Skull and Pot Roast

A while back I read that Dan Aykroyd had gone into the vodka business and was bottling his vodka in crystal skulls. Skull lover that I am, I really wanted one. I looked everywhere for them but could not track one down. My daughter found me a bottle for Christmas.

I don't drink vodka. But I use a lot of vanilla extract.

I scraped the seeds from about 8 vanilla beans and added them and the pods to the vodka. In about 3 months this will be ready. A vanilla skull. How cool is that?

Working my way through Julia's book, I decided to make Boeuf A' La Mode (pot roast). These classics, when prepared correctly, are fantastic. I braised a bottom round in red wine and beef stock for 4 hours.

While the beef was braising I decided to make biscuits to serve with it to sop up the gravy.

Last year I traveled to Nashville and fell in love with the biscuits I ate there. Three months and thousands of biscuits later, I finally duplicated the recipe.

One secret to a good biscuit is to flour your cutter and never twist it when you cut.

That allows them to raise evenly.

Being a northerner, I have never heard of biscuits served with pot roast but I am sure someone out there is doing this. They are the perfect accompaniment.

I braised the vegetables in water, butter and sugar until just tender.

When the meat was done I shredded it.

Then I reduced the juices to make a gravy.

I also decided to serve it with homemade buttered noodles sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Mmmmmm........pot roast. Thanks Julia!


Geek Wife said…
I must try this vodka! I looked it up and it gets awesome reviews. Plus, it's interesting to read how they distill it. Sounds good.
Tracy DeLuca said…
Oh, yum. Love the skull but am also now craving pot roast. Biscuits with roast are just fine in my eyes!
Knowing that you keep vanilla in a skull makes me like you even more. Too funny!
Rue said…
Ohh yum! Good tip on the biscuit cutter!

What a great idea for the skull! I have one, and do like vodka with cranberry juice and lime, but this is a great idea too! Cheers!
Sonia ;) said…
Oh my Jaz...your a reincarnated Julia...I always become so hungry when I read your posts.

Pricilla said…
Vanilla skull.heh heh
(where do you get your beans? Local I suppose...)
Good biscuits are good no matter where in the country you are! Twisting just crushes the layers, right? ;)
As always, the food looks delicious! The scull is really great. Isn´t there some really old crystal sculls found in Mexico or is it further south?

I have a vanilla orkid downstairs, but I doubt that I ever will get it to flower again :-)
Have a great day now!
Jeanine DeNitto said…
i heard dan akroyd talking about the skull on coast to coast am, been meaning to get one, the skull looks awesome -- worth the price!
The skull bottle is very nice, the meal looks splendid, and we do biscuits all the time with roast!
Touchatou said…
Looks delicious !
Nice skull bottle ! I will look for one too !
Aussiemade said…
I use vodka to make my vanilla essence to a skull would be an interesting
oldblackcatboo said…
I just watched "Julie & Julia"! Between that movie and your blog...I gotta start cooking!
Jeanne said…
My son works for a liquor distributor in Denver and he had the pleasure of meeting Dan Aykroyd when Dan was there recently promoting his new line of wine and vodka. My son has one of the skull bottles but won't part with it.
William Bezek said…
Um...I'm coming over for Vanilla Martinis and some biscuits and gravy. YUM
Jennifer said…
That skull bottle is just too cool! Thanks for the biscuit making tips. I had never heard not to twist the cutter before, good to know!
I'm so jealous of your skull! The only semi-cool bottle in which I store my vanilla extract is an old Captain Morgan's bottle...
Suzie said…
I saw the skull bottle at one of our local liquor stores, before Yule, and it is SO cool! I have it on my list of future gifts to me! I was there yesterday, buying some wine, and there are actually three on the shelf!
Your pot roast looks SO good! It made me realize how long it has been since I have one. Your's looks luscious!
The Frog Queen said…
That is a great idea for the vodka, very clever. I have had two bottles of it as presents....and I have to say I really don't like the that can only improve it. :D
Bridgett said…
I truly wish I had your knack for cooking. Everything you make looks so effortless and delicious. It's a gift!