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Jan 30, 2005 09:53 AM

Oven-Searing (500 degrees) Pot Roast?

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I have always pan-seared pot roast on the *stove* before braising.

There is a recipe that calls for rubbing a 6-8 pound pot roast with oil/salt/pepper, then browning in a 500 degree *oven* "cooking until thoroughly browned on all sides, about 45 mins to 1 hour".

Does anyone prefer the oven method of searing pot roast?

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  1. I have never done cooked this way- but my neighbor does and she swears by it. Apparently there is a cookbook that advocates cooking meats at such high temperatures. She has been cooking this way for many years and says that once you try it- you never go back. The downside, she says, is that it can make a mess of your oven.

    4 Replies
    1. re: edinaeats

      Barbara Kafka has a book on roasting at high temperatures. It was all the rage when it first came out. It's called "Roasting-A simple art". I bet this is the book your neighbor uses.


      1. re: Pat Hammond

        This is a wonderful book!!

        1. re: Pat Hammond

          I will actually be braising. (Just wanted to know if anyone has oven versus stove seared prior to braising.)

        2. re: edinaeats

          Yea, but stove-top searing makes a mess of my stove-top, counter-tops, and floor.

          I've oven-seared scallops. The trick in getting nice browning on both sides without losing juciness was to make sure I put them at a different spot on the skillet when I turned them over. Also to put the skillet in the 500 oven for a few minutes first so it was hot when they went in.

          I'm going to give it a try with a hunk of pork I have. I was going to brown it and then braise it with cabbage and wine.

        3. I should note that the roast is oven-braised in liquid, etc. after "oven-searing".

          1. I just did this with shortribs. Seared at 550F. It worked very nicely. My oven is not a mess and neither is my stove top. I just seasoned them and put them in a Le Creuset dutch oven, uncovered and let them sear for half an hour. I then poured off the grease, put down a bed of chopped leeks and carrots and some home made stock. It smells great and when I get home tonight from the fund raiser I'm involved with it will be ready to go.

            1. I can't thank you enough for putting this idea into my head. I tried this approach this afternoon, and it worked great! I had a piece of pork that would be like a small standing rib if it were beef. But it was really small, only about 3 inches thick. Basically a very thick pork chop.

              I heated the oven to 500 and then put in the pot to heat it up. I don't have a cast iron dutch oven, so I used my calphalon. I have a hearth kit, which gives a high-heat floor to put pots on, and I used that rather than a rack thinking it would keep the temp higher when I put in the room temp meat. A pizza stone would do the same thing.

              When the pot was hot, I added a bit of oil. When it was hot, I added the meat, which I had seasoned with salt, pepper, and fennel seeds. Browned it about 10 minutes on each side, adding a smashed clove of garlic after about the first 5 minutes, when I checked the meat for sticking and browning. When it was browned on both sides, I turned off the oven and added some red wine. After a few minutes, I turned the meat over and then removed the pot to the stove top where I finished the braising. I wanted to be able to get to it easier as I was going to be stirring frequently. Also, a chef once told me that meat dries out less when braised on the stove top rather than in the oven, where it is drier.

              I added about a tablespoon of tomatoe paste and a cup or so of homemade broth. Then shredded savoy cabbage on top. About every 15 minutes, I moved cabbage around so it all ended up cooking in the juices for a bit. The cooked cabbage I put on top of the pork to keep it moist. Turned the pork about every 30 minutes. I braised it for a couple of hours after moving it to the stove top, adding salt after the cabbage had cooked down a bit. After removing the meat to cutting board, I took off some fat and let the cabbage and juices cook with the lid off to remove the excess moisture. I cut the bone out and then cut the piece of meat in two, so there were two nice slices, each with browned crust on one side. After slicing, I put the meat on the cabbage and poured the sauce over top. Delicious, and perfect for two.


              Thanks again. Whoever said it is right. I'll probably never go back to stove-top browning again.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bacchante

                Thanks for the report!

                (I'll let you know how mine goes--I must say I am reticent, but will give oven-searing my chuck roast a try and report back.)