I had to kiss a lot of frogs until I met my husband, Marlboro Man. I also had to do a lot of really bad roasting until I finally understood my father…. And then I figured it out, thank God. I like pot roasts very much.
Pot roast, if made according to a few basic rules, can make a home cooked meal completely delicious. There are many different and equally delicious ways to make pot roast. Today I am here to share the first of them with you.
The first thing to remember is that the meat you use is important. My favorite is the sandwich roast, which is nicely marbled throughout and, when cooked long enough, is tender and meltingly delicious. To understand the importance of sufficient cooking time, you must understand that these tough meats have a lot of tough connective tissue and need to be cooked at low temperatures for a long time to become tender. If you try to make a pot roast in a hurry, the result will be disappointing. But if you reach deep into your soul and find your patience, or at least the patience that the Creator has given you, you will not be disappointed with the beef-related circumstances in your life.
Let’s get right to it and embrace the pot roast together, shall we?
Perfect Pot Roast
Ingredients : 10 servings
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 4 hours
Total time : 4 hours 20 minutes
- 4 to 5 lb. whole chuck roast
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 whole onions
- 6 to 8 whole carrots
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 c. red wine (optional, you can use beef broth instead)
- 2 to 3 c. beef stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or more to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, or more to taste
1 – First, choose a meat that is well marbled. This will enhance the flavor of the roast more than anything else. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper to the roast.
2 – Preheat oven to 275˚. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Then add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (or a mixture of butter and olive oil).
3 – Cut 2 onions in half and 6-8 carrots into 2-inch rounds. When the oil in the frying pan is hot, add the halved onions and saute on one side and then the other. Transfer the onions to a plate.
4 – Put the carrots into the same hot pan and cook, turning slightly, until slightly browned, about 1 minute.
5 – Add a little olive oil to the very hot pan, if necessary. Add the meat to the pan and cook on both sides until browned all over, about 1 minute. Transfer the loin to a plate.
6 – With the burner on, add about 1 cup of red wine or beef stock to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan with a whisk to extract all the wonderful flavor.
7 – When the bottom of the pan is well drained, return the roast to the pan and add enough beef stock to soak up half of the meat (about 2-3 cups). Add the onion, carrots, 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
8 – Cover and bake in the oven for 3 hours (for a 3 pound roast). For a 4- to 5-pound roast, 4 hours.
Note: Pot roast is one of my absolute favorite dishes, and once you learn the secret to making a good pot roast, you’ll never go back!
Character lineup: Roast, onion, carrots, salt, pepper, beef stock, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary (or dried, if available). Optional ingredients: red wine, garlic, enoki mushrooms.
Behold, my friends, this grilled chicken. See those beautiful streaks of fat all over the meat? Hmmm ……. I think it’s very good. Remember. Stripes mean tenderness and flavor.
I wish I could use the word “stripes” at least once a week. It makes me feel like I’m being clever by throwing people off and making them wonder why they don’t know what the word means. Even though I really don’t know what it means either.
Well, first of all, pick up some olive oil. It doesn’t have to be extra virgin, and if you’re particularly naughty, you can add a few pats of butter. But I just abstained from butter for 13 hours because my butt feels so big right now.
I am sure it will help.
First, heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Then add a few tablespoons of olive oil. (Or a combination of butter and oil, unless your butt feels big, then fast for 13 hours like I do).
Now, add plenty of salt to the roast. (Mine was 2.5 lbs, which was a bit small for me, 4-5 lbs would be better). I like to use kosher salt because it is flatter and thinner than regular salt and adheres better to the meat. But regular salt works fine too.
But whatever salt you use, don’t hold your breath, baby.
Here, I add a bunch of black pepper. After the kids commandeered and destroyed my wooden peppermaker, I finally bought myself a new peppermaker. I think it is made of titanium or something, i.e. puncture proof.
If I can’t find a Marlboro Man flamethrower, it’s always a possibility.
In any case, it is important to put plenty of pepper on the meat. You will be seasoning a lot of meat here.
Now, a few onions….
Cut in half from root to tip.
Then cut off the top, cut off the bottom, and peel off the outer skin. If you are an onion addict/maniac, feel free to use more.
The oil in the pan has gotten pretty hot, but not so hot that it’s smoking (hey, if it is, it’s not a big deal)… When this is the case.
Then fry for a minute or so on each side. (The oil should be really sizzling, like a marboloman).
Now turn over and do the same thing on the other side:
Then transfer the onions to a plate.
Next, wash 6-8 carrots well (do not peel) and cut them into 2 cm wide pieces. I am too rustic for this, as not peeling them leaves them more rustic. You get the idea.
Throw them into the same (very hot) pan and toss until slightly browned, about 1 minute. Remember, the important thing here is that the vegetables start to get a nice color on the outside, not that they are cooked.
Now transfer the carrots to a plate and place the pan over high heat again. Add another tablespoon of oil if needed. See this beautiful brown stuff? That is the good stuff. That is really, really, really good stuff.
Put the meat on top of that. Once it is well seasoned, put it in a hot pan and cook it for about a minute on each side.
When that side is nicely browned (the more it cooks, the better it tastes), flip it over to the other side.
I like to lift it up and toaster the sides as well. Once it is all the way around, transfer the roast to a plate. Also, do you see that brown stuff in the pan? That’s the good part. That is the really, really good stuff.
Now, with the burner on high, deglaze the pan. In layman’s terms, this means hastily loosening small pieces of cooked food from the bottom of the alloy pan with liquid. In reality, you’re scraping the contents of the pan to get all the good stuff at the bottom. Amen. I usually like to start with a ladleful of red wine and add the beef stock to it. But if you don’t like wine, if you live in a state where liquor stores are not allowed to be open on Sundays, ahem, if you don’t have red wine at home, ahem For those people, I’m going to introduce you to wine. It is delicious enough to be made with beef stock, as in this case. Delicious, even!
Once you have added about 1 cup of liquid, stop and stir, stirring the bottom of the pan with a whisk.
Now add the browned meat to the pan and add enough cooking liquid to soak half of the meat. I think a couple cups of liquid should be fine.
Now add onions….
Do the same with the carrots.
Hey!!! It’s starting to look like a pot roast. What a coincidence. Because I’m a middle-aged man and I think everything needs a little work.
But fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme can turn an ordinary roast dish into something special. This is spring rosemary, and I like to put in about 3 or 4 sprigs. Just leave them all in and toss them in. (And rosemary is a very easy plant to grow in containers. Please give it a try. (It’s a fragrant and versatile little herb.)
But if all you have on your spice shelf is dried rosemary, who cares? Give it a try!
Hmmm. When you put the twigs in, soak them in the liquid to get the most out of them.
This is a fresh sprig of thyme, which I love and adore. I will post a recipe for fresh thyme bread soon, but for now I just add a little to the roast. I used about 3 sprigs.
Hmmm… Now we are talking. Time to put it in the oven. Bake covered in a 275 degree oven for 3 hours (for a 3 lb roast). For a 4- to 5-pound roast, you’re looking at 4 hours. And don’t peek, tinker, or refrigerate. Just find a hobby that allows you to occupy your thoughts and actions while the roast is baking. Needle felting, scrapbooking, birdwatching, and caving (cave exploration) are just a few options.
It looks like this!!! (LOL)
Here, transfer the meat to a cutting board and sample it with a fork. See how easily it breaks apart? You can literally see the connective tissue between the meat melting. When it “breaks down” easily, it’s definitely done.
To serve, cut with a knife….
Or you can shred all the meat with two forks. It’s a matter of preference. If you cook it right, you can cut the meat any way you want.
Now is a good time to prepare the mashed potatoes. Which reminds me, I didn’t mention the potatoes at the beginning. I don’t like to put potatoes in the pot with meat. It is a quick and easy way to prepare potatoes, but I think they end up a bit sparse. On the other hand, I think mashed potatoes make the roast more special. Please don’t take my word for it. Heck: you can use jacket potatoes twice … . You can even use boiled egg noodles! (And so on). (Wait a minute, that’s a good one: ……)
Whatever you use, just put the meat on/alongside.
Then use a spoon to put the veggies on the plate. Hmmm I love cooked carrots, especially ones infused with the flavor of roasted meat.
And ummm ……. You will love this onion.
But don’t let that be the end of the story.
You don’t want to miss all the flavor, so be sure to pour the pan juices over the meat.
And the carrots….
And the potatoes. Since you’re here, please make sure to serve more juice at the table so that everyone can cover the grilled meat without hesitation.
The nice thing about roasts is that you can eat them all at once.
Don’t be afraid to take a bite!
I am so sorry. I couldn’t help it. And that burps It was very good. The rosemary was great, the meat was tender and melted in my mouth.
There are so many delicious ways to eat roasts, and I will continue to suggest variations. But for this week, try this recipe. Serve it to your family, your loved ones, your grandmother, your uncle, your friends, and yourself. And pat yourself on the back for embracing one of the most basic of dishes.
You’ve embraced roast!