We're having our first blast of true winter air with temperatures in the 20s and 30s, so it seemed like the right time for the comforting heartiness of a pot roast.
Like everyone else, I have made pot roasts before. In fact, somewhere among my recipes, I have some interesting twists on them, like adding cranberries and maple syrup. But I went for a savory dish this time.
It's such a basic dish but there are a number of ways to go about making it. I checked out some recipes and they run the gamut from using beef broth instead of water to adding veggies at the beginning versus the last hour.
Probably the biggest difference between recipes was cooking time. Chuck roast is a tough cut of meat, and I know I have eaten some painfully dry pot roasts. As I read through recipes, I found one that insisted all pot roasts should be cooked at least an hour after the meat is fork tender. Hmm. That sounded like a good idea. So I went to Food Network and checked out Emeril's cooking time on pot roast. After all, he's a cooking genius, right? Sure enough, he cooked his almost 4-5 hours! So I went with a longer cooking time, and it was perfect. I only had a 2 pound chuck roast, so the total cooking time came to 3 1/2 hours plus 30 minutes standing time before serving. If you have a larger roast increase the time by at least an hour.
I assumed that some people added their vegges during the last hour because they didn't want to overcook them. But I wanted them to infuse the liquid with delicious goodness. I compromised by adding some at the beginning and more for the last hour.
Finally, almost every recipe said to brown the meat in a pan and then transfer it to the Dutch oven. Huh? I wanted to deglaze and scrape the bottom. Why would anyone leave all that flavor in another pan?
So here's my pot roast.
1-2 tablespoons canola or sunflower oil
1/4 cup flour
1 chuck roast
4 cups water
2 teaspoons marjoram
2 small onions
4 large cloves garlic
6 carrots (separated 2 + 4)
1 stick celery
6 red potatoes
Preheat oven to 325.
Place the flour in a bowl large enough to accommodate the meat. (Add more flour for a larger roast.) Rinse the meat and dry with a paper towel. Use your hands to rub about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt all over the meat. Press the roast into the flour, turning it so it is covered with flour.
Heat the Dutch oven on the stove top over medium high heat. Add the oil. Brown the roast on each side. While the roast is browning, peel the onions and cut them into quarters. Peel the garlic and leave whole. Peel 2 carrots. (Cut in half if necessary to fit into Dutch oven.)
When the meat has been browned, add two cups of water and scrape up any bits stuck to the pot. (If your Dutch oven has a glaze, use a wooden spatula so you won't damage it.) Add the rest of the water, and mix in the marjoram. Add the onions, garlic, the 2 carrots, and the celery. Put the lid on and cook in the oven 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Peel the remaining carrots, and cut the potatoes in half. Add to the pot. Cook one more hour. Let stand 1/2 hour with the lid on before serving.
|Rub with salt and press in flour.|
|Brown the roast in the Dutch Oven.|
|Add some veggies in the beginning and some with 1 hour to go.|
|Look! A heart potato!|