With this recipe we enter the realm where foods cross cultural boundaries. What was tzimmes to Sidney was pot roast to me, a favorite recipe in both our childhoods. My mother cooked our pot roast in a heavy cast iron pot similar to the one pictured in Yiddish and Holupchas, and that is what I use. This is my mother’s recipe.
1 chuck or other pot roast (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
1 sweet potato
To cook this dish, you need a heavy cast iron pot or a casserole with a tight fitting lid. Brown the roast in hot fat, fat trimmed from the roast and sizzled in the bottom of the pot. Remove the meat to one side. Peel the vegetables. Leave whole or cut into large chunks. Place the vegetables in the bottom of the pot. Place meat on top of vegetables. If cooking kishke, place the kishke on top of the meat. Cover, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Any number of other vegetables can be used, in addition or in place of those listed. Turnips, rutabagas, or wedges of cabbage are excellent. Prunes can also be added for a sweet taste.
A last note from Sue: vegetarian pot-roasted vegetables…
There can be no such thing as “vegetarian kishke,” given the chicken fat and the beef casings. However, there can be tzimmes vegetables without the meat. The trick is long, slow cooking. The way I achieve this is to use about 1/4 cup high quality olive oil in the bottom of the pot, mixed with a package of dried onion soup mix. Coat whatever vegetables you want with the olive oil; cover the pot and bake at a low temperature (200 degrees) for six hours to overnight. The veggies will have melded together and have that rich taste that says they were slow-cooked or pot-roasted.