Showing posts with label pot roast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pot roast. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dutch Oven Pot Roast

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.

Dutch Oven 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.

Chuck Roast

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!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why I'm a Comfort Food Addict

A very warm welcome to Chris Wenger, author of DO OR DINER and A SECOND HELPING OF MURDER, comfort food cozy mysteries from Penguin Obsidian Books. I knew we had to invite Chris to guest blog the second I saw the cover of her book. It makes me want to dive in and read. Oh, and maybe make a little comfort food to snack on . . .

Don't miss Chris's very generous giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Here's Chris!

What is comfort food? I haven’t consulted a dictionary, but I’ll take a fork stab at the definition: food that comforts.

Brilliant, huh?

My mother was the best cook in the world. Her buffets for special events of ours (first communions, graduations, pre- and post-wedding parties, and birthday parties) are legendary.

Mom could really cook, and she knew just what us kids and our friends needed. Is there anything more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup on a snowy day? Or how about homemade chicken soup?

Macaroni and cheese reminds me of Friday night dinners. Bacon and eggs and toast remind me of Sunday morning breakfasts. There was baked chicken most every Sunday for dinner.

The rest of the week was filled with dishes like: spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef and mashed potatoes, roast pork or pork chops, meatloaf, potato soup or B-L-Ts.

Because I am of Polish heritage, there were pierogies (that took forever to make) fried in onions, galumpkie (cabbage rolls), and kielbasa.

The summer was time for splashing in the pool, barbecued meat on the grill and corn on the cob. The winter was a time for soups and stews.

Comfort food.

So when I need “comfort”, I make my favorites and I have a craving for pot roast!



(My Aunt Helen was a great cook. She had a small Cape Cod house and a kitchen with little counter space, but she made the most out of every inch she had. I remember sticking to her plastic furniture covers whenever my parents brought us over for a visit. Soon I learned never to wear shorts to her house !)


• 3 to 5 lbs. chuck roast
• 1-1/2 tsp. salt
• 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 cup red wine
• 1 onion, cut into chunks
• 1 minced garlic clove
• 2 tbsp. oil
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 4 whole cloves
• 1 cup apple juice
• 3 apples, cored and quartered
• zest & juice of 1 lemon or lime


1. Brown roast in oil and add all remaining ingredients, except apples and onions.

2. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 2 hours.

3. Add onions and apples, simmer additional 1-1/2 hour or until meat is tender.

4. Remove meat from pan.

5. Slice and serve over noodles or boiled potatoes.

I have worked in the criminal justice field for more years than I care to remember. It seems like I was forever going to school while I was working full time, but in the end, I received a dual master's degree in Probation and Parole Studies and Sociology from Fordham University. 

Unfortunately, the knowledge gained from way too many years in night school, didn’t prepare me for what I love to do the most - write!

To date, I’ve written nine romances for Harlequin and “almost” three cozy mysteries for Penguin Obsidian Books.

My first cozy mystery, DO OR DINER, was released from Obsidian Books in August , 2013, and was their first “comfort food” mystery! My second cozy mystery will be called A SECOND HELPING OF MURDER, and will be released on April 1, 2014. A third is completed and will be called DINERS, DRIVE-INS AND DEATH (release date unknown). This trilogy of books all feature the same characters, same small town, and are set around a 1950’s diner.

For fun, I enjoy watching professional bull riding and rodeo with my favorite cowboy, my husband Jim. We put on our cowboy regalia (I look horrible in a cowboy hat!) and have traveled to events in Las Vegas, Florida, Connecticut, and other states.


Chris is giving away three sets of her two cozy mysteries, DO OR DINER and A SECOND HELPING OF MURDER! That means three winners! To enter, leave a comment, preferably with your e-address so we can find you. If you don't want to leave an e-address, be sure to check back to see if you won. GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mom's Easy, Everyday Scalloped Potatoes from Lucy Burdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  I know you can find recipes for fancy, delicious scalloped potatoes that take more time than you can spare for an everyday dinner. (In fact, here is one of my favorites.) But today's potatoes are the potatoes my mother (who loved to eat but not to cook) used to make, often served with a pot roast or meatloaf or some other big hunk of meat:). They taste quite a bit better than plain baked potatoes, but they're pretty darned fast.


3 medium baking potatoes
1 onion, sliced
(sliced peppers are optional)
3-4 oz cheese, grated (I like cheddar)
about 3 tablespoons flour
2-3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
3/4 cup milk

Wash the potatoes and slice them on the thin side. Slice the onion and the peppers if using. Grate the cheese. Oil an 8 by 8 inch pan well. 

Layer in the potatoes, onions, cheese, and peppers, sprinkling about a tablespoon of flour over each layer, and dotting with butter. Add salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle the last bit of cheese over the top. Pour in the milk. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 for an hour to hour and a quarter, until milk is bubbling and potatoes are soft. If you remember (I didn't), remove the foil halfway through so the cheese can brown on the top. 

Serve with your favorite easy meat and a green vegetable.


Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out in February, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Perfectly Easy Pot Roast by Lucy Burdette

My good writing pal Hallie Ephron has a way of making cooking look easy. For example, she hosted a planning meeting for the New England Crimebake convention last fall and served 15 people without blinking an eye. (And still got her words written for the day!) And the food was yummy!

So I asked her for the recipe--it's truly easy. I try not to eat or serve too much red meat, but every once in a while I cave into the call of something this delicious. This can made on the same day you plan to serve, but it's even better the next day.

1 3 lb brisket or chuck roast
Flour, salt and pepper to coat
1 bottle of Heinz chili sauce
1 pkg of onion soup mix
1 beer (any kind)
6-8 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
8 oz box mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

Dredge the roast in flour, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, then brown both sides in olive oil. Then add all ingredients above to the pot, except for the mushrooms. Simmer for 4 hours, or even longer, at least until it's truly fork tender. Refrigerate overnight, skim the fat, add the quartered mushrooms, and simmer 2 or more hours.

Hallie served her roast with oven-fried potatoes and a green salad. I made mashed potatoes because I wanted a vehicle for all that amazing gravy!

My recipe for the potatoes is peel, chop, and boil potatoes until tender. Dump them into a colander, warm 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk and a couple of tablespoons of butter in the pot. Once the milk is warm and butter melted, return potatoes to the pot and mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I'm sorry to say I do not have a photo of the finished product because we were so busy eating it! But while you're waiting for your roast to cook, you have time to read about the new Key West food critic mystery, AN APPETITE FOR MURDER or peruse a few other recipes. And please follow my writing and cooking and eating adventures on Twitter and Facebook.