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
salt
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!



22 comments:

  1. The roast looks great! Thank you for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd never heard the idea of leaving the meat to cook past the point it's first tender. I guess most of us are in a hurry these days, so we should set aside a long afternoon to make something like this. And I totally agree about deglazing the original panl It's a shame to waste all that good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have encountered the tough stuff a few times. Seems like the cartilage doesn't break down enough or something.

      Delete
  3. Krista, I love pot roast and always cook it about 4-5 hours. It's a caramelizing thing, I think. If a reader wants to make it "gluten-free" substitute the flour with either corn starch or potato starch for thickener. Yum!

    ~ Daryl / Avery

    ReplyDelete
  4. We are having our first chill of winter, too, and (I have to say) I'm happy about it because the fall and winter holidays are my favorite time of year. Your pot roast looks absolutely delicious; Marc and I are with you on adding veg at the beginning (to dissolve the flavor) and at the end to have whole veg in the bowl. Perfect! Thank you for sharing and may you have a beautiful autumn week...

    ~ Cleo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cleo. I hope your weather is warming up like ours is.

      Delete
  5. Pot roast is on the menu for tomorrow night. Can't wait! Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's something very special about it, isn't there?

      Delete
  6. I make roasts on the stove all the time. I went the brisket route and yes we got dry meat. I also went the chuck eye roast route and it was much better. I don't cook the whole thing at once. I slice the chuck eye into 3 inch slices and treat each one as an individual item. I do the pepper, garlic and salt powder to each slice and then brown each one separately. From there I add some boiling water to get the bits up from the bottom of the pot. Add the rough chopped onion, and carrot.

    It comes out much softer that way (necessary when your main diner is 93 and has trouble chewing).

    You could also ask your butcher for the Deckel piece of the brisket. A whole brisket is made up of THREE pieces. The flap (first cut) the second cut, and on top of that is the fattier piece called the deckel. Nicely marbled and very tasty. I also use Yukon Gold potatoes since they have less of a tendency of melting into the gravy while cooking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, NoraA! I can tell you live in New York. Honest to goodness, I have never seen a brisket. And butcher? I wish we had real butchers and butcher shops. Gold Yukons are my favorites but they weren't to be found. Sometimes you just have to make do. I love your suggestions, though. Will try the three pieces next time!

      Delete
  7. This recipe sounds delicious. I have a dutch oven but have not used it yet. Your recipe will be the first that I try in it! Hopefully it comes out as good as yours :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Darlene, I'm sure it will. I love my Dutch oven!

      Delete
  8. What a perfect time of year for yummy pot roast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As the fall rolls in, I think we'll have a few more, Patricia T!

      Delete
  9. Dutch ovens are great.
    I'm sitting in the Boston airport where it is 40 degrees outside. We're heading home to south Florida where it's in the 80s!
    Thanks to air conditioning I can indulge in yummy things like pot roast no matter what the temperature is outside.
    Thanks for the inspiration.





















    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to be very jealous of you in south Florida soon, Libby!

      Delete
  10. This looks so good I can almost smell it! We're having a last gasp of warm weather here but when it turns colder (very soon) I will be making this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was nice and comforting as the cold front came in and slammed us.

      Delete
  11. Looks great! Cant wait for your new book!! This is the perfect recipe for our cooler temps!!

    ReplyDelete