PICTURE: Deb Lindsey
Cooking in winter demands patience. The required patience is also why I love being in my kitchen this time of year: I get to really cook.
Whereas in summer I can just slice a tomato and sprinkle it with salt, maybe throw a fresh ear of corn in some hot water and call it a day, winter kitchens demand more. And responding to this demand means rolling up our sleeves and being resourceful and creative.

We get to turn hearty ingredients into comforting meals, get to fog our kitchen windows with steam from our pots and get to gather the people we love around our tables.

The ingredients that inspire these recipes are turnips, citrus and chuck roast.

Each ingredient lends itself to a variety of dishes, all made memorable by combining them with flavourful accents. They remind us that cooking in winter is in many ways like cooking at any other time of year: You need bursts of salt and acid - such as miso paste and punchy anchovies, vinegar and briny olives - to wake things up. 

Pot Roast With Olives and Raisins (Serves 4)

Ingredients

Savoury and sweet, this roast has elements of a Cuban picadillo and preparation couldn’t be easier. The meat tastes even better after a day’s refrigeration.

900g boneless chuck roast

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water

3 tbs tomato paste

3 tbs yellow mustard

2 tsp ground cumin

Large handful raisins

Method

Small handful chopped, pitted green olives, preferably stuffed with pimento

Preheat the oven to 150°. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and season all over with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof pot over high heat. As soon as the oil shimmers (before it starts to smoke), add the roast and sear for about 15 minutes total, turning to brown it on all sides.

Meanwhile, whisk the broth or water, tomato paste, mustard and cumin in a liquid measuring cup.

Once the beef has browned all over, pour the broth mixture into the pot, and then scatter the raisins and olives over the meat.

Turn off the heat, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven to slow-roast (middle rack) for about 3 hours, or until the meat is wonderfully tender; uncover and turn over the roast halfway through cooking and re-cover.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cut into slices (against the grain).

Season the cooking juices in the pot lightly with salt; serve the meat warm, with the cooking juices.