A warm, freshly-baked bread bowl can be the most comforting and perfect vessel for a pot roast stew in the wintertime; but we too, can be willing vessels, eagerly waiting to be filled with something amazing and glorious in order to share it with the world.
The human being has the amazing potential to be like a beautifully hand-sculpted and adorned bowl, plate, mug, or elegant glass that utterly longs to do its ultimate work of being filled with something truly delicious and divine, something life giving and life sustaining.
Somewhere deep down inside of our very being, that private, sacred place where only our Creator can reach us and whisper to us; that place where we hear the voice of our soul, we know that we’ve been designed to receive and to hold the unique wisdom of the ages, the secrets to life that He is so enthusiastic to share with us; so that we may take that out into that darkest time just before the dawn in order that His glorious light may spill over all things and be seen.
A vessel is at its most useful when it has a space within it that can be filled, when it can take in what is being offered up so that it may nourish the one who holds it in their hands, and drinks or eats the glorious content from within it.
The cycle of being filled and then being emptied again creates an amazing hum, a never-ending exchange where there is never stagnation, because all that is filling the vessel is being poured back out where there is need, making the vessel empty and ready to receive, once again.
And this is the on-going process of receiving from our Creator in order to bestow.
It is being a willing vessel that is ready to be filled with something glorious and delicious from the One who made us; that we may, in turn, pour it out onto others.
It is the beautifully crafted and freshly-baked bread bowl that holds a succulent pot roast stew, that soaks up all of the exquisite juices, and provides a warming and sustaining experience for the one partaking.
To be a willing vessel for something glorious is to live out life in the fullest way it was meant to be lived.
We were meant to be filled with life-sustaining content and amazing light which we then pour out onto our fellow brothers and sisters in order to replenish them, continuing the cycle of receiving in order to bestow.
After all, what greater thing could there be than to fully realize what one was created to be, to hold, and to share with the world?
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Pot Roast Stew in a Bread Bowl
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4
• 3 – 3 ½ pound boneless chuck roast
• Black pepper
• Canola oil
• Large white onion, roughly chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
• ¾ cup red wine
• 4 cups beef stock, hot
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
• 3 ribs celery, chopped into chunks
• 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped into chunks
• 4 baby yellow potatoes, quartered
• 4-5 sprigs thyme
• 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 1-2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 4 sourdough bread bowls (can be found at Panera, or a good, local bakery)
-Preheat your oven to 325°.
-Liberally season your chuck roast with salt and pepper.
-Heat a large Dutch oven or braising pot over high heat until very hot, and drizzle in about 4 tablespoons of oil; once the oil is hot, add in the chuck roast, and sear for 4-5 minutes on each side; remove from pot with tongs and set aside for a moment.
-Reduce heat to medium-low/low, and add in the onions; saute for about 2-3 minutes until slightly golden, then add in the garlic, tomato paste, and Herbs de Provence, and stir to combine, cooking those for about 30 seconds, or so.
-Add in the wine and the beef stock and stir, then nestle the chuck roast back into the pot, and add in the carrots, celery, parsnip, and potatoes around it, plus the sprigs of thyme; bring to the boil, then cover and place into your oven to braise for about 3 – 3 ½ hours, or until the meat is fork tender and falls apart.
-Once the meat is tender, remove it from the pot, and set aside on a cutting board to slightly cool until you can handle it to shred it with a fork, or to cut it up into bite-size pieces; remove the sprigs of thyme.
-In the mean time, place the pot with the sauce and veggies back onto the stove top over medium-low heat, and bring to a gentle simmer.
-Combine the flour with 3 tablespoons of water, and using a fork, blend until smooth and lump-free; drizzle this “slurry” into the sauce in the pan, and whisk to blend in; simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute to slightly thicken the stew.
-Shred or cut the meat, and add it back into the pot; sprinkle in the chopped parsley and stir to combine.
-Cut the centers out of your bread bowls, scooping out some of the insides; ladle in the stew, and enjoy. (The bread bowls can be warmed up as well—just toast them on a baking sheet in a 400° oven for a few minutes until warmed through and slightly toasty.)