Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lemonato with Patates Fournou Lemonates

Friday was literally a day of terror here in Kentucky.  Weather forecasters painted a very grim picture for the entire state of Kentucky, especially those of us who live in the central part of the state.  The threat of large tornadoes was imminent.  It was no longer a matter of "if" we had a tornado.  It was a matter of where and when.  A for sure thing. 

Schools across Kentucky dismissed the children at noon.  It was a chaotic scene up at the school with parents in a panic and children crying.  Then as the hours wore on everything across the state closed early, including the shopping mall.  Nothing was open.  Everyone was on lockdown.  It was eerie. We just sat and waited.  Like sitting ducks.  Sitting ducks without a basement.  

As the storm approached I felt numb.  In a way you have to make your peace with it all.  We watched as the storm parted and went directly north and directly south of us.  Tornadoes hit all over the state of Kentucky that day, but our entire city was spared.  A few cracks of thunder, a few lightning bolts, and a few minutes of large hail.  No damage.  The relief I felt when the storm was over was unreal.  I thought for sure we were going to lose everything that day.  We all have a tendency to take life for granted, but after hiding out in a tiny coat closet with your small children and a few favorite belongings it really opens your eyes. My heart goes out to all the people who lost everything, including their lives.  I watch the coverage and I think "that could've easily been me and my family."

The events of this week called for a special and comforting Sunday dinner, a twist on the traditional pot roast and mashed potatoes.  This Greek pot roast is called Lemonato, or Lemoned, because it calls for the juice of one lemon near the end of cooking.  I was a little scared to add the juice of an entire lemon to a pot roast, but the flavor of the lemon wasn't really pronounced.  The addition of the lemon did, however, add a bright and vibrant flavor to the dish.  We really enjoyed it.  I served this roast alongside Patates Fournou Lemonates, otherwise known as Roast Lemon Potatoes. This was a delicious and comforting Sunday dinner. 

(Lemoned Beef)
Adapted from Food From Many Greek Kitchens 
by Tessa Kiros 2 tablespoons
Serves About 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2-1/2 pounds beef roast (chuck roast/shoulder roast), sliced lengthwise into thin steaks 
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 small onion
juice of 1 large lemon

Note: Cut the roast into long slices, across the grain.  My roast was almost 3 pounds and I got 4 thick 2-3 inch slices

Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven, or a pot where the meat will fit compactly.  Brown the beef, sprinkling the done side with salt and pepper as you go.  Add the garlic and onion, saute for a moment to make lightly golden, then add 1 cup of water and put the lid on.  Simmer over very low heat for about 2 hours, turning it over a few times and adding 1/2 cup water and the lemon juice 15 minutes before the end.  It should be soft, with a good amount of lemony sauce.  Add a little extra water if needed.  Remove the onion and garlic (I left mine in).  Take off the heat and let rest in the pot, still covered, for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Patates Fournou Lemonates
(Roast Lemon Potatoes)
Adapted from Food From Many Greek Kitchens
Serves 6

2 pounds 10 ounces potatoes, peeled and rinsed
Juice of 1 large lemon
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Halve the potatoes lengthwise then cut each half into 2 or 3 wedges, depending on the size of your potatoes.  Spread them in an 8-1/2 x 12-inch nonstick baking dish.  Splash the lemon juice and olive oil over them, and add salt and pepper generously.  Crush the oregano between your fingers, letting it fall over the potatoes.  

Turn the potatoes to coat them well with everything.  Drizzle 2 cups of water down the sides of the dish and give it a shufffle.

Roast until the potatoes are tender and melting and a bit golden here and there with still a bit of sauce in the dish, about 1-1/2 hours, turning and basting them every 20 minutes or so.  Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Note:  I roasted my potatoes for a total of 2 hours and then broiled them at the end to get a little extra color.

Theme: Fight Scurvy--Eat More Citrus!


  1. Not sure how I found your blog, but I have been reading it for a while. We live in Louisville, so I know how you felt Friday. We don't have a basement either, and as the day wore on and the forcasters talked more and more about how horrible the storm that was a for sure thing was heading to us actually was, I too felt like we had a huge bullseye over us.. I was at home with my 21 month old son, by myself. While we played that morning, I filled his toy wagon up with his favorite toys, got blankets and bottles of water ready, and waited to see how badly we were going to get hit. Thankfully, we missed any bad weather. It only rained for a few mintues. We were much more fortunate than others. So glad your family didn't have any injuries or major damage. :)

    And this meal is going on my to make list asap. Those potatoes look delicious!

  2. I am so sorry for what you and others had to endure this week. When I lived in California I went through several earthquakes, which were terrifying in a different way. I'm sure there is nothing worse than just waiting and worrying, and being helpless to do anything about it.
    On a brighter note, your pot roast sounds incredible. My philosophy is that lemons make everything better, so I will definitely try this.

  3. Far, far away across the Atlantic, we've been seeing the incredible scenes of devastation in the US. Hard to understand something so huge and destructive: we have nothing to compare.

    So glad you're safe and I can imagine that this meal would be real "comfort food" after such a worrying time. I will definitely give this a go!

  4. I'm glad the storms missed you!

    This looks so delicious... and funny, I have the same bowls! They're nice for photographing in, aren't they?

  5. I am so glad your city was spared, I was watching some youtube videos last night and it is just so scary.

    That pot roast looks delicious and comforting.

  6. Kim, I'm so glad that you and your family are safe and that the horrible destruction passed you by. I can't imagine the horror of that sitting and waiting!

  7. I'm so glad to hear you're okay, Kim! That was what I felt like when there was all that hype over Hurricane Irene...didn't know what I was going to wake up to. Thankfully, nothing.

    Those potatoes sound amazing! So fresh-flavored!

  8. We had that same bad weather here. It is scary especially since here in Alabama so much of the state was devistated by tornadoes a year ago. Glad your family was safe. That pot roast sounds like a perfect Sunday dinner.

  9. I am glad you made it through everything OK. I can only relate it to the tsunami warnings here--the waiting is such a scary feeling. This looks like the perfect comfort food meal. Weren't those potatoes good?! I really loved the lemony flavor. ;-)

  10. So glad to hear you were spared and had no damage. Where our home is in the mountains, people always think the mountains spare the area of tornados. Mostly they do, but one hit our big grocery store (will be closed for quite a while), several other surrounding stores including the feed store (which was destroyed) where we get our spring herbs and tomato plants. Thanks fully no one was hurt. I do wish we were there to help though.

    After anything bad, my mind always turns to comfort food. And potatoes are, to me, the ultimate comfort food. Your meal must have been a huge success. It looks fabulous.

    Again, so glad to know all is well.

  11. I felt so sorry for everyone, Kim. And am relieved it missed you. It just brings me to tears to see the photos. I've been in 4 tornadoes and know all about them. Sheer terror.

  12. Food is a comfort isn't it? It must be in my blood, my Mother's and way down the line. "We'll have dinner, everything will be fine."
    Very good news that you all were spared the worst of the storms. We have family in Elizabethtown that were lucky too. So widespread the damage over there. Prayers for everyone!
    Love your blog. Will have to try this recipe this weekend.

  13. I'm happy you are doing okay. Food really is a comfort after a stressful experience. Over the summer we had that weird week here on the East Coast, a earthquake, followed a few days later by Hurricane Irene and then while the storm was raging we started to get tornado warnings. We couldn't go into the basement in case it started to flood and every room has windows, so we hunkered down in the hallway while we were under the warning. We were so relived that come morning the only damage we took through all of it was just the loss of power.

    This looks like the perfect comfort meal. I can't wait to try it!

  14. I was worried about you when I saw the forecasts for KY. I'm glad all turned out well for you. Am also sad for the people who are dealing with damage. And worse. After living in Joplin those few years, I still have lasting effects of middle of the night dashes to grab my little child from his bed and hurry to the storm shelter. When the sky turns a certain way, when the air feels a certain way, I can feel myself start to panic. Crouching in a closet, dreading what's coming feels so helpless and scary. I know you were relieved to have the kids with you.

    I wanted to try the Lemonato, but chickened out. Like you, adding an entire lemon to a roast put me on edge a bit. Yeah! for you for trying it out! Love your beautiful, bright meal!

  15. So glad your okay. Total comfort food at it's best. I love the addition of lemon at the end of the cookin gprocess, such bright flavor!

  16. Kim, that was a terrifying day. I am so glad your family is safe and my heart goes out to those who lost so much.

    Great looking meal you have here. You really get the "money shots"!!!

  17. I'm so glad that you are okay, Kim. I cannot imagine the terror of being in a closet. In California, it's earthquakes that we fear. We get no advanced warning, and I experienced a big rocker in 1989. It was bad. It made me so sad to see the damage in Kentucky. I can see how this meal would be comforting. The potatoes are incredible! I love potatoes and I really want to try this version-- for realz.

  18. I'm glad that you guys got through unscathed. And you're right, this dish does look comforting, especially with the touch of lemon to brighten the day after the storms rolled through.


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