Those who know me have heard me say more than once that we have so little traffic here, that we watch the cars that pass by for entertainment. "I see a car coming. Wonder who that is?" Well, for the last two days we have been WELL entertained. On Sunday afternoon there was a knock on our door. A nice looking young man said, "We are making a movie and wondered if we could park some cars on the road here."
After figuring out that wasn't a joke, Daddy-O said, "Sure." And by the time we woke up the next morning, there was a work site set up just in front of our house. They really were making a movie. A real movie. And the North Carolina location got so much snow last weekend that they had to find another spot. Fast. It was the final two days of filming.
And they landed in our front yard. (Most of the filming was in the woods that adjoin us.) So for two days, I looked and watched and gawked as there was constant coming and going. They had about 100 in their crew. At one point we counted over 30 vehicles parked up and down our road. There was the craft wagon (craft services provide the food—yes, I did walk over and get a cup of coffee) and lots of equipment trucks. Lights. Sound. Screens. And so many people.
Of course, I made photos, but agreed not to share them until the movie comes out. (Trust me. I have nothing very exciting, except proof that there was lots of "stuff" in front of our house.) We did get to see the stars. And watch one of them being "thrown" off a vehicle in front of a green screen over and over and over. Now, we'll have to wait until the movie comes out (maybe 9-12 months later) to see how it looks when all the parts are put together.
But with all the commotion going on, I did manage to cook a pot roast. (It was a perfect oven recipe that cooked for hours unattended.) And then they invited us to eat lunch with the crew both days. I must admit that their catered lunch was possibly better than my own cooking. It certainly was more variety than we would have had here at home.
Last night we heard them shout, "It's a wrap!" just as the sun was setting. And less than two hours later, the plot of land right in front of us looked like nothing had ever happened. They packed, loaded and left as quickly as they came. After everything calmed down, we ate the roast I cooked the day before.
3-6 lb chuck roast (I used sirloin tip this time)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 carrots, cut up
2 celery stalks, cut up
1 medium onion, cup up
1 cup beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
salt/pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. In a French/Dutch oven heat the oil on med-high heat for 5 minutes and brown each side of the roast, 2-3 minutes on each side, adding some salt and pepper on each side.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for about 8 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the roast. Return the roast to the pot and add the beef and chicken broths. Add enough water to make the chuck roast submerged halfway, about 1/2 cup. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and put it in the oven (middle rack) and roast on 300 degrees for about three hours.
After an hour and a half, flip the roast. At the two-hour mark, check it for doneness. You should be able to easily tear it apart with a fork. Because the meat is cooking in liquid, you can cook it as long as you’d like without fear of it drying out – in fact, the longer the better (although anything longer than four hours is probably too long).
Remove the roast from the broth. Strain the vegetables (they will be mushy now) and save the liquid (should be about 1-1/2 cups). Pour the liquid back into the Dutch oven and turn the heat up to med/high. Reduce the liquid to about one cup, which will take about 5 minutes. Next, add the red wine and further reduce the liquid to about 1 cup, which should take another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the sauce is ready, return the roast to the broth. Slice or pull apart. Serve the roast with the sauce spooned over the top.
I received a Le Crueset Dutch oven as a Christmas gift and I've been looking for ways to use it. So far I've made soup, meat sauce and this roast. I love that the Dutch oven can be used both on top of the stove and in the oven. But without that Dutch oven, I could have done this in two steps—brown the meat, add the vegetables, and then the broth to de-glaze the pan. Then put all of that in an oven safe covered dish and continue on.