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.
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?

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Posted by on June 12, 2009

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