Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Basic Pot Roast

My husband is an all American, red blooded male, meaning he loves pot roast. To him, there isn't a better way to cook a piece of beef. I appreciate this very much because pot roast is not only delicious, its super simple. And when you get the roast on sale, its completely affordable too.

I think the hardest part of making a pot roast starts at the store and choosing a cut of meat to roast. Top round, bottom round, chuck cross rib roast, chuck 7 bone roast, boneless pot roast, the list goes on and on. If you don't know what you're looking for you can end up with a roast that's dry and flavorless. Who wants to play that game of Russian roulette with dinner, much less your wallet, roast can be pricey!

Kitchen Witch tip: Look for a CHUCK roast. Really any cut from the chuck and you'll be good to go. Bone in or boneless, that's up to you. Bone in will take longer to cook but you'll get a more flavorful dish, and the bones can then be used to make beef stock. And don't pick the leanest one you see, that marbleizing of fat and tissues is what causes the roast to be so tender and flavorful.

Our local grocery had boneless chuck roasts on sale this past week for $2 per pound. I of course bought 2, one for dinner tonight and one for the freezer. I also like to grind my own chuck to make ground beef, but thats another blog entry. Today its all about the pot roast.

Basic Pot Roast
makes 6-8 servings, depending on size of your roast
1 2-4 lb beef chuck roast
2 t Kosher salt
1/4 t ground pepper
1 t thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine OR 1/2 c water and 1 T each soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar
1 small onion sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 ribs celery cut into 2 inch chunks
4 carrots peeled and cut into 3 in chunks
drizzle of oil

Preheat oven to 300*

Pat dry roast. Cover each side with 1 t salt and 1/8 t pepper. Heat a small amount of oil in a dutch oven or heavy oven safe pot over medium high heat. Brown roast on all sides. Turn heat off, add vegetables, herbs and liquid. Cover pan and put into a 300* oven.

Roast for 4 to 6 hours. (Boneless roasts are ready to go at about 3-4 hours, depending on size, bone in can take up to 6 hours) You really need the roast to have at least 3.5 to 4 hours in the oven to develop a fork tenderness. This long slow moist cooking method (braising) dissolves the collegens in the connective tissues of the meat, making it very savory and flavorful. It also helps give the meat its fall apart tenderness that is a hallmark of pot roast. Skimping on the cooking time will yield a tough and chewy roast.

See how the meat is falling apart tender on the edges? Thats what you're looking for.

Once roast is cooked and very tender remove it from the pan, cover with foil and allow to rest while the gravy is being made.

Strain the juices off the vegetables. Skim off any fat that collects on the top of the juices. Return the juices to the cooking pan (over high heat) and bring to a boil, allow to reduce by 1/3 to 1/2.

Serve roast with the cooking vegetables, mashed potatoes and the gravy. Sit back and enjoy the compliments on a job well done.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople Recipe Calculator
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 443.6
Total Fat 19.2 g
Saturated Fat 7.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.5 g
Cholesterol 196.6 mg
Sodium 272.9 mg
Potassium 1,151.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 5.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 58.8 g


Jenn said...

I love roast! It reminds me of Sunday afternoons at my Grandma's house with all my cousins when I was a kid! Yours looks fantastic!

Sook said...

Oh the meat looks perfect! I will have to give this a try! Yum!

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