Friday, June 12, 2009

Old Fashioned Pot Roast

This basic and old fashioned pot roast has been my favorite way to cook a chuck roast since I first started cooking. Even though you can do it in an oven or crockpot, there is something about that roast slow simmering on the top of the stove that just makes me feel all cozy.

Old Fashioned Pot Roast

A good old fashioned pot roast calls for a chuck roast in my eyes. Chuck is an economical cut of beef that is pretty tough and fatty, but very flavorful, and requires a low and slow braise for several hours in just a bit of liquid, making it a great roast to plan for Saturday or Sunday dinner for most of us. While you certainly can cook it in a slow cooker, and I have, I love letting it simmer nice and slow on the stove or in the oven the most.

I personally would prefer my roast a bit more on say, the medium rare side, but most meat I have to cook pretty well done around here for The Cajun. I'm working on him though, and have been able to get him down to a medium and {shockingly} even a more pinkish medium-rare on steaks finally. My Mama was the same way with beef. She cooked meat to the point of past well done, but somehow through all those goings-on in my formative years, I managed to become a more rare to medium rare kinda gal when it comes to beef. Go figure!

If you're working with a different cut of beef, I've got a few other roast recipes up. One is an Oven Braised Beef Eye of Round Roast with Pan Gravy, another is an Oven Roasted Beef Rump Roast with Mushroom Gravy, but for my slow-simmered pot roast, this is the way I've been doing my chuck roast for as long as I have been cooking.

Here's how to do it.

As I mentioned, my favorite roast for this method of cooking is a chuck. Here I'm using a shoulder roast. You can stud the roast with garlic if you like, add chopped garlic to the pot, or simply leave it out. I'm gonna stud this one. Peel a couple of nice large garlic cloves.


Then cut those into multiple slivers. To stud a roast you just simply make small cuts into the roast with the tip of a knife.


Insert a sliver of garlic into the cut and push it deep into the meat until it disappears.


Repeat this all over the roast. Mix together the flour coating - flour, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, onion powder and garlic powder. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture on the top of the roast, rub in, turn and sprinkle remaining flour mix over the other side of roast. Rub mixture into the roast, turning until thoroughly covered, including sides.


Heat 2 tablespoons of fat or oil in large pot that has a lid over medium high heat and carefully place the roast into the hot oil searing it on all sides. While meat is browning, slice onion into slightly thick rings.


When both sides of the roast are browned, sprinkle rosemary into your palm and crush it to break it up. Sprinkle over the top of the meat. Repeat with the thyme. When I have beef stock on hand, or a carton of commercial broth opened already, I use that. When I don't, I just mix up some Better Than Bouillon. This stuff is so beautifully rich and adds incredible flavor anywhere you'd normally use beef broth or bouillon, and I always have some in my fridge.


Break the onion slices apart into separate rings and drop in a bay leaf toss along sides and top of roast. Pour beef stock all around roast and bring to a boil.


I decided to do the Yankee Pot Roast version here, so I added in some celery, then reduced heat to a medium-low simmer, covered and cooked for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until tender, turning once about halfway through. The last half hour, I add a pound or so of potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or chunks, and 2 to 3 large carrots, cut into chunks or sliced thick. Cover and cook for the remaining 1/2 hour or more, until vegetables are fork tender.


Serve roast on a platter, surrounded with veggies, spooning pan juices over both.


If you prefer not to add veggies just keep it pure beef, use the drippings to make a nice gravy and serve with a side of homemade mashed potatoes and maybe some southern peas or green beans. If you've got some green tomatoes in the garden, how about a side of some fried green tomatoes for a change?! Don't forget the rolls! No matter how ya pair it up, sure sounds like a mighty fine meal to me! Eat. Enjoy. Can I hear a yum?

Recipe: Old Fashioned Pot Roast

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 3 hours | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 to 5 pound beef chuck roast
  • Several garlic cloves, cut into slivers, optional
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon fat, Crisco shortening, or canola oil
  • Heaping 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1-1/2 cups of beef stock or broth
  • 1 large bay leaf
Instructions

Stud the roast by using the tip of a knife to cut multiple small slits in areas all over the meat and inserting slivers of garlic into each cut, if desired.  Heat 2 tablespoons of fat or oil in large pot that has a lid over medium high heat. In a small bowl, stir together flour, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, onion powder and garlic powder with a fork. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture on the top of the roast, rub in, turn and sprinkle remaining flour mix over the other side of roast. Rub mixture into the roast, turning until thoroughly covered, including sides.

Using tongs, carefully place the roast into the hot oil and sear it on all sides. While meat is browning, slice onion into slightly thick rings. When both sides of the roast are browned, sprinkle rosemary into your palm and crush it to break it up. Sprinkle over the top of the meat. Repeat with the thyme.

Break the onion slices apart into separate rings and toss along sides and top of roast. Pour beef stock all around roast and bring to a boil. Drop in a bay leaf, reduce to a medium-low simmer, cover and cook for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until tender, turning once. Baste roast or make gravy from the pan drippings and serve with rolls or French bread. Serving size is dependent on size of the roast.

Cook's Notes: Use a wide spatula to extract your roast in one large piece. Set aside to rest as you use the pan drippings to make gravy, or simply pour pan drippings over the roast. Cut into chunks.

Yankee Pot Roast Variation: Add 1 stalk of celery, chopped or cut into thick slices with the onion. Last half hour, add in 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or chunks, and 2 to 3 large carrots, cut into chunks or sliced thick. Add additional stock or broth if needed, and cook remaining 1/2 hour or more, until vegetables are fork tender. Serve roast on a platter, surrounded with veggies, spooning pan juices over both.

Crockpot Variation: Sear off beef as above, if desired. Otherwise, simply salt and pepper the roast and omit the flour seasoning. If using vegetables, place all of them into the bottom of the crockpot. Add roast to the top and pour 1/2 cup of beef stock or broth over and around the roast. Reduce thyme and rosemary to 1/2 teaspoon and sprinkle on top of roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, depending on the size of the roast.

Tip: DO NOT BOIL! Boiling will toughen the fibers of the meat and give you a tough and chewy roast; a slow simmer will result in a tender and moist roast. Check it with an instant read thermometer for desired doneness. The roast is done when the temperature in the center reaches 120°F to 125°F, (49°C to 52°C) for rare, 130°F to 140°F (55°C to 60°C) for medium rare, 145°F to 150°F (63°C to 66°C) for medium, and 155°F to 165°F (68°C to 74°C) for well done (Note: 120° is a pretty rare roast).

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too!

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Posted by on June 12, 2009

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13 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by today!

    Slap Your Mama seasoning?? I wonder if I can get that in Utah. This looks so good and I am sooooo hungry right now. Sorry to say I am on the side of your hubby and Dad! I like my roast very well done and falling apart! Now I'm going to stalk you for awhile and see what other goodies you for to cook up!

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  2. Mary, this sounds delicious. I do have to laugh at myself. I'm taken aback every time I come upon a mention of a Slap Your Mama product.
    Have a wonderful weekend...Mary

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  3. Hi Marrdy! Thank you for stopping by to stalk, um visit me LOL!! You can substitute any Cajun seasoning you have access to - SYM is just what I always use - they actually sell it here in Walmart now, imagine that! Not sure what y'all have up in Utah but Cajun seasoning just gives it a bit of punch - just sub your favorite seasoning.

    LOL Mary ... it's my fav so yeah, I do use it alot. As you've seen!

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  4. What a great sounding roast. And it's actually made in a pot...hence the name. : ) I've never made one on the stove top before.

    Your bouquet of spices sounds just right! I love my roast with some rosemary.

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  5. Thanks Krista - this is actually the way I fix roast the majority of the time. It smells so good in the house too - from the first sear all the way through the braising. Get The Hubs all fired up LOL!!! Yep, thyme & rosemary - speaks to beef IMHO ya know?!

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  6. Hi, it's MJ! I like this one low and slow in the crockpot! My red taters and carrots are small, so we will let the roast go a bit with the onions and beef broth! TY for the suggestions!

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  7. Probably a good idea anyway with red potatoes. They're a bit more tender than russets. Let me know what you think MJ!

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  8. Mary, just made this for Christmas eve dinner...I figured I couldn't go wrong w/ your recipe. Followed your recipe to the letter and it turned out so good...5 star..Just wanted to let you know...thank you...and Merry Christmas..

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  9. Thank you so much & Merry Christmas to you too!!

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  10. I would serve it with a good, moist sweet potato. Mash it down a bit and pour some gravy over it.

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  11. Mary this sounds so good and I have been hungry for a good pot roast...the garlic in slivers is how my aunt always made hers (even pork) and there is NOTHING that smells as good as the searing part. She didn't do the flour but I think it just adds a richer depth of flavor. Thanks for your wonderful recipes. (PS I made your mac and cheese with velveeta and it was the BOMB! Finally a mac and cheese that I loved!).

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed that mac and cheese Kandy - it's definitely a family favorite here! I hope you do try this pot roast too & please let me know if you do!! I always say that the fragrance of a roast searing in the house is the main reason I'll never be a vegetarian. :)

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