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Jazzing up pot roast?

  • t

I made pot roast last night, and it was OK, but nothing exciting. Now, I’ve never eaten pot roast before, so perhaps this is as good as it gets? Or can anyone suggest some improvements?

What I did:
Rubbed a 2.5 lb. chuck roast (flat) with kosher salt, black pepper, and some garlic powder
Heated some canola oil in a Dutch oven
Seared the roast and removed it
Cooked in the same pan, for about 10 minutes, finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery – about 4 cups of veggies in total
Added a cup of red wine – a Shiraz I had sitting around – and scraped up the bottom of the pan
Added a bay leaf and some dried thyme, cooked about 5 minutes
Put the roast back in and cooked for about 2 hours on lowest heat setting, turning it every 30 minutes or so

The meat was tender and the sauce had a nice consistency, but I found the flavor to be a tad bland.

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  1. If your pot roast was bland it probably needed more salt. Maybe more pepper, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: georgeb

      Yes, it sounds like you seasoned your meat but not the mirepoix/sauce mixture which would def. contribute to blandness.

      For more depth of flavor, I sometimes add 1-2 Tb. of tomato paste after I have sweated the veggies and before I throw in my liquids. Or I will toss in a small can of diced tomatoes. If I need more liquid, I usually add beef broth in addition to red wine.

      1. re: Carb Lover

        ...Or instead of just diced tomatoes, try the diced tomatoes/chiles. Store brand, like Ralphs, works just fine. You might want to drain off some of the liquid first, though (and save it to add to Bloody Mary mix!).

    2. Add some tomato paste- it will give the flavor a nice richness. If I buy the cans of tomato paste, i usually freeze individual tablespoon sized portions. Just put the tablespoon or so on some plastic wrap, and freeze all of the portions in a zip lock bag. Tomato paste is great in gravies, stews and slow cooked meals.

      1. I don't know whether this is something you would like, but I have a fun recipe that calls for sauteing chopped onions and garlic first,maybe along with just a little oregano, then (along w/salt and pepper) rubbing the meat with cumin and chili powder (or I like to use Stubb's barbecue rub) before searing it and then topping it with a can of hot chili beans. Then just let it cook long and slow, like you did (only don't turn it--let the beans sit on top). This tastes great, and you can shred the meat and make tacos or burritos with the whole mess.

        1. c
          Chris in Vienna

          Pot roast is one of my all time favorite cold weather concoctions...but, it can get a bit repetitive. So, I've done some variations on a theme over the years. In fact, I just made pot roast this past Sunday and we enjoyed it immensely.

          Here are a few things I've done over time:

          Added dried porcinis, sun dried tomatoes (juliened, dried tomatoes), tomato paste, dried celery (also works as a thickener), daikon, root vegetables like turnips and parsnips (the latter instead of carrots), pearl onions...just get creative.

          I also season mine liberally with salt (crazy salt in this case as it has other herbs and spices in it), pepper, and a touch of cumin. Once seared on all sides, in go my onions and a liberal amount of crushed garlic. Back goes the roast, liquid (usually beef stock or a mixture of mushroom stock and beef with sometimes a touch of light bodied red wine), sun dried tomatoes, and a couple of rosemary branches and some thyme branches. Once it comes to a boil, it heads to an oven covered at 375 F for 3 hours, turning halfway through.

          One hour before it comes out I add my root vegetables, potatoes and fresh mushrooms (dried go in earlier). I usually dice my vegetables fairly small so they cook, but big enough so that they don't disintegrate.

          I've found that a few extra ingredients like the dried tomatoes add a lot of flavor to the meal. The rosemary also helps.

          I usually serve it with a garlic mashed potato dish.

          Good stuff.

          1. A bit of cinnamon, allspice and cloves add an unusual and good flavor (esp in the fall).