Saturday, December 29, 2012

In the Pot

The thing about me and cookbooks is this:  I tend to have favourites - there are some recipes I will cook repeatedly, and others will remain uncooked forever.  I would really not be able to do a Julie/Julia thing and cook every recipe in a cookbook.  And so it is that the Pot Roast in "Robin's Eurasian Recipes" has indeed become one of my favourite recipes.  It's easy to cook, and the smell of the onion gravy filling the house in the process is absolutely heavenly.  I brought it for my extended family's annual Christmas eve dinner, and so thought it was timely to share it now.

Before I go on, a little about the book itself.  Robin is the father of Quentin Pereira, whose restaurant "Quentin's" is one of the few truly authentic Eurasian restaurants in Singapore.  Quentin's used to be on East Coast Road (see my earlier post) but has since moved to the Eurasian Association Clubhouse in Ceylon Road.  The menu is based on the recipes in this book (including this Pot Roast recipe - after eating it, had to make it!).

There's one thing about this dish though.  It is indeed heavy on onions - which means, that much time and tears are spent peeling the shallots.  Still, no pain, no gain. My mother makes it with fewer onions, but adds a mirepoix of celery, onions and carrots instead.  I prefer the oniony version (because of the wonderful aroma mentioned earlier).  But we both add cinnamon, cloves and star anise, which was not in the original recipe.  Anyway, here it is - my slightly modified version of Robin's Pot Roast recipe:

Pot Roast, covered with onions
1.5-2kg beef (I use shin)
1 medium onino, sliced
5-6 carrots, chunked
4-5 medium potatoes, quartered
2packets fresh button mushrooms 

2 beef stock cubes (I've used 1 beef and 1 mushroom instead)
2 tbsp ground pepper corns
1 litre water

1 stick cinnamon
3-4 cloves
2 star anise

(Blend together)
20 shallots (or 5 medium-sized onions)
6 tbspdark soy sauce
2 tbsp pepper
2 tbsp sugar

1.  Marinate the chunk of beef in 10 tablespoons of the blended mixture, for about an hour.
2.  Fry the marinated beef in a pot, to brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.  
3.  Fry the onions till soft.  Add the rest of the blended mixture (including any remaining marinade) till fragrant.  Add the water (should not be too much, just enough to generate steam to cook the beef), beef stock and peppercorns.  Heat till it reaches a boil.
4.  Add the beef, and cook for 1.5 hours, till soft.  (Alternatively, pressure cook for half an hour).  Add the  carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms.  Cook till the carrots/potatoes are soft.  
5.  When the beef has cooled, remove and slice thinly.  Place in serving dish,and add the vegetables and gravy.  Can serve with some nice French baguettes, but my preference is to eat with sambal belacan and rice.


  1. Mmmm I love the oniony version too and the beef really cooked til tender :) *pressure cooker de rigeuer*
    I add cloves & star anis too. However one day I was out of soya sauce for the marinade & I tried it with oyster sauce. It was a little different but quite nice. I haven't made it in a while but you've inspired me on to do it this weekend :)
    My Granny used to call it by another name other than Pot Roast but I can't remember what it was.
    I've heard so much about Quentin's resto. Its certainly on my bucketlist for my next visit to S'pore. I hope to find the time next year.
    The post X'mas diet will have to wait as usual cause CNY is round the corner!)

    1. Dear Jean,
      Thanks for your suggestions on potential variants. Yup, I'd go to Quentin's - particularly their Sunday buffet to try lots of things! Let me know if you need company.

  2. I remember after reading one of your posts (quite a while ago) on Quentin, I have arranged for a trip there. It was a nice experience. I just cannot remember if I had tried this dish when I was there. Your recipe looks delicious!



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