
So, the recipe I gravitated towards is her Classic Roast Beef recipe. One of the ultimate comfort foods, it was very easy to make and the only hard thing about it is waiting the 4 hours it took to roast in the oven. I'm excited to share the recipe with you below.
I was going to make my favorite mashed potatoes with them and asked my husband to bring home a bag of red potatoes. He came home with a bag of small red potatoes, not exactly easy potatoes to peel when you're trying to get dinner on the table quickly. So I changed gears and made Cristina's Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with my red potatoes instead. Oh my goodness, it's my favorite way to have potatoes now. I can even see this dish being so good with my favorite scrambled eggs!
Classic Roast Beef Recipe & Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 1 3- to 3 1/2 pound chuck roast, no bone
- kosher salt
- cracked pepper
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 onion, chopped medium
- 1 carrot, chopped medium
- 1 celery stalk, chopped medium
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic chicken broth
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 12 about 3-inch by 3-inch Yukon gold or yellow Dutch potatoes
- 1 quart chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic chicken broth
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, one snipped into pieces
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- cracked pepper
- pinch of truffle salt, optional
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Sprinkle the roast generously with the kosher salt and cracked pepper. Heat a Dutch oven or roasting pan with a like over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. Brown the meat on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. If the meat starts to smoke, lower the heat. Transfer the meat to a platter.
- Over medium heat combine the onion, carrot, and celery in the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown slightly. Add the garlic and sugar, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and thyme, and with a wooden spoon, loosen the browned bits of meat that have collected on the bottom and sides of the pot.
- Return the roast to the pot, cover, and bring the liquid to a slow simmer over medium heat. Place the pot in the oven and cook for 4 hours, turning after 2 hours.
- Transfer the roast to a carving board and place some aluminum foil over the top to keep it warm.
- Strain the vegetables and broth, discarding the vegetables. Let the remaining broth settle for 5 minutes; then skim off as much oil as you can. Boil the skimmed broth over high heat, and reduce to about 1 1/2 cups. Add the red wine and continue to boil, again reducing to 1 1/2 cups.
- Pull the meat apart into pieces and shreds. Place it back in the pot with broth, and stir to distribute evenly.
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with chicken stock, making sure the stock covers the potatoes by 2 inches. (If you've run out of chicken stock, you can use water.) Bring to a gentle boil, and cook for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to fun a knife through the center. Drain the potatoes and pat dry.
- With a wine bottle or olive oil bottle, gently smash the potatoes to flatten them slightly and break open the skins. Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) for 5 minutes. Add the oil and let heat for 30 seconds. Add the smashed potatoes and fry for about 4 minute or until the bottoms become crusty. Gently turn over, add sprig of the snipped thyme and fry for 4 minute. Turn off the heat, add butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper or truffle salt. Top with remaining thyme leaves and serve immediately.
The Little Kitchen Notes:
- The roast beef recipe was awesome and we will definitely be making this dish again! I made it with my favorite red wine.
- I actually had too many potatoes and I made them in batches, I didn't add the butter until I transferred it into another pan. I also only added the snipped thyme at the end. It's a surprisingly easy way to make potatoes and it's full of flavor!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this cookbook and was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are and will always be my own. Some links in this post are affiliate links.
Edith K says
The recipe over all does sound good but it is far from roast beef. It’s a pot roast . There’s a big difference and if you are trying to teach people how to cook the correct terms should be used. Roasting uses no liquid and calls for a better grade of meat that is already tender and roasted for a shorter time., pot roasting is actually braising in liquid for a long time to tenderize the meat. It’s a good way to use the less expensive cuts of meat and still get a beef dinner.
Julie Deily says
Thanks for the cooking lesson. This recipe is from Cristina’s cookbook and what she named her recipe. It’s an amazing recipe! Thanks for visiting my site.
why is there sugar in this recipe ? I have never added sugar to a recipe like this. Thanks!
Julie Deily says
You know what I don’t know. Cristina’s recipe calls for it and I have made this recipe many times and I LOVE it. Maybe to cut the wine and the potential salitness. Have no idea, I’m sorry I’m no help!
hi Julie……that’s OK. i will add this to the list of things I do not know as well!! i am sure you know, perhaps, “they” put sugar in damn near everything we buy anyway…….i check ingredients lists on items i buy and the generic Safeway Italian salad dressing i bought listed sugar in it!!! ya know what….i got a different brand and the stuff with sugar tasted better……
and you are a huge help. i am gonna make that recipe one of these days!!
Blessings and Light and
I made this tonight for my dinner and it was amazing. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It made me feel like a chef!
Ty @ Mama of 3 Munchkins says
This looks very tasty!
That looks like a great recipe. I can’t wait to try it myself.
That looks AMAZING!
Great Pictures! Looks delicious!
I made this for dinner. This is very easy and tastes wonderful. I followed the recipe to a tee. My problem was…. I started off with less than 1 1/2 cups of broth. Then I added the wine and reduced the broth a bit. But once I put the meat back in the pot, it absorbed all the broth/juice.
How much broth did you start with? I had no broth to put on the potatoes 🙁
However, I will make this again….. YUM!!
Julie Deily says
That’s so cool that you tried this recipe. I’m not sure why you ended up with so little broth. Was your pan or dutch oven covered tightly? Mine has a lid and I had a bunch of broth as you can see from the pictures. Also, I didn’t really measure when I reduced the liquid both times. But I’m glad you like it, I wish I could take the credit for the recipe! 🙂
Looks delicious, and your picture is awesome! I bet the pictures are amazing in the book as well!! Can’t wait to check it out 🙂
Andrea Watts says
I love roast beef
this is ULTIMATE comfort food for me! I will have to surprise my mom with this the next time I see her!!!
So delicious.. I think I’m inspired to do some serious cooking this weekend – thank you!
Barbara | VinoLuciStyle says
I love the red potatoes and I’ve become so used to leaving skins on when I either mash…or smash that I find regular mashed potatoes sort of bland. Roast beef looks so good I could literally eat it for breakfast…right now!
Oh my……that looks rather heavenly. I think I might like this cookbook. I love it when a recipe is introduced with a memory or short story….makes it more personal. You’ve done a beautiful job with the beef. Now I’m going to have to go and search for some red potatoes!
Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy says
That looks so yummy! I’ll have to look for her cookbook.
Kulsum at JourneyKitchen says
Looks lovely – just like it should! I am also eying the beef noodle bowl!
Wow, I bet your husband’s eyes light up whenever you are asked to review a new cookbook! Your dinner looks delicious. Not only did you cook a great meal but you wrote a great review too.
Cathy W says
They both look yummy. And I’ll be trying both very soon. Thanks for posting.
Shop with Me Mama (Kim) says
Wow, not only do all your pictures make me drool, the red potatoes that you substituted with sound like something I would love. I LOVE red potatoes (the little ones!)
This looks like an amazing recipe! The tenderness of the meat jumps off the page!
Have fun this weekend!
I’m going to make this this weekend, with a minor change. I will not strain out the veggies at
the end, but will degrease the liquid, whirl everything together with my stick blender, reduce, and then add the red wine and reduce again.
Love this recipe! Thank you!
Julius Droolius says
WoW that looks great!! I need to get a Dutch oven and start cooking like this!
Vicki Bensinger says
This looks delicious. I’m salivating just reading the recipe. I guess I’ll have to try it. Thanks for sharing.
blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
That looks incredibly tender and delicious!
[email protected] domestic mama and the viillage cook says
Oh this looks like the perfect comfort food! 🙂 I will def. be trying this WITH my favorite wine, wink wink! 🙂
Paula @ Frosted Fingers says
That sounds awesome! I’d love to try that recipe