Something magical happens when you make pot roast.
Into the pot goes a tough, sinewy piece of beef, and a couple of hours later out comes a tender, mouth-watering hunk of meat that falls off your fork.
The secret to this magic is two-fold: time and moisture. You use a less expensive cut of beef, such as chuck roast, and braise it for hours until the tough connective tissues have been broken down by the heat and you are left with a beef that is super flavorful and in a sauce that is wonderfully complex.
Nothing warms up a chilly autumn evening like a steaming bowl of magical pot roast.
Variations of pot roast are made all over the world, but where I live “Yankee Pot Roast” is most popular. The beef is braised with carrots, potatoes, onions and celery in a mixture of beef stock and red wine. Over time, the beef breaks down, the onions and celery liquify, and the cooking liquid becomes a lush, velvety sauce that tempers the cooler weather outside.
Pot roast can be made in the slow cooker or on the stove top, but I prefer to use my Dutch Oven, which is a heavy sided pot with tight fitting lid that can be used either on the stove or in the oven, or in this case both.
My Dutch Oven is reserved exclusively for my pot roast. I know, weird, right? I also have a casserole dish that can only be used for tuna noodle bake!
The recipe for pot roast is super easy, inexpensive and quick to prepare. Just pop it in the oven for a few hours and let the magic transpire while you go on about your day. As it cooks, the aroma will fill your house with goodness.
Yankee Pot Roast
3-4 lb chuck roast or other tougher beef cut
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, large dice
2 stalks celery, rough chop
3-4 carrots, rough chop
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5-6 red potatoes, quartered
1 bay leaf
2 TBS tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2-1/2 cups beef stock
TBS Italian seasoning
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Heat Dutch Oven on burner until hot. Add TBS EVOO. When smoking, add onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf and cook until onion translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Then add tomato paste and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Add wine and let reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in about 1 TBS flour, beef stock and Italian seasoning, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
2. Dredge beef in flour seasoned with S&P. In cast iron pan, brown on both sides. Place browned beef on top of vegetables in simmering liquid and cover. Place Dutch oven in oven and let cook for 90 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and stir in the potatoes and 1 cup of water. Return to oven for another 60 minutes.
To serve, remove meat to side plate. Mound vegetable mixture in center of bowl, then cut off a chunk of meat and lay on top. Garnish with sprig or chopped parsley, sprig of rosemary or tyhme, or whatever green looks good.
I would suggest serving with crescent rolls because their buttery, flaky texture is perfect for mopping up the thick, flavorful sauce.
Do you have any favorite recipes that make you actually look forward to colder weather? Why not share them in the comments section? And thanks for looking at my blog!